Is your child eating one spoonful of sugar for every three bites? Well, if he is eating some of the leading brands of cereal, he is! The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity released information about the cereal market, sharing that there have been few improvements in the last few years. Cereal makers improved the “nutritional quality” of most cereals marketed to children and reduced advertising of some products to children. However, the negatives include these tidbits:
- seven sugary cereals had even more ads on TV targeted at children in the last few years
- cereal makers created websites promoting certain sugary cereals and advertised sweet cereals on websites for children
- Kellogg even introduced the first food company game for mobile phones and tablets targeted to children for Apple Jacks.
Meanwhile, while all of the overly sweet sugar cereal is marketed to children, less sweet cereals are marketed to parents (who now have to force these less “healthier” breakfasts on unwilling children, who want Apple Jacks and Coco Puffs after seeing commercials for them).
If you're waiting for popular food brands to come up with healthy breakfast for you and your family, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Turn off the TV and serve your children some old-fashioned nutritious breakfasts.
Need some ideas? Here is a short list of traditional breakfasts from around the world.
Traditional British breakfast: Eggs and bacon or sausage
Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition and protein. Eating protein in the morning will keep you and your children’s blood sugar levels even.
Traditional Japanese breakfast: Miso soup, white rice and Japanese-style pickles
Traditionally served at breakfast, this soup is full of important minerals. Served with white rice (starch) that gives energy, and pickles for flavor. A raw egg and nori (both full of nutrition) are also often served alongside.
Traditional Scottish breakfast: Oatmeal porridge
Oh yes, oatmeal makes a great start to the day. It is not as expensive or sugary as cereal, but nutritious and easily made delicious with a drizzle of real maple syrup and a pat of butter.
Traditional Guizhou breakfast: Wheat noodles with lard
Believe it or not, lard from pigs allowed plenty of sunshine is actually one of the very best sources of natural vitamin D, which is crucial for your immune system and is related to a decrease in disease. Traditionally, of course, not only was lard from pastured pigs, but it was never hydrogenated.
Burma breakfast: Fried rice and boiled peas with green tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants and rice and peas are a cheap protein source. Another popular choice bought out is a fish stock (full of important minerals) served with rice pasta and a wide variety of garnishes.
Traditional Greece breakfast: Hot milk, fresh bread, butter and honey, or yogurt
Simple, nutritious fare featuring real food.
While you and your family might not enjoy all of these specific traditional breakfasts, the point in sharing them is this: Breakfast used to be composed of real food. That started to change when a savvy, slightly crazy health food freak in the late 1800s popularized the first form of corn flakes (his name is John Harvey Kellogg — ring any bells?). We’d save money and add a lot of nutrition by going back to a real food breakfast.
Breakfast need not come out of a box.
MNN tease photo of miso soup: Shutterstock