25 Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids
It's important for kids to eat a healthy breakfast to refuel their bodies after sleep, as their brains and bodies are still developing (1Trusted Source).
Yet, 20–30% of children and adolescents tend to skip this meal (1Trusted Source).
A healthy breakfast can be quick and easy for you or your child to make. Breakfasts can also be made ahead of time, and some are portable for eating on the go.
Here are 25 simple and healthy breakfast options for kids.
Eggs are a staple breakfast item, as they're easy to prepare, versatile, and packed with high-quality protein and other nutrients (2).
Also, compared with cereal, eggs may keep kids feeling more full throughout the morning (4Trusted Source).
One study in 8- and 9-year-old children found that those who ate more lutein-rich foods had higher levels of lutein in their retinas. This was associated with improved academic performance, including better scores in math and written language (5Trusted Source).
Here are some scrumptious ways to serve eggs for breakfast.
1. Egg-and-vegetable muffins
These muffins are a great way to sneak in some extra vegetables. Plus, they're portable and easy to make in advance.
To make them, mix eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl and add chopped vegetables of your choice.
Divide the mixture evenly into greased muffin tins and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 12–15 minutes or until done.
2. Eggs in a hole
Using a round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the middle of a slice of whole-grain bread and place it in a frying pan with some olive oil or melted butter.
Crack an egg into the hole and cook on the stovetop until done.
3. Ham-and-cheese frittata
Frittatas are an easier version of omelets. Simply beat 1–2 eggs per person with some salt and pepper and pour into a nonstick frying pan.
Sprinkle with chopped ham and any type of shredded cheese, then cook on medium-high heat until the eggs are set.
No flipping is required. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve.
4. Scrambled-egg tacos
For a fun and portable twist on tacos, scramble 1–2 eggs per child and serve in taco-size whole-grain tortillas.
If desired, top with cheese and black beans for extra protein and salsa for veggies and flavor.
5. Berry breakfast strata
Stratas are a hearty make-ahead version of French toast.
To make one, line a baking dish with six slices or broken-up pieces of whole-grain bread. Sprinkle fresh berries over the bread.
Beat 6 eggs, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla. Optionally, you can add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of maple syrup.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread and fruit, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake the strata at 350°F (177°C) for about 30 minutes or until it's puffy and golden.
6. Hard-boiled egg pops
To make egg pops, cut a carrot or celery stalk in half lengthwise and then into 4-inch (10-cm) lengths. Next, peel 1–2 hard-boiled eggs per person. Carefully poke the carrot or celery sticks into the bottoms of the eggs.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper or add a dollop of mustard if desired.
Healthy Whole-Grain Options
Whole grains, which have all three parts of the grain — germ, bran, and endosperm — intact, include brown rice, whole wheat, oats, quinoa, sorghum, and millet. They're healthier than refined grains because they're higher in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals (6Trusted Source).
Indeed, children may benefit from eating more of them.
In a 9-month study in children ages 9–11 with excess weight, those who ate 3 servings of whole-grain foods each day had a lower body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body fat percentage, compared with those who ate their regular diet (6Trusted Source).
Many whole-grain breakfasts can be prepared ahead of time. Here are some tasty options.
7. Overnight oats
Overnight oats are easy to make in Mason jars the night before, and your child can customize this dish with their favorite toppings.
Mix about 1/4 cup (26 grams) of rolled oats and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of any type of milk in a small Mason jar. Top with nuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, and dried or fresh fruit.
Instead of cooking, leave the jar in the fridge and let the oats soften overnight.
8. Baked oatmeal
After you bake this healthy breakfast of whole grains and fruit, you can eat it throughout the week.
In a bowl, mix:
- 2 cups (208 grams) of rolled oats
- 3 cups (700 ml) of any type of milk
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla
- brown sugar to taste
- any type of fresh or frozen fruit
Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 45 minutes or until the oatmeal is set.
9. Pear-and-sorghum porridge
Sorghum is a gluten-free whole grain with a chewy, nutty texture.
Mix cooked sorghum with any type of milk and top it with ripe, sliced pears — or any seasonal fruit.
