What's your favorite breakfast in Italy

What do children eat in other countries - Italy

Love her,
my blog series "What do children eat in other countries“Goes into the second round. Today Claudia from the blog Mäusemamma chats from the sewing box and tells us culinary facts about Italy. I am very happy and hope you enjoy reading it.

Dear Claudia, you now live with your family in Italy. Can you tell us something about your life in Italy?

Dear Julia, First of all, I would like to thank you for your questions about our everyday “culinary” family life here in Italy. Personally, I ended up in the "sunny south" more than 15 years ago. I am now married to an Italian and from August our bundles of joy will outnumber us, because we are currently expecting our third child dr. We live in a medium-sized city in northern Italy, near the French border and not far from the Mediterranean. For many years I worked as a permanent employee, but because of the family I currently decided to be a mum. Occasionally I work as a tour guide, and at home I am passionate about baking and cooking.

What is your children's favorite food in Italy?

Of course, I don't have to say that our “bambini” classic pasta and pizza are also very popular. However, our big one suffers from numerous food allergies, which is why he has to keep a diet that includes gluten, lactose and egg-free. This presents me with many creative challenges in the kitchen, which I am happy to face. You always learn something new, and especially on the Internet you can find countless great alternative dishes that the whole family will enjoy. Just like with you! 👍

One of the many favorite dishes of both children is a very "banal" dish, which here has local Piedmontese roots: Polenta with salsiccia, a corn porridge that is served with boiled pork sausage (which, however, has to be imagined differently from Germany) and tomato sauce. Add a few more carrots and the kids are happy!

In your opinion, what are the biggest differences between Germany and Italy in terms of child nutrition?

To be honest, I am not very informed about the nutrition of the youngest in Germany. I would say that here in Italy there is simply more warm dishes on the table, since most families cook twice a day and day-care centers and schools also attach great importance to healthy eating. A first course consisting of either pasta, rice or soup is usually followed by a second course consisting of meat, fish, cheese or egg dishes and a vegetable side dish. White bread should not be missing in addition. Black bread is more of a novelty on the Italian market, and sausage spread is largely unknown here and would probably be viewed as rather suspect😂. The butter consumption is much lower than in Germany. A dinner with sandwiches or a hearty breakfast would be unimaginable here. Largely untypical (with exceptions) are so-called “piatti unici”, that is, dishes in which everything comes on one plate, as is the case in Germany. I also think that the Mediterranean cuisine is a little more balanced and contains a lot of fresh ingredients, vegetables and a little less meat. But of course there are very, very many regional differences.

What about fruits and vegetables? Do you think the children in Italy eat enough vegetables and fruits?

I would definitely answer this question in the affirmative. As already written above, a healthy diet is generally valued, and with a rich selection of vegetables and fruits growing here, this is not necessarily difficult. Fortunately, my children are very good eaters themselves and have nothing to complain about when it comes to “greens”. In any case, vegetables are part of almost every meal in our family, and fruit is often available for dessert or in the afternoon for “merenda”.

What are typical dishes on children's birthday parties?

On children's birthdays, of course, people like to serve good and substantial dishes, so that afterwards you don't actually need dinner. Small pizzettes or focacces, rolls with ham, Nutella breads and crostats, i.e. shortcrust pastry cakes mostly with jam spread, can be found on the buffets for the little ones. But also fruit salads, dried fruits, juices as well as carbonated drinks and candies. And of course the birthday cake shouldn't be missing. This can be simply homemade, but is also often ordered from the confectioner and may also contain all sorts of creams and delicacies.

What meals do Italian children start their day with?

A very big difference to the German breakfast is that there is hardly ever a hearty meal here in the morning. Italian children usually eat warm milk with biscuits, jam sandwiches, rusks or croissants early on. We also have cornflakes for our allergy sufferers, bananas for the little ones and fruit juices. For adults, a quick coffee or a cappuccino at the bar is often enough. In general, breakfast is less important here than in Germany.

Please tell us an Italian dish that we should definitely try with our children.

Oh that's hard, because there are really soooo many delicious dishes that the kids will ask for a second👍. And as I said, it doesn't always have to be pasta with tomato sauce!

Italian cuisine is really very varied and “colorful” and, I think, creative.

Due to the numerous allergies of our big one, I like to cook risotti in all possible variations and colors: with pumpkin, with broccoli or today for lunch with leek, cauliflower and salsiccia. I fry the salsiccia (approx. 150 g of veal and 150 g of pork) and the leek (1 stick) in a pan with a little olive oil until everything is done. In the pot, which will also be used for the rice later, I cook a medium-sized cauliflower for about 20 minutes, then pour off a quarter of the cooking water and puree it. Before the rice (approx. 300 g) is cooked in this white sauce, I season it with salt, pepper, nutmeg and oregano. In terms of taste, this simple and light vegetable sauce comes close to a Besciamella, which, however, is far more caloric and difficult to digest. So it offers a good and tasty alternative, also for allergy sufferers and kids with intolerances. Cook the long grain rice “al dente” according to the instructions on the package, with a little liquid if necessary (water, broth or a dash of white wine). Finally, I stir in the leek salsiccia pan, add a couple of spoons of parmesan cheese and a little olive oil for us non-allergy sufferers ... and that's it! Super delicious dish that the little ones love!

 

Thank you, dear Claudia, for this little trip. I've never cooked risotto like this. I got a lot of inspiration.

If you want to cook Claudia's recipe, I have the complete recipe and some tips for you risotto with salsiccia.

Do you have any questions for Claudia? Write us a comment. Claudia and I look forward to your feedback.

Have you also gained experience in another country and would you like to share your experiences with us? Do you have your own blog or Instagram account? Then I am happy if you contact me.