Women are obligated in prayer, and therefore are also included in the prohibition not to eat before they have “prayed for their blood.” However, even if they are accustomed to recite Shemoneh Esrei, they are permitted to eat after saying a short prayer that contains praise, request and thanks to Hashem. They can recite the rest of tefillah afterwards (Rav Shlomo Zalman Aeurbach as cited in Halichos Shlomo, Tefillah 2,4).
Children are allowed to eat before praying in the morning. One is forbidden to stop them from eating, especially if it will cause them discomfort to refrain from eating beforehand (Mishnah Berurah 106,5). Some prefer to avoid giving children food before tefillah, since later on in life it will be extremely difficult for them to change their habits (Kaf Hachaim 106,11).
Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org