10. Blueberry mug muffin
Wild blueberries are packed with antioxidants and make a great addition to your breakfast.
In a microwave-safe mug, mix:
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) of flour
- 1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) of brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder
- a pinch of salt and cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of milk
- a small handful of frozen blueberries
Microwave on high for 80–90 seconds.
11. Pumpkin-quinoa porridge
Quinoa is a quick-cooking gluten-free grain, and this breakfast porridge packs a punch of vitamin A from canned pumpkin.
Boil one part quinoa with two parts of any type of milk, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in some canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Before serving, top it with chopped nuts, brown sugar, or shredded coconut.
12. Peanut-butter-banana breakfast cookies
Breakfast cookies are cookie-shaped muffins that pack more whole grains into your routine.
To make them, you'll want:
- 1 cup (104 grams) of quick oats
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) of whole-wheat flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) of very ripe mashed banana
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) of maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) of milk
- 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter
Mix the ingredients, preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drop the batter into about 12–15 cookies, flattening them lightly with a spatula, then bake for 10–15 minutes or until firm and golden. Cool on a cooling rack before serving or storing in an airtight container.
13. Chocolate protein pancakes
Make your favorite pancakes more satisfying by adding a scoop of chocolate protein powder to the batter. Add a bit of extra milk if the batter is too thick.
You can also boost pancakes' protein content by adding Greek yogurt, eggs, ground flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, or chia seeds to the batter.
14. Strawberry ricotta toast
This simple meal hits multiple food groups at once. Spread whole-grain toast with ricotta cheese and top it with sliced strawberries.
Drinkable Breakfast Options
Breakfast smoothies are an easy way to pack an entire meal into a drink. They're also a good way to add extra fruits and vegetables to your child's diet.
In a study in adolescents, introducing fruit smoothies as a school breakfast item increased the percentage of students who ate a full serving of fruit from 4.3% to 45.1% (7Trusted Source).
For a healthy breakfast smoothie, use a small serving of unsweetened fresh or frozen fruit. Add a handful of leafy green vegetables, a spoonful of nut butter for healthy fat, and either milk, Greek yogurt, or a serving of soft-cooked legumes for protein.
Here are some drinkable breakfast options.
15. Chocolate-peanut-butter-banana smoothie
Blend a frozen banana, scoop of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon (7.5 grams) of unsweetened cocoa powder, and milk.
16. Strawberry-almond-butter smoothie
Frozen strawberries are great for this smoothie. Blend them with some almond butter and milk.
17. Unicorn fruit-and-greens smoothie
Make a healthy, colorful smoothie by blending probiotic-rich kefir with various fruits and greens.
To get rainbow layers, blend each food separately and pour it into a glass. Lightly drag a straw through the layers to swirl them together.
18. Orange creamsicle smoothie
This smoothie is full of vitamin C to boost your immune system, potassium for electrolytes, and protein to fuel your muscles.
Blend the following:
- half of a frozen banana
- the fruit and zest of 1 small orange
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) of orange juice
- 1/2 cup (150 grams) of vanilla Greek yogurt
19. Greek-yogurt smoothie bowl
Smoothie bowls are a cool, refreshing breakfast. Pour an extra-thick smoothie into a bowl and top it with fruit, nuts, and seeds. Greek yogurt makes an excellent base.
Fruits and Vegetables for Breakfast
Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious, but most children — and adults — don't eat the recommended daily amounts (9Trusted Source).
The recommended intakes range from 1.5–4 cups for vegetables and 1–2.5 cups for fruits per day, depending on a child's age. If you use the metric system, keep in mind that gram equivalents for these amounts vary widely (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Serving more fruits and vegetables at breakfast time can help children establish healthy eating habits.
In a study in 16- and 17-year-old students, eating more vegetables was associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while eating more fruit was associated with a lower BMI (11Trusted Source).
Researchers note that providing fruits and veggies at home, and eating them with your kids, helps them get in the habit of eating these foods (12Trusted Source).
Here are a few simple recipes.
