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Breakfasts from Around the World

Welcome back! It’s April and along with it being spring, we are celebrating Diversity Awareness Month. Diversity Awareness was created to celebrate and honor the diversity happening all around us. For us here at SNAP-Ed that means celebrating food from around the globe. But how do we narrow it down? Let’s start with breakfast. What do you do to ‘break your fast’? It’s called breakfast because it is the first, and most important, meal since it breaks the ‘fast’ from not haven eaten since the day before. Let’s learn how people from other parts of the world fuel up to start their day. Read on to discover and ‘taste’ what other people are eating (and enjoying!) and get some ideas to change up your own breakfast. Stay to the end, where we share a link for a fun game.

First stop, China!

Chinese Tea Herbal Eggs, Cha Ye Dan, Black Tea Boiled Eggs in Spices Star Anise and Cinnamon Stick
Chinese Tea Herbal Eggs

China is similar in size to the United States so, like here, different regions may eat different things depending on the current season and climate. But one thing that can be found all over are ‘Tea Eggs’. Tea eggs are a twice cooked egg that simmers for hours in tea and savory spices and is commonly sold from a cart as street food. The tea and spices give the eggs a marbled appearance once the shell is removed but don’t let that hold you back, they’re delicious as well as a great source of protein. Other common breakfast foods include steamed buns, dumplings, and congee (rice porridge). They all sound like a delicious way to start the day!

Let’s go to Mexico!

Traditional mexican green chilaquiles with fried egg and cheese
Mexican green chilaquiles with fried egg and cheese

There are so many different ways to enjoy breakfast in Mexico that it’s hard to know where to start. Traditionally, lunch tends to be small, so Mexicans often enjoy a hearty breakfast. We could try torta de tamal, a tamale sandwich. It is a roll stuffed with a tamale that is filled with a combination of vegetables, chicken, or cheese. One of my favorites would be chilaquiles. To make chilaquiles you start by breaking up some tortilla chips, top with either a red, tomato, or green, tomatillo sauce (tomatillos are related to tomatoes but green and with a dry papery husk around them), a fried egg, and crema (similar to sour cream). Or try the huevos rancheros, made of two tortillas topped with beans, salsa, and, of course, two eggs. Let’s dig in!

All aboard for Algeria in North Africa!

Shakshuka in a cast iron skillet
Shakshuka in a cast iron skillet

My favorite dish from this region is Chakchouka! It’s a standard in our family. Have you tried it before? It’s simple to make, absolutely delicious, and healthy. What else can you ask for? Sauté onions with peppers and spices until softened, add tomatoes, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then crack eggs on top and place a lid on until the eggs are cooked through. You can enjoy at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s always a winner. There’s more! Berbers, who are indigenous to North Africa, enjoy drinks made from goats’ milk or tamina, a type of cake made from roasted semolina (durum wheat), butter, and honey. Yes, please!

Pop over to Israel!

Mediterranean Breakfast
Mediterranean Breakfast

Let’s explore what people in Israel have for breakfast! Foods grown in countries around the Mediterranean like Israel are considered the healthiest due to how flavorful, nutritious, and plentiful fruit and vegetables are in the region. Many people in Israel will have fish for breakfast alongside Salat Katzutz, a chopped vegetable salad consisting of tomato, red onion, parsley, cilantro, and cucumbers. There may also be Tsfatit, a white cow’s cheese, or cottage cheese on the breakfast table. Other common breakfast items would be yogurt, hummus, olives, and pita bread. A feast!

Let’s finish our trip around the globe in Iceland!

Healthy breakfast bowl for autumn and winter season
Healthy breakfast bowl for the autumn and winter season

Believe it or not, Iceland has several breakfast foods similar to the U.S. Icelanders often start their day with ‘hafragrautur’, which is Icelandic for oatmeal. The oats are cooked with water or milk and topped with brown sugar. Who doesn’t love oatmeal? Icelanders also enjoy ‘skyr’ which is similar to Greek yogurt. Skyr is a protein and dairy-rich food that goes great with oatmeal. Finally, Icelanders may finish their breakfast with ‘lysi’, cod-liver oil. It may sound strange to have a spoonful of lysi in the morning; however, it’s rich in Vitamin D and, if you live in Iceland, the weather can make it challenging to get enough Vitamin D naturally.

What about you? Does your breakfast include fruit as is often done in Israel? Or perhaps you enjoy oatmeal, similar to Iceland’s hafragrautur included in the grain food group? Maybe you like eggs as in Mexico, Algeria, or China? Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and a great way to start your day! How about a dairy-rich yogurt or skyr which will make your bones and teeth happy (and strong!)?  It may sound different to start your day with fish as in Israel, but I’ll give it a try. Whatever you choose, aim to get more than one food group in your breakfast. It’s a great way to ‘break your fast’!

As promised, we have a game for you to play. Click on the link below and play, ‘Fueling My Healthy Life’. It’s not only a fun game but it might also give you more breakfast meal ideas!


As always, thanks for stopping by, we enjoy the company.

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