Breakfast – the most important meal

It’s been instilled into me pretty thoroughly that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I know from experience that I’m basically useless before I’ve had a cup of tea, and ideally, a couple of pieces of toast. 

So I was pretty shocked to learn that thousands of children in Africa start every day without a decent meal – up to one in every three (34%) people in Uganda and almost a third (29%) in Rwanda are gravely undernourished – an estimated 15 million people. This is why the charity Send a Cow has launched its Break…Fast appeal, which aims to raise £500,000 to give children in Africa a better start, and every £1 donated will be doubled by the UK government (from now until the 30th June 2014). 

The Charity has launched an eBook called The Most Important Meals Of Their Lives which can be downloaded for free by visiting It has recipes and photos of the breakfasts of some of history’s greatest and most influential characters – including Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale… There is a suggested a donation of £2.50 to the Break…Fast appeal – when doubled this is enough to support an African child for a month.

Simon Barnes, CEO of Send a Cow, commented, “Research shows that a full stomach plays a key role in doing well in education. With the opportunity to eat a healthy breakfast every morning, children in some of the poorest parts of Africa will have the vital nutrients they need to go to school and concentrate on their lessons. And if they can prosper in their education they have an excellent chance of breaking free from poverty and achieving their true potential.”

If ever there was a time to invest in a cookery book, this is it 🙂

Personally, I fancy Edison’s apple dumplings. I may give them a go in place of our usual waffles one weekend. I reckon Kipper would go wild for Einstein’s fried eggs with honey, and I might suggest DH gives his porridge a Ghandi-esque touch with a dusting of cocoa.

Thomas Edison's favourite breakfast

Thomas Edison’s apple dumplings.

Each recipe has a short and interesting introduction with facts about the historical figure in question and their eating habits. Researchers working on the book spent weeks painstakingly poring over historical records, speaking to experts, inspecting museum archives and analysing the personal correspondence and belongings of famous figures for evidence of what they ate for breakfast. Even if you don’t fancy Mother Teresa’s chapatis or Shakespeare’s sops (stale bread in milk), the ebook makes very interesting reading. 

You can download it from

Albert Einstein's fried eggs with honey.

Albert Einstein’s fried eggs with honey.

About Send a Cow

Send a Cow was started by West Country farmers 25 years ago and in that time has transformed the lives of over one million people. Send a Cow works hand-in-hand with families in Africa, teaching them the skills they need to build lives free from poverty and hunger. By providing training, livestock, seeds and support, the charity helps create stronger communities for the future. 

In turn, families pass on young livestock, seeds or training to others. This ‘Pass it On’ principle builds stronger communities and means the charity is able to help even more people develop skills and confidence. 97% of families who work with Send a Cow in Uganda can provide enough food and income for their families’ needs, 77% can eat at least two meals a day every day, and three times as many children are in secondary education compared to the national average.

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