20. Breakfast banana split
In a bowl, top a peeled banana with Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, granola, and chopped nuts to make a healthier banana split.
21. Baked apples
After coring a few apples, fill them with a pat of butter, few spoonfuls of oats, and some cinnamon.
Cook in a slow cooker on low for about 5 hours or until soft and tender. Finally, top them with Greek yogurt for some extra protein.
22. Berry yogurt parfaits
Layer high-protein Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a sprinkle of granola for a quick and easy meal that hits multiple food groups.
23. Vegetable tofu scramble
Tofu scramble is a great option for anyone who doesn't eat eggs but wants a high-protein breakfast.
To make it, sauté minced onion in oil and add mashed, firm tofu alongside your choice of spices and vegetables. Tasty combinations include sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes, or roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes with fresh basil.
24. Savory oatmeal with greens and cheese
Oatmeal doesn't have to be sweet or topped with fruit. Try mixing in spinach — or any other vegetable — and cheese with a pinch of salt for a savory twist.
25. Avocado-cucumber-tomato toast
Spread mashed avocado over whole-grain toast, then top with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes for a hearty, open-faced breakfast sandwich.
The Bottom Line
Many healthy breakfast options can help kids get the nutrients they need for the day.
Breakfast is a great opportunity to load up on protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
These nutritious dishes can be an important step toward establishing healthy eating habits not only for your kids but also your whole family.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The number of forest fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 28% in July in comparison to last year, the country's National Institute for Space Research reported Saturday.
Government Measures Not Enough<p>On July 16, the Brazilian government banned burning in the Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon forest for four months.</p><p>President Bolsonaro also issued an order in May for the military to coordinate environmental actions in the Amazon.</p><p>But experts say the fire numbers indicate the government's response has not been effective. The deforestation index also remained high this year until July, compared to the last couple of years, according to Carlos Nobre, a researcher at the Advanced Studies Institute in the State University of Sao Paulo.</p>
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By Johnny Wood
What better place to build a Doomsday Vault than the remote, snow-covered islands of Norway's Arctic Svalbard? Sitting around 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole, the facility is buried in permafrost to protect the precious seed samples housed there. But a freak heatwave is causing the region's ice to melt.
Deep Trouble?<p>The <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-it-s-like-inside-the-doomsday-vault-that-stores-every-known-crop-on-the-planet" target="_blank">Svalbard Global Seed Vault</a> – also known as the Doomsday Vault – is a gigantic bunker, sitting deep inside a mountain surrounded by snowy wastelands. The facility stores close to <a href="https://www.seedvault.no/about/the-facility/" target="_blank">900,000 seed samples</a> from around the world and acts as a sort of back-up plan for agriculture, should disaster render parts of the planet unlivable or the world suffer a catastrophe, such as nuclear war or extreme climate change.</p><p>It's been described as an "<a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/2235116-svalbard-doomsday-vault-gets-first-big-seed-deposit-since-upgrade/" target="_blank">insurance policy for food security</a>."</p><p>Inside the vault, <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-it-s-like-inside-the-doomsday-vault-that-stores-every-known-crop-on-the-planet" target="_blank">temperatures are kept below minus 18℃</a>, cold enough to keep the seed samples safe for at least 200 years, even without backup power. But climate change is causing problems for the vault.</p><p>In 2016, which was the <a href="https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2841/2018-fourth-warmest-year-in-continued-warming-trend-according-to-nasa-noaa/" target="_blank">warmest year on record according to NASA</a>, soaring temperatures caused <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/20/doomsday-arctic-seed-vault-breached-permafrost-melts/" target="_blank">meltwater to breach the vault's entrance tunnel</a>. While no seeds were damaged, the <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/svalbard-home-of-the-doomsday-vault-just-recorded-its-highest-ever-temperature" target="_blank">floodwater left an expensive repair bill</a> and tarnished the vault's reputation as impregnable to natural or manmade disasters.<span></span><br></p>
