You probably eat the same thing or the same couple of things for breakfast every morning—that is, if you eat breakfast at all. If you do, it might be a rushed affair, especially if you’re not a morning person. Like it or not (I don’t), breakfast is good for you. These kids know what’s up.
See what kids eat for their morning meal all around the world. From stir-fried peppers to sour milk, there are all kinds of surprising items on this list. If you’re in a breakfast slump and tire of eating the same soggy cereal or sugary donut in the mornings, you can use their meals as inspiration. Just be aware that some of these items might be an acquired taste.
When she first tried natto, a fermented soybean dish at 7 months, she puked. But now she loves it. She also has white rice, miso soup, squash simmered in soy sauce and sake, an omelet-like egg dish, and grilled salmon. There’s also pickled cucumber, but Saki still doesn’t like those.
He’s not excited about getting ready for school, but Tiago really likes his chocolate milk. On school mornings, Tiago and his two brothers like cold cereal; seen here are cornflakes. He also has banana cakes and a sweet white bread called bisnaguinha covered in requeijão, a mild and creamy cheese.
This breakfast is centered around brown bread. Oyku eats it with green and black olives, Nutella, sliced tomato, hard-boiled egg, strawberry jam, honey butter, and a variety of Turkish cheeses. No, that’s not all on the same slice of bread.
Japanese breakfasts typically include savory meals. While Koki and his brother like the sweeter cold cereal and donuts associated with American breakfasts, their mother prefers them to eat Japanese dishes. Here, Koki has green peppers stir-fried with dried fish, sesame seeds and soy sauce, raw egg and soy sauce over hot rice, miso soup, grapes, a sliced pear, and milk. He also has kinpira a sautéed dish made from lotus and burdock roots and carrots.
Aricia Domenica Ferreira, age 4, and Hakim Jorge Ferreira Gomes, age 2, São Paulo, Brazil
It’s common for parents in Brazil to give their kids milky coffee with breakfast, believing it helps them concentrate in school and has antioxidants. In moderation, pediatricians say it’s fine for kids even as young as Hakim. However, Aricia prefers chocolate milk. Both kids also eat ham and cheese as well aspão com manteiga (bread with butter).
Phillip and Shelleen Kamtengo, both age 4, Chitedze, Malawi
Viv’s favorite breakfast is a glass of milk with bread topped with unsalted butter and sweet sprinkles. Sprinkles are a breakfast staple here, and come in a variety of flavors, shapes and sizes, from tiny grains to thick shavings. Viv likes the fruit-flavored sprinkles (or hagelslag, as they’re known, which means “hailstorm”), but her sister Rosie prefers chocolate.
Birta Gudrun Brynjarsdottir, age 3 1/2, Reykjavik, Iceland
Hafragrautur, an oatmeal porridge, is a breakfast staple in Iceland, usually served with brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, fruit, or sour milk. Sour milk, surmjolk in Iceland, is quite popular in northern Europe. Birta also swallows a spoonful of cod liver oil. Because the sunlight is weak for about half the year, the fish oils give Birta the vitamin D she needs to grow.
Emily gets up before 6 to eat with her family. She has cornmeal and groundnut porridge, called phala, and deep fried cakes made of cornmeal, onions, garlic, and chiles. She also has boiled sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and a juice made from dried hibiscus flowers. She also likes black tea, like Phillip and Shelleen. Half the children in Malawi are chronically malnourished, so Emily is quite fortunate.
Nathanaël’s father is health conscious, so when they stay together, Nathanaël foregoes the traditional breakfast of crepes and hot chocolate for something less sugary. He has a kiwi, cold cereal with milk, and orange juice. He also has tartine, an open-faced baguette sandwich with butter and homemade blackberry jam.
This huge breakfast is Doga’s Saturday breakfast; during the week, things are a bit less elaborate. There’s honey and clotted cream on toast, green and black olives, fried eggs with spicy sausage, hard boiled eggs, grape syrup with tahini, a variety of sheep- and goat-milk cheeses, quince and blackberry jams, fresh vegetables, halvah, pastries, and more. As seen here and with Oyku, Turkish breakfasts are traditionally a large collection of toppings and ingredients spread on bread and eaten like hors d’oeuvres.
I don’t know about you, but some of these actually make me appreciate breakfast. Now I need to rethink what I’m going to eat tomorrow morning…