Last week I found a fun article published in New York Times Magazine that I am excited to share with you today. It talks about what children eat all over the world (Japan, France, Malawi, Brazil, Turkey, Netherlands, etc.). The article has great pictures (some with real kids sitting at the table) and it is an easy and relaxing read.
I do wonder how typical the breakfasts the article talks about really are. But even if they are not entirely typical, it gives us some idea about which foods are typical to a certain country. It is a fun peek into kids’ breakfasts from all over the world.
After the 6th grade, I visited France and stayed with a French family for three months during the summer. Breakfast was my favourite meal. I usually ate chocolate milk with boxed cereal, fresh croissants with Nutella, and fresh white bread with butter. A lof of sugar and refined grains in my breakfast.
Does it mean that all the French kids ate the same way as I did while I lived in France? Of course not! Probably there was a lot of overlap (as you can read from the article I mentioned), but as everywhere, there were probably many kids that ate very different foods. Foods that their families were used to preparing and eating.
I would not offer my children today the breakfast I ate during my stay in France, as children (and adults too) need to eat wholesome foods that keep their blood sugar levels stable, especially for breakfast. Fluctuating blood sugar makes kids moody, angry, aggressive, tantrumy, and interferes with concentration and focus at school.
But those breakfast foods I ate in France were fun and tasty for me as an 11-year old (and I am sure for many other kids too), especially since at lunch I would have to eat a green, creamy, gross-looking soup (that I always thought was taken out of a can). I had a hard time eating that soup! However, not once did I ask for a different food (it did not cross my mind to ask) and not once did my host family offer me different food than they were eating. So I had to settle with that green soup. But the breakfasts… Oh, the breakfasts! They were a different yummilicious story!
Now let me give you some examples of that breakfast foods I ate when I was growing up in Romania:
- bread and butter
- chocolate milk
- fried eggs
- boiled eggs
My kids eat different breakfast food than what I ate in Romania. This is due partly to the Canadian breakfast influences, my training as a holistic nutritionist, my son’s dietary restrictions, and my openness to trying new foods (openness that I acquired later in life – after the age of 25 – as I did not have at all when I was growing up)
Here are some examples of what my family eats for breakfast:
- Chocolate Chia Pudding – with chia seeds, oats, coconut milk, raw cacao, and maple syrup
- Loaded Delicious Porridge – with coconut milk, oats, banana, dried blueberries, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon
- Coconut Curry Chicken Egg Tart – eggs, chicken, coconut milk and oil, curry, garlic, and parsley
- Homemade Holy Crap Cereal – buckwheat, coconut flakes, chia seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, hemp seeds, and cinnamon
- Green Omelette – eggs, zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms
My kids also eat scrambled, boiled, or sunny-side up eggs with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or celery sticks. Sometimes we have bacon on the side.
If I am pinched for time or if I run out of ideas for what to serve at breakfast (yes, it happens!), I just make them a sandwich (that always includes lettuce), add some fruit on the side, and my kids are good to go.
Breakfasts that we prepare and eat are inspired by what our parents made for us, by our food preferences, our family members’ food preferences, our dietary restrictions, and of course, influences from friends, relatives, magazines, TV, and the Internet,
I would LOVE to know in what country you live and what you give your kids for breakfast. What about the foods that you ate while growing up? Please share them below!