The Heat Is On<p>Warming in the islands has been underway for some time. Figures for 2017 show average temperatures are between 3-5℃ hotter than in 1971, according to the <a href="https://www.miljodirektoratet.no/globalassets/publikasjoner/M1242/M1242.pdf" target="_blank">Climate in Svalbard 2100</a> report, with the largest increases affecting the inner fjords.</p><p><span></span>Between 2071 and 2100, average temperatures throughout the archipelago will increase by between 7-10℃, the report predicts, shortening the snow season and causing loss of near-surface permafrost.</p><p><span></span>What's happening in Svalbard is symptomatic of wider changes impacting the Arctic expanse, which is <a href="https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2018/12/12/NOAA-Arctic-warming-at-twice-the-rate-of-the-rest-of-the-planet/5141544580754/" target="_blank">warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet</a>. Parts of the <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019GL082187" target="_blank">Canadian Arctic are thawing 70 years earlier than predicted</a>, scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks found, a sign that climate change could be happening faster than first thought.</p><p>As warmer-than-average summers destabilize permafrost, much of which has lain frozen for millennia, methane and other gases trapped in the ice could be released at scale, accelerating climate change. In turn, warmer temperatures would lead to further permafrost loss.<br><br>Melting ice, on land and at sea, <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/11-arctic-species-affected-climate-change" target="_blank">destroys animal habitats for species like polar bears and Arctic foxes</a>, which use their snowy white coats as camouflage either to hunt for food or avoid predators.</p>
As climate activists, we can't fight the climate crisis without considering the systemic impacts that environmental racism and White supremacy have on the frontline communities most affected by pollution and our warming world.
Do a Social Media Audit and Reconsider Who You Follow<p>As the movement for social and environmental justice continues, it's important to pay attention to the voices and media outlets you're consuming information from. Take a few minutes to look at your social media feeds – do you follow people of color and diverse voices? Do you follow credible news sources?</p><p>Take a look at what you've posted so far and think about <em>why </em>you posted. As allies, we can help the movement by centering our posts and online actions around supporting the activists and organizers on the ground. Think or ask about how you can best amplify these causes – for many that could mean retweeting or reposting, educating your followers, or even by directing followers to donation or petition pages.</p><p>Next, take a look at who you follow. It can be easy to get stuck in a <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/problem-social-media-reinforcement-bubbles-what-you-can-do-about-ncna1063896" target="_blank">social media bubble</a>, where your social feed will filter out opinions you may not necessarily agree with. By continuing to audit your social media and expand your range of news sources or pages you follow to have varying opinions or backgrounds, you ensure you have a well-rounded news feed and could even hear about a news story that you may not have known about before!</p><p>For many environmental justice fights around the US and world, local news outlets and activists may be the ones covering the story first. By taking a look at our follower lists, it gives us space to recognize any information gaps! Check out the accounts of people you trust to follow useful resources and activists.</p><p>Need some recommendations to start you off? Here are some of the <a href="https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/top-climate-experts-follow-twitter" target="_blank">top climate scientists</a> and <a href="https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/young-climate-activists-follow-twitter" target="_blank">youth activists</a> we suggest you follow on social media.</p>
Challenge Yourself and Others to Continue Learning<p>It's okay not to know everything. In fact, it's completely normal.</p><p>One of the best parts of being a climate advocate is that we continue to learn and grow with the climate movement and science. To protect our air, water, and land from pollution, we have to stay up to date with the newest science and solutions – it's the same thing when advocating for social and environmental justice!</p><p>For many, this means keeping up to date on social media and in the news with what protests are happening and why, how we can support them, and what local organizations are doing to defend their communities. It also means trying to keep an ear out for the stories that major outlets aren't covering extensively.</p><p>Take the <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/atlantic-coast-pipeline-canceled-after-years-delays-accusations-environmental-injustice-n1232987" target="_blank">recent victory in the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for example</a>. Local environmental justice groups in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina had been fighting for years against the pipeline. When it was canceled a few weeks ago, activists celebrated, but the story never seemed to get the same level of attention as the latest tweet from the White House.</p><p>Social media gives us the opportunity to learn from others with varied experiences and gain resources to information that can make us better activists.</p>
