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.
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!
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!
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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!
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