Breakfast can be one of the most interesting meals of the day, incorporating essential carbohydrates, protein and antioxidants. It is also a family meal that is usually eaten at home.
The best way to introduce flavour into breakfast is to look at the healthiest elements of Anglo Saxon, Mediterranean, Latin, Asian and other world traditions. Generally, a healthy breakfast should use fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes (beans) and healthy plant oils as well as fish and seeds to obtain omega 3 fatty acids. Children who skip breakfast miss out particularly on dietary fibre found in complex carbohydrates.
These complex carbohydrates are essential pre-biotics that promote a healthy gut. Kids can be part of the fun of preparing international breakfast treats on the weekend.
Chinese congee and dumplings
Korean kimchi with rice, beef and fish
Indian roti with chutney and dips
Russian blinis with kefir and stuffed with cheese
South African corn porridge
Iranian naan bread with cinnamon and shredded meat
Pilipino mango with rice
French brioche with fruit
Swedish crepes with berries
Polish scrambled eggs with potato pancakes
Fava beans, lemon and spices
Italian frittata and yoghurt
Turkish cheese with olives, eggs and cucumber.
All of the above dishes use spices and aromatics.
Olive oil is the preferred fat for baking.
So, a healthy breakfast can be very interesting, colourful, varying in texture and flavour and educational. You can also cater to children with special dietary requirements. If you have a child on a sleepover, try to prepare some treats that address allergies or intolerances so that children learn about each other’s individual needs.
As a guide, a four-year-old girl needs on average four serves of quality/low GI carbohydrates a day, whereas a 14-year-old boy needs seven serves. Breakfast foods help to address these needs, as well as providing protein from eggs and dairy and antioxidants from vegetables such as spinach, tomato, zucchini and mushrooms.
Dorothy can assist families to determine their individual nutritional needs and can provide practical advice.