Expect to Make Mistakes and Learn to Listen<p>We will all make mistakes. It's a part of continuing to educate ourselves and growing as an ally and activist. Even the most experienced advocates have said the wrong thing or made a mistake in their time.</p><p>For many of us, especially White climate activists, these may be relatively new concepts, but we must make the fight against racism our fight. Take a look back at what you've posted before and learn from any past mistakes, using this moment to learn what went wrong and share what you learned with others. By educating yourself, you can help others who may be experiencing similar mistakes or have questions.</p><p>Additionally, the best way to learn about the impacts of systemic racism on frontline communities being impacted by police brutality or climate change is to listen. Give Black activists and people of color an opportunity to tell their stories and give yourself time to reflect on their experiences. It may (and probably will be) uncomfortable in some moments but it's necessary to make progress in a movement where we can fight together for long-awaited justice.</p>
Use Your Platform and Following to Amplify Diverse Voices<p>Whether you have a big social media following, only follow close family and friends on social media, or don't have social media accounts at all – use the platform or online environment you have to amplify the voices of Black activists and people of color.</p><p>It can be as simple as sending an email to close friends or retweeting posts from local organizers. Sharing information from those on the front lines to those who trust and follow you not only helps local activists but can help educate others!</p><p>For many, you're a trusted messenger. What does that mean? You can read more about it in one of our <a href="https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/why-trusted-messengers-matter" target="_blank">past blogs</a>, but here's a quick definition from <a href="https://www.bu.edu/ise/2019/04/16/trusted-messenger/" target="_blank">Boston University:</a><br>"People believe people whom they trust, and they're more likely to act based on the recommendation of that influential other person."</p><p>Your family, friends, and followers trust you – use that privilege as an opportunity to educate them and amplify the voices of those leading the social and environmental justice fight!</p>
Want to Learn More About Climate Activism and Environmental Justice?<p>Feeling inspired to join the movement for environmental and climate justice? Sign up to learn more by becoming a Climate Reality Leader.</p><p>By signing up for one of our Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings, you'll learn about fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts on low-income families and communities of color, and how to build the broad, inclusive, and powerful coalitions necessary to fight back.</p><p>Join former Vice President Al Gore and an all-star lineup of environmental justice leaders, climate scientists, business leaders, and more to learn how to fight for a just, healthy future for all.</p>
By Eoin Higgins
Environmental groups on Friday condemned the announcement of a new rule proposed by President Donald Trump that would further weaken the Endangered Species Act by making it easier to destroy habitats vulnerable species rely on for survival.
By Bob Spires
As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success.
Israel: Too Much, Too Soon<p>Israel took stringent steps early on in the coronavirus pandemic, including severely restricting everyone's movement and closing all schools. By June, it was being <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/08/middleeast/israel-coronavirus-second-wave-netanyahu-intl/index.html" target="_blank">lauded internationally</a> for containing the spread of COVID-19.</p><p>But shortly after schools reopened in May, on a <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/224fa625-657c-4ffb-a6a0-a40e04d685b9" target="_blank">staggered schedule paired with mask mandates and social distancing rules</a>, COVID-19 cases <a href="https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1278682387325616129" target="_blank">surged</a> across Israel. <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains" target="_blank">Schoolchildren and teachers</a> were among the sick. Today, <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks" target="_blank">several hundred Israeli schools have closed again</a>.</p><p>Some blame <a href="https://www.vox.com/2020/7/15/21324082/coronavirus-school-reopening-trump-children-safety" target="_blank">lax enforcement of health guidelines</a> in schools. The weather didn't help: In May, a <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks" target="_blank">record heat wave hit Israel</a>, making masks uncomfortable for students to wear.