A couple of months ago, schools all over the country organised the National School Breakfast, in consultation with the official food advisory organisation. The purpose of this was to teach kids the value of a good breakfast, and also what a good breakfast looks like. In a sugar-addicted world, where sugar-coated cereal, sugary pastes of all sorts, sugar-filled bakery products, etc. are offered to children to start their day, I totally agree that there is a need to improve popular perception of what should be on the breakfast table. However, I would have been happier with a healthy breakfast, rather than just a healthier breakfast.
What I mean is that offering jam instead of chocolate paste may be better, but it is not good. Fruit syrup (fruitstroop, a sort of paste that you can spread on bread) may not really have any added sugar in its “healthiest” version, but its largest component is still sugar. Cereal with reduced amounts of sugar still have too much sugar, especially when all of it is the added one. Krentenbollen (a type of sweet bun with raisins) are also probably not the best option to add to all the above either. It almost doesn’t even matter that there is cheese and yoghurt and some fresh fruit on the table.
Leaving the children to choose for themselves what to eat guarantees that the sugar will be eaten, while the things like cucumber slices will be left untouched. As a result, my kid’s breakfast that day was way worse and less healthy than on any given day. He had as much sugar as he would have on a day when I agreed he could have dessert. And all with the pretext of a healthy start to the day.
So what have we learned today kids? That sugar is a good thing to have for breakfast. Way to go schools, you have taught our kids a valuable lesson on how to pretend to be healthy. I hope you are proud, I know I am not!