So today it’s cold and rainy. A perfect day for a hot breakfast. But so is every day, especially for the child you are sending off to school, no matter what the age. More on this in a moment.
Today I sent my 4 year old off to school well-bundled and in his rain suit. And before he left, I made sure he had a hot breakfast in his tummy…sausages and “dippy eggs” (meaning the yolk is still runny…best for nutrient value…and of course the eggs are from hens ON PASTURE) and some warm herbal tea. And I’ll do the same tomorrow. And the next day…hot, warm or cold outside, rainy or snowy or bright sunshine…I will be sure to warm him from the inside out and to provide his rapidly growing body and mind with the protein and healthy fats he needs to thrive. And he will have the fuel he needs to run and play and build muscles and to focus on the teachings of the day.
Tomorrow it might be bacon and eggs…the next day “hammy eggs” (all ham nitrate and nitrite free, from sustainable farms…no ham from confinement operations obviously!)…or soaked oatmeal with grass-fed butter, cinnamon and ginger and pure maple syrup or raw honey… or almond waffles with grass-fed butter and fermented apple butter… Notice no cereal has been mentioned. I know what I am talking about here is REVOLUTIONARY, especially in a culture that espouses low-fat, no-fat, no time, speedy not-even-good-for-you high fiber not soaked cold cereal. Once again, I’ll deflate the balloon (seems to be my job around here.) Here goes: cold cereal—organic or not—is not good for your child, and will not help him or her to thrive physically or mentally. Let’s see why.
- Most cereal is full of sugar, whether it is called organic cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, or any other word that ends in -ose (fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose or any other -ose they come up with).
- All cereals in a box from the store are PROCESSED. That means they are far removed from the way nature intended them and have undergone all sorts of processes to get it into that box. Cooked into a slurry, extruded under high pressure and heat. Heck that “O” doesn’t look anything like the oat from which it came. (And what happened to all that “whole grain”, whole oat goodness?? They can’t convince me that extruded Os, no matter what they claim on the box, has the same nutrient value as soaked oatmeal. They just can’t.)
- Nearly all cereals, organic or not, contain grains that have NOT BEEN SOAKED, SPROUTED or FERMENTED. ALL grains must be soaked, sprouted or fermented in order to make them easy to digest by the human body. Especially if you are eating them every day! (And in this country, we are encouraged to eat grains 8-10 times a day!)
- The protein in the grains (usually GLUTEN) that has not been predigested can put a strain on any digestive system, and especially those of young children.
- Minerals in the grains will be blocked from absorption in the small intestine. (Read MINERAL DEFICIENCIES over the long term. I don’t want my child to have mineral deficiencies, do you want yours to have them?)
- The cereals that are shapes (like Os) or flakes have been subjected to a very high heat process, which DENATURES THE PROTEIN in the grain. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat denatured protein, and I am certainly not giving it to my child.)
- The cereals do not provide healthy fat which is needed in order to assimilate the vitamins and minerals in the grains. Okay, I can hear some of you saying, “but what about the fat from the skim milk I pour on the cereal?” (That one’s a no-brainer. Whatever you do, don’t serve your child skim milk or low-fat milk. One, they need the fat, and two, they cannot absorb the calcium in the milk without fat!) What about soy milk? Let’s not even go there. Soy milk is a processed food, which we are trying to eliminate here. Not enough said? It is also high in anti-nutrients and phyto-estrogen, and bad for the thyroid.
So yes, it is a perfect day to serve your child a hot breakfast. A hot, nutrient-dense breakfast of REAL food, prepared in a way that all of the goodness is easily digested and available to be taken in. Full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein that you just can’t get from a box from the DEAD ZONE. And full of course, of love. Yours. Doesn’t get any better than this.
NOTE: If you don’t know how to soak the oatmeal or other grains, come to a class if you are in the area. I am teaching Soaking Techniques for Whole Grains and Legumes/Beans in Silver Spring this Thursday evening, October 7 from 7pm-9:30pm. If you are not in the area, order one of my handy, informative and beautifully hand-lettered and illustrated CHARTS. The Preparing Whole Grains and Legumes for Ease of Digestion and Nutrient Availability Chart has all the information you need to soak, cook, and serve nutrient-dense whole grains and legumes. For more information, click HERE.