Many, many years ago, my husband dated someone from South America. Her family had several different food habits, one of which included eating a side dish of rice with every meal—even spaghetti, pizza, and any other carb-heavy dinner. To this day, my husband still loves rice, and so do my boys, and while we eat it often, it never accompanies a carbohydrate-laden meal. However it does frequently make an appearance on our breakfast table.
One of my family’s favourite morning meals is leftover rice cooked with scrambled eggs and served with a side of hot sauce. A little unusual to be sure, but stick-to-your-ribs filling. To make it, I swirl some olive oil in a hot pan, add the rice and cook it until warmed through and lightly golden in colour, then I add half a dozen beaten eggs and toss it all together to create a rice and egg scramble. It takes less than 10 minutes and everyone comes to the kitchen happy and hungry when they see what I’m cooking.
I tell you this because last week The New York Times published a piece on what children around the world eat for breakfast, and it’s a fascinating look at the differences in breakfasts around the globe. While we’re accustomed to eating eggs, bagels, cold cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and coffee first thing in our day, some kids are eating millet-seed porridge, fermented soy beans, olives, dried meat, and pickled eggs.
For kids living in Latin America, sipping coffee with milk in the morning is relatively normal, and for the children in India, the day might start with steamed cake made from fermented lentils and rice. In fact, ‘the idea that children should have bland, sweet food is a very industrial presumption,’ says Krishnendu Ray, a professor of food studies at New York University who grew up in India. ‘In many parts of the world, breakfast is tepid, sour, fermented and savory.’
So, now I’m curious…what’s the most unusual thing your children eat for breakfast? Would they be happy eating more savoury lunch-like dishes first thing in the morning? Do you agree that (North) Americans lack imagination when it comes to making breakfast? If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the article, it’s really quite interesting!
Image of coffee around the world from Shutterstock.
The highlight of our Thanksgiving dinner is undoubtedly the games and activities that we organize for the kids. There’s always a donut-eating-on-a-string competition between the cousins, a bucket full of water and apples for those who want to do some bobbing, and plenty of used pillowcases for a good old-fashioned sack race.
Our backyard ends up looking like a miniature version of a fall fair, as we also set up a long table with assorted pumpkins and paints for the younger kids who want to take something special home with them. This year we’re adding a round of Thanksgiving-inspired Mad Libs to the line-up, as it’s nice for the kids to have something to do inside the house as well. The older cousins can help the younger ones come up with their word list and then everyone can fill in the blanks of their story with their words before reading it aloud to the group.
I’m anticipating a lot of laughs with this activity, and have even considered getting the adults involved. Kids seem to love when older family members act silly, and I can’t think of anything more ridiculous than a make believe story that’s likely to include some of the people in attendance.
If you’re looking for something simple to keep the kids entertaining this holiday, here’s a printable copy of the game for your own use. If you do end up giving it a try, let us know how it went in the comments and feel free to share the crazy creations that came from your family’s stories.
Download the free SavvyMom Thanksgiving Mad Lib Printable
Download the free SavvyMom Thanksgiving Mad Lib Word List
Image of MadLibs from Shutterstock.