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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

Breakfast Ideas From Around the World

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Breakfast Ideas From Around the World

Explore how to make breakfast unique, tasty, and filling by taking a look at these breakfast ideas from around the world.

You have probably heard about the importance and many benefits of eating breakfast. It can improve memory function and enhance learning ability and physical health. (1) If your kid hasn’t warmed up to some of the typical American breakfasts, try some of these breakfast ideas from around the world instead.

How do the breakfasts differ?

You’ll first see that not everyone starts their day with cereal and milk. Teaching your child about what other kids around the world eat for breakfast is a great opportunity for your child to learn about other cuisines and cultures. This flavor exploration will also help expand your child’s food palate, and can inspire your family to try something new! Make this a fun activity with the kids and try to learn all of the names for ‘breakfast’ in each country as you read about the foods!

Déjeuner in France – Western Europe

A child in France may start his day with a fresh baguette topped with butter and jam, or perhaps a crepe or fresh croissant. Enjoy these with fresh fruit and a glass of low-fat milk. (2) Bon appetite!

Snidanok in Ukraine – Eastern Europe

A child in Ukraine may start her day with a savory breakfast of potato pancakes, or for a sweeter start to her day, a syrniki – a sweet pancake made from cottage cheese. Another option is piroshkis – baked or fried stuffed buns filled with either meat, vegetables or fruit. (3) For a healthy heart, always choose baked over fried and lean meats.

Karin Kumallo in Nigeria – Africa

Breakfast for a kid in Nigeria generally includes porridge made from corn or millet, hot and spicy soup, and fried cassava root. (4) Cassava was brought to Nigeria from its native land, South America, in the 1500s. It is now a major part of the Nigerian economy. Cassava is an important part of the Nigerian diet, but cooking it is key as some varieties of cassava are very toxic until cooked or processed. (5)

Xāh̄ār chêā in Thailand – Southeast Asia

Our next stop for breakfast ideas around the world is Thailand! A child here may start her day with congee, a type of ride porridge, topped with a poached egg, chicken, pork or seafood. Another typical breakfast food is kai jeow, which is a Thai style omelet often served with rice. She may have a homemade warm soy beverage to top it off. (6,7)

Asa Gohan in Japan – East Asia

A kid in Japan may start his day with rice, and miso soup served with grilled fish, chicken or tamagoyaki, a Japanese omelet. Try your version with whole grain brown rice! Side dishes may include pickled vegetables or natto, a dish made from fermented soybeans with a cheesy, nutty flavor. Natto is also an excellent source of vitamin K! (8, 9)

Desayuno in Guatemala – Central America

Next, let’s head to Guatemala. Here, a child’s breakfast generally includes eggs, black beans, and fried plantains. Tortillas or bread (choose whole grain) and fresh fruit and topped with salsa, cheese, or crema – which is similar to sour cream – are typical sides. You can use nonfat Greek plain yogurt as a sour cream healthy substitution. It’s a great option for meatless Mondays! (10)

Desayuno in Venezuela- South America

Corn is a staple food in Venezuela. Breakfast in Venezuela typically includes arepas, a type of bread made from corn flour. Arepas are stuffed with chicken, fish, beef or cheese. With a side of black beans, avocados, and fresh fruit juice, the meal is complete. YUM! (11, 12)

Desayuno in Mexico- North America

Let’s complete our world breakfast tour back in North America. A child in Mexico starts her day with chicken or cheese enchiladas topped with a special enchilada sauce. Breakfast tacos are another popular Mexican breakfast, and they are filled with eggs, chorizo or other meat, or vegetables, and topped with guacamole and salsa. Pair either one of these options with a side of your version of healthy whole grain bread (instead of sweet bread) and local fruits. (13)

Now it’s your turn to go on vacation inside your own home! Cook up a new cuisine with the kids and test those taste buds. Modify them to meet your family’s taste preferences and give them a healthy boost. Breakfast will never be the same again!

  1. UC Davis Health. Researchers Find Breakfast Critical to Performance. Published 1995. Accessed September 14, 2018.
  3. 12 Traditional Ukrainian Foods That Will Make Your Taste Buds Jazz – Flavorverse. Flavorverse. Published 2017. Accessed September 14, 2018.
  4. 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Breakfast Around the World. Accessed September 14, 2018.
  5. Teles FFF. Chronic Poisoning by Hydrogen Cyanide in Cassava and its Prevention in Africa and Latin America. Food Nutr Bull. 2002;23(4):407-412. doi:10.1177/156482650202300416
  6. Thai breakfast: What do they eat? Bangkok Has You. Accessed September 15, 2018.
  7. How to Make a Thai-Style Omelette. Thai Recipe. Thai Foodie. http://www.thai-foodie.
  8. What’s really for breakfast? 20 Japanese people give us a peek at their morning meal. SoraNews24. Accessed September 15, 2018.
  9. Vitamin K — Health Professional Fact Sheet. Accessed September 15, 2018.
  10. Typical Guatemalan Breakfast – AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com. Accessed September 15, 2018.
  11. Top 10 Venezuelan foods to try: best dishes, drinks and desserts. Accessed September 15, 2018.
  12. All About Arepas – Venezuelan and Colombia Corncakes. Accessed September 15, 2018.
  13. Barbezat S. What’s for breakfast in Mexico? Tripsavvy. Published 2017. Accessed September 14, 2018.

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About the Author

Picture of Melissa Halas, MA, RD, CDE

Melissa Halas, MA, RD, CDE

Melissa is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with a master's in nutrition education. She is the founder of SuperKids Nutrition Inc. Read more about her Super Crew children’s books and her experience as a registered dietitian on the About Melissa and Shop page. Discover how nutrition can help you live your best health potential through her plant-based books and newsletter on Melissa’s Healthy Living.

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