News and Notes from The Johnson Center

What’s for breakfast?

JCCHD | Fri, June 14, 2013 | [Family and Food][Healthcare][Q and A ]

Q: My son has autism and multiple food allergies. We try to keep his diet as healthy and clean as possible. Although he eats a wide variety of foods, it’s difficult to keep meals exciting, particularly breakfast. We usually eat cream-of-rice cereal, gluten-free rolled oatmeal, bread and avocado with raw sugar, or coconut milk with cold cereal (the last one only on the weekend). Sometimes I make egg-free French toast. Unfortunately, he’s getting sick of hot cereal altogether. What are some other options?

A: From what you have described, you have a lot of really good options, and those are nutrient-dense foods. This list is wonderful, but it is understandable that you would crave variety.

First, suspend the notion that breakfast has to look like breakfast; this will really open up a lot of options. Think about serving dinner for breakfast. You often hear of people eating breakfast foods like eggs or pancakes for dinner—why not try the reverse?

There are a number of wonderful breakfast soup recipes online, including some that would probably meet the criteria you’ve outlined. Steamed vegetables can be a nice addition to breakfast for a child who has a varied diet like the one you describe.

Do some research on more global breakfast options. Most people know old southern U.S. staples like pork chops and grits, but did you know in England beans are often included with breakfast? In Malaysia they often mix noodles, eggs, and vegetables to start the day. Rice and beans greet early risers in Ghana. Waking up in the Dominican Republic? Mashed plantains with salami and eggs will be on the menu.

Make it fun and include your family in taking a culinary adventure around the world. Taking the helpful approach of thinking outside the breakfast box and utilizing foods you may associate more with lunch or dinner can open up a world of options.

Apple Spice Breakfast Soup