</p><p>But schools were only part of a broader reopening in Israel that, many experts say, <a href="https://www.timesofisrael.com/where-we-went-wrong-expert-says-these-3-blunders-caused-new-israeli-covid-chaos/" target="_blank">came too soon and without sufficient testing capacity</a>.</p><p>"The reopening happened too fast," said <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains" target="_blank">Mohammed Khatib, an epidemiologist on Israel's national COVID-19 task force</a>. "It was undertaken so quickly that it triggered a very sharp spike, and the return to more conservative measures came too little, much too late."<br></p><p>Israel's public health director, Siegal Sadetski, resigned in early July, saying the health ministry had ignored her warnings about <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israel-battles-new-wave-coronavirus-infections-after-reopening-n1233139" target="_blank">reopening schools and businesses</a> so rapidly.</p>
Sweden: A Hands-Off Approach<p>Schools never closed in Sweden, part of the Scandinavian country's risky <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/15/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus-deaths.html" target="_blank">gamble on skipping a coronavirus lockdown</a>. Only students 16 and older stayed home and did remote learning. <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/05/sweden-hasnt-locked-down-but-normal-life-is-a-luxury/" target="_blank">Social distancing</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks" target="_blank">masks were recommended but optional</a>, in line with the Swedish government's emphasis on personal choice.</p><p><span></span>This strategy earned <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/schools-reopening-coronavirus/2020/07/10/865fb3e6-c122-11ea-8908-68a2b9eae9e0_story.html" target="_blank">praise from President Donald Trump</a> but some resistance from Swedish parents, especially those whose children have health issues. The government threatened to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-sweden-compels-parents-send-kids-to-school-2020-5" target="_blank">punish parents</a> who didn't send their kids to school.</p><p>Sweden's plan <a href="https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-schools-sweden-denmark-5ff88c81-67e3-4c33-8b74-fe57b9555827.html" target="_blank">seems to have been safe enough</a>. Its health agency reported on July 15 that <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-sweden-schools/swedens-health-agency-says-open-schools-did-not-spur-pandemic-spread-among-children-idUSKCN24G2IS" target="_blank">COVID-19 outbreaks among Sweden's 1 million school children</a> were no worse than those in neighboring Finland, which did close schools. And pediatricians have seen <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa864" target="_blank">few severe COVID-19 cases</a> among school-age children in Stockholm. Only <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107913/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-sweden-by-age-groups/" target="_blank">one young Swedish child is believed to have died of the coronavirus</a> as of this article's publication.</p><p>However, officials in Stockholm have admitted they don't know how the disease may have affected teachers, parents and other adults in schools.</p><p>Sweden had <a href="https://www.coronatracker.com/country/sweden/" target="_blank">over 70,000 COVID-19 cases</a> as of July 21, which puts it in the middle of the pack in Europe, according to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa864" target="_blank">a joint study</a> from Sweden's Upsala University and the University of Virginia. Of those, slightly more than <a href="https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/contentassets/c1b78bffbfde4a7899eb0d8ffdb57b09/covid-19-school-aged-children.pdf" target="_blank">1,000 involved children and teens</a>.</p>
Japan: So Far, So Good<p>Japan, which has mostly <a href="https://www.coronatracker.com/?country_code=JP" target="_blank">kept COVID-19 under control</a>, took <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/japan-coronavirus-schools-reopen/2020/06/06/9047be8c-a645-11ea-8681-7d471bf20207_story.html" target="_blank">a conservative approach</a> to reopening schools in June.</p><p>Different schools have <a href="https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/bdd000c967a7-school-restarts-picking-up-in-japan-amid-lingering-coronavirus-fears.html" target="_blank">different strategies</a>, but generally Japanese students <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/05/18/national/japan-schools-reopen-state-of-emergency/" target="_blank">attend class in person on alternating days</a>, so that classrooms are only half full. Lunches are silent and socially distanced, and students undergo daily temperature checks.</p><p>These precautions are <a href="https://globalhealth.washington.edu/sites/default/files/COVID-19%20Schools%20Summary%20%282%29.