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Part of a “Complete” or “Good” breakfast?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Blog Posts | 2 comments


I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons in the late ’70s. The cereal commercial barrage always ended with, “Part of a complete breakfast!”


That complete breakfast included juice, milk, cereal, toast and butter and some kind of fruit (or a close variation). It seemed like a wholesome spread! You’d have to sit down for that meal.

Recently I caught an ad for a ‘sugary’ cereal and the phrase was changed to “Part of a good breakfast.” The meal included: cereal, milk and an unpeeled clementine.

I’m fascinated by the change. What stands out immediately is how much less food there is: no butter and the filling whole wheat toast is gone, and orange juice has too much sugar for our ‘modern’ nutrition thinking and would never appear on an ideal breakfast. (I’m not saying kids needed to eat all of the choices from the ‘complete’ photo, but to be able to choose from sources of fat, protein and carbs is a more balanced approach.)

What are your theories for the change? Is this another byproduct of the war on childhood obesity? Cutting calories? Recognizing that few families sit down to a spread most days?

Then this came along, from the New York Times on what children around the world eat for breakfast. Now, having a photographer in your house might mean you make an extra effort, but what struck me was that many pictures showed several choices for the kids— little pickled dishes in Japan, cheeses and olives and more in Turkey… Yummo!

Now THAT’S a complete breakfast!


Tips for picky eating

Add more choices, don’t take away.

Think outside the box. Leftovers may be a perfect “breakfast” food.

Serve breakfast family-style, add a small bowl of frozen blueberries, or other choices…

Put ‘your’ scrambled eggs, or quartered bagels on a plate in the middle of the table too.

You never know when she’ll be ready. Remove obstacles to trying.


I also noted how the child in Amsterdam from the NYT piece enjoyed white bread with butter and chocolate shavings, and that sprinkles are a breakfast staple.

Maybe a “good” or “complete” breakfast varies from country to country, child to child and day to day.

Just some breakfast musings.

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  1. Wendy

    Sprinkles are indeed a breakfast staple here (Netherlands), but I remember extremely well how my mother used to tell me I could have one “sweet sandwich” (with sprinkles) and I also had to eat one “savoury sandwich”, i.e. with meat or cheese. Otherwise I would eat nothing but the sprinkles.
    Also, she used to hide the sprinkles when she thought I was eating them too often or too exclusively.

    So, the existence of chocolate sprinkles as a breakfast food says very little about out eating habits 🙂 And there is plenty of panic about obesity and bad eating habits here, as well.

    • katja

      Thanks so much for chiming in! Good points about drawing conclusions. And sorry to hear that there is the panic there as well. I remember being in a German mom’s group here in the US when my little one was a baby and young toddler, and most were very anti-sugar and worried as well…