Traveling abroad for the last few months, I was fortunate to observe what kids eat for breakfast around the world. What I saw gave me moment to pause and consider what we Americans feed our children. Given the rising global obesity epidemic, it is time for us to rethink what our children eat for breakfast.
We seem to lack imagination when it comes to breakfast. For most children, their day begins with the archetypal, hyper-sweetened cold cereal and the ubiquitous glass of chocolate milk, both high in sugar and empty calories. And despite knowing that these foods do not nourish a young child, we continue to feed them the same foods.
Let’s hit the stop button and quickly peruse what children in other countries eat for breakfast. In Japan, natto, composed of rice and soybean, is the breakfast of champions. In Iceland, hafragrautur, or oatmeal with surmjolk (sour milk), is the staple. Southern Indian cuisine includes idli, a steamed cake made of fermented lentils and rice.
Breakfast foods in other countries are warm, nourishing and mineral rich, which promotes and nurtures children’s health and wellness. Eating a fast food breakfast, such as cold cereal or donuts, does not nourish a young one. Yet here in America, we continue to buy breakfast foods that are marketed as “healthy” yet devoid of the necessary nutrition that will help our young people grow into healthy adults.
Let’s reconsider the morning meal. Start your family’s day with a fresh glass of carrot juice, vegetable omelet, hot quinoa cereal or even a quiche. You will be glad you embraced this new change as you watch your kids have more energy, be happier and more balanced.
Here’s to your health