What Kids Eat for Breakfast Around the World
December 30, 2014
What Kids Eat for Breakfast Around the World
From pan amasado in Chile to congee in China, this is what breakfast for the young 'uns looks like in 12 countries around the world.
As breakfast is the first of four meals in the Chilean day, children start their day with a light repast of toast and milk. The traditional Chilean bread, pan amasado, or kneaded bread, is shaped like a disc with a flakey crust and soft center. This is topped with butter, jam, or the dangerously delicious and wildly popular caramelized milk spread called manjar (known elsewhere as dulce de leche).
Many Chinese children start their day with a warm bowl of congee, a watery rice porridge-like gruel. The dish seems more basic and blander than it actually is; additions to the dish can change daily. It can be prepared sweet or savory and can consists a variety of herbs, seasoned meats, and vegetables.
In Germany, breakfast is often served buffet-style, and children can select what and how much of each item they would like that particular morning before classes begin around 8 a.m. Options include rolls with jam, marmalade, or honey; cheese; soft-boiled eggs; meat; and, often times, tomatoes and cucumbers. Children living in Bavaria often have a second breakfast around 10:30 that consists of a small meat and cheese sandwich, or bread with a piece of fruit. The goal of this is to spread nutrient consumption throughout the day through small, frequent meals.
The typical Guatemalan breakfast consists of tortillas, black beans, eggs, and plantains, often with the addition of fruits varying from papaya to mangos and avocado. In stark contrast, however, young children living in impoverished indigenous communities without the same access to fresh food suffer from an astounding 61 percent undernourishment rate. Often, the communities depend on NGOs and other organizations to provide not only educational opportunities but also nutritional meals. Both of these tools are used to aid in combating malnutrition, and recently president Otto Pérez Molina launched a zero-hunger campaign plan to help improve the health of young indigenous children.
Children in Nigeria are early risers and most are up by 5 a.m. They begin their day with a small, simple breakfast before setting off for school. Breakfast most commonly consists of tea and bread or last night’s leftovers, but in different parts of the country, it may include rice and mangoes, stewed soybeans, or fried plantains.
Here, breakfast is eaten between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. It is considered a valuable and important meal because everyone eats together before setting off for school or work. A consistent staple of this meal is garlic fried rice and then smoked fish, eggs, sliced marinated beef, bacon, Spam, hotdogs, seasonal fruits, and pandesal, or fresh bread rolls, combined to make up the side dishes. Most often, the children wash down this hearty family-centered meal with a cup of cocoa or tea.
The rich cultural heritage of Singapore is reflected the treasure trove of diverse delectable eats children can have for breakfast, which may include items such as roti prata, a flat crispy pancake originally from Pakistan and India or nasi lemak, which is rice cooked in coconut milk and served with a variety of sides including fresh cucumber slices, small fried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and sambal, a spicy hot sauce, from nearby Malaysia. However, the signature Singaporean breakfast dish children dive into in the morning is kaya toast with tea. The toasted bread is smothered in butter and kaya, a coconut jam flavored with pandan, a palm-like leaf with a taste comparable to hazelnut. Savory soft-boiled eggs topped with a dash of dark soya and white pepper often accompany this sweet toast.
Breakfast in South Africa is traditionally a piping-hot bowl of pap, a cornmeal porridge with grits-like consistency served with milk and sugar. Pap is a staple food in most households and is also frequently found at lunch and dinner as a side compliment to main dishes including meats, curries, and stews. In populous cities, it is also common for children to have cereal or toast and tea for breakfast.
In Thailand, there is barely any difference between what constitutes breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as a curry, soup, and/or an array of sides are commonly dished out for any meal. The one exception is that that children usually eat khao thom or “Thai breakfast soup” in the mornings. This can be a lighter broth-based rice soup or a thicker porridge variation, often referred to as jok. Both versions have that lemongrass and ginger flavor combination reminiscent of other Thai soups and can be packed with a variety of ingredients including sliced chicken, minced pork balls, shrimp, and vegetables.
School days are split up in Vietnam; half the children attend school in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. This happens in both the metropolises such Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and in rural areas. Whether eaten at home or street-side at small local vendors as children head to school, the breakfast favorite remains the same: phở. This flavorful noodle soup can either be beef-, chicken-, or pork-based, and is topped with any combination of green onion, bean sprouts, lime, basil, cilantro, chiles, and fish sauce.