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkRreE5XWXlORFF3TXpNeCIsInQiOiJIbVNQTTVySEo0Vzk1cHVBZVVqWnFGVmR1UEJxRGdpd01mTXg4OGw3Mk5nTnpmaUoyMGt2UXIwWVZBOE5GVjIybHA5aStrbzJ3MUxsanoxamZibmlocmpSbXZyVFVoV0VHYU1aTGx0RnpsMXlmOEtXSVJqaDJsZ0RJU1BQcVZjZSJ9" target="_blank">more stringent than those in many other countries</a>. Still, some Japanese school children have <a href="https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/bdd000c967a7-school-restarts-picking-up-in-japan-amid-lingering-coronavirus-fears.html" target="_blank">gotten COVID-19</a>, particularly in major cities.</p><p>A survey from Save the Children found that Japanese school children <a href="https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00744/" target="_blank">wanted more clear and detailed information</a> about the virus and the outbreaks. <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/04/06/national/japan-parents-back-to-school-coronavirus/" target="_blank">Parents</a>, students and <a href="https://japan-forward.com/what-its-like-going-back-to-school-after-the-coronavirus-emergency/" target="_blank">teachers</a> continue to express hesitancy about returning to school and <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/06/09/national/japanese-students-coronavirus-measures-school/" target="_blank">displeasure over reopening measures</a>.</p>
Uruguay: A+ for Safety<p>Analysts credit Uruguay's <a href="https://www.wlrn.org/post/small-uruguay-big-proof-committing-public-health-can-contain-covid-19#stream/0" target="_blank">well-organized and efficient public health system</a> and Uruguyans' <a href="https://theconversation.com/uruguay-quietly-beats-coronavirus-distinguishing-itself-from-its-south-american-neighbors-yet-again-140037" target="_blank">strong faith in government</a> for its success stopping the coronavirus. The progressive South American country of 3.4 million has the region's <a href="https://www.wlrn.org/post/small-uruguay-big-proof-committing-public-health-can-contain-covid-19#stream/0" target="_blank">lowest rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths</a>, and it never shut down its economy entirely.</p><p>Uruguay was one of the Western Hemisphere's first countries to send its students back to school, using a <a href="https://blogs.iadb.org/educacion/en/uruguayreopening/" target="_blank">staged approach</a>.</p><p>In late April, Uruguay <a href="https://www.elobservador.com.uy/nota/gobierno-anuncio-que-el-22-de-abril-se-pueden-retomar-las-clases-en-973-escuelas-rurales-202048204622" target="_blank">reopened schools in rural areas</a>, where the student population is small. In early June, it brought vulnerable student groups, which were <a href="https://blogs.iadb.org/educacion/en/uruguayreopening/" target="_blank">struggling to access online learning</a>, and high school seniors back into classrooms. Then all students in non-urban areas went back to classrooms.</p><p>Finally, on June 29, <a href="https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2020/06/29/uruguay-completa-la-reapertura-de-las-escuelas-256-mil-alumnos-vuelven-a-clase-en-montevideo/" target="_blank">256,000 students in the capital of Montevideo</a> returned to school. An <a href="https://labs.ebanx.com/en/notes/uruguay-one-of-the-first-in-the-americas-to-reopen-schools/" target="_blank">alternating schedule</a> of in-person and virtual instruction reduces the number of students in classrooms at one time.</p><p>Uruguay is notable for residents' <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-30/in-midst-of-covid-chaos-one-latin-american-nation-gets-it-right" target="_blank">consistent and early adoption of measures</a> like social distancing and masks. Its successful pandemic response comes despite its <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-30/in-midst-of-covid-chaos-one-latin-american-nation-gets-it-right" target="_blank">proximity to hard-hit Brazil</a>, where schools remain closed.</p>
Final Grades<p>There is no perfect way to reopen schools during a pandemic. Even when a country has COVID-19 under control, there's no guarantee that schools can reopen safely.</p><p>But the policies and practices of countries that have had some initial success with schools point in the same direction. It helps to slowly stage the reopening. Strict mask wearing and social distancing is critical, both in schools and surrounding communities. And both officials and families need <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/puar.13252" target="_blank">reliable and up-to-date data</a> so that they can continually assess outbreaks – and change course quickly if necessary.<span></span></p>
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By Danielle Nierenberg and Maya Osman-Krinsky
In the United States, over 2,000 acres of agricultural land are sold every day for housing or commercial development, according to the American Farmland Trust. This has especially affected Black farmers who, since 1920, have seen nearly a 90 percent decline in land ownership, according to the U.S. Census.