What is an appropriate breakfast for children?

“…Daddy… Please can I have dip dip on toast?…”

In our house, dip dip is what we call tomato ketchup. And it’s probably not everyones idea of a healthy and nutritious breakfast, but it is the idea of a good breakfast for our 4 year old.

Sadly in the modern world, living in a lovely house in suburbia, and being of the generation that hasn’t made money on houses, both parents in our house work full time. This means that we’re off out of the house quite early at about half seven – off to run the kids to nursery, which involves dropping the 2 year old at nursery in the centre of town and then the 4 year old for a minibus to take her to the prep school nursery on the edge of town.

Again in a cruel twist of fate, the 4 year old suffers horribly from travel sickness. This makes the twice-daily bus ride a lottery of success.

Travel sickness in children is a mean affliction, affecting those who are most likely to be sitting in the back and therefore not able to see clearly out the front window, and those who are shorter and therefore not able to see out of the side windows. Top that with the fact that they like to read/watch DVDs/get distracted by shiny things on the floor in amongst the empty water bottles and scattered quavers.

So we have discovered that the travel sickness is less likely to strike if breakfast has been ingested. This then leads to the problem of trying to get a small child to eat on command 15 minutes after getting up and in a 5 minute window before shoes, dress, and hair brushing.

We’ve tried cereal (makes sick worse to clear up), digestives (lead to coughing and…), banana (occasionally works) and cereal bars (expensive hobby and turns out child 1 only likes one specific type of Alpen bars). And so to toast.

Crusts or no crusts, butter somedays and not others, and days when you think it’s been eaten but you later find it hidden behind the curtains.

The only way I’ve found I can get the toast eaten everyday is to put tomato ketchup on it. Which I’m fairly certain would get me in trouble with the nutrition police.

So it started me thinking. Just how bad is ketchup on toast? I mean is it worse than the more conventional topping of jam?

I did a rough comparison and the results may surprise you. Jam has more sugar and you have to spread it a lot thicker. A little ketchup spreads a long way.

So is it my attempt to relieve parental guilt or do you agree? Is ketchup on toast an ok breakfast, given the circumstances?


Adam is the Publisher of Copse Magazine and owner of Sailfin. He spends his time hosting and making websites for other people, copywriting, and publishing white label content for other companies alongside Copse Magazine, his creative outlet. He has two children and lives in Kent in the South East of the UK.