When I meet someone new, especially if they are from another culture or country, I like to ask what they eat at home. It’s a simple yet often intriguing question, with the potential to upend basic assumptions while also opening a door onto the experience of another life.
In that spirit, I was fascinated to come across this New York Times Magazine article on what kids eat for breakfast. Sounds dull? Nay, say I. The article and accompanying photos provide an engaging glimpse into one of the most basic facets of our lives: breakfast.
Children begin to acquire a taste for pickled egg or fermented lentils early — in the womb, even.
How do we start the day? What do parents consider appropriate fuel for their children? How do those choices reflect their economic realities, historical trends, and geographic locations? Their societies?
The child in Japan eats much different food than the child in Holland or Turkey. Which looks best to you, and why? There is such variety in the food described, and of course this only scratches the surface. It’s the sort of thing I try to keep in mind when I’m writing. My breakfast is not necessarily your breakfast, especially if “you” grew up on Mars.