What did children eat in Ancient Egypt? Did their parents make them finish their vegetables before dessert? Was there any candy? Did kids have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 4,000 years ago?
No one knows for sure if kids in Ancient Egypt had to eat all their vegetables. But there are clues in the ruins of tombs and old houses that answer a lot of other questions. Families in Ancient Egypt grew their own food. They planted beans, lentils, onions, leeks, cucumbers, and other crops. Farmers often took heads of "sacred lettuce" to temples to thank the gods for a good harvest.
Fruit trees were everywhere. Children picked their own dates, figs, and pomegranates for afternoon snacks.
The world's first beekeepers were Egyptians. Hives were kept in large pottery jars. Fearless beekeepers simply brushed the bees aside to collect their honeycombs. The honey was stored in covered containers. Children must have enjoyed dipping their fingers in these bowls for a sweet treat.
Perhaps they put honey on their bread, too. In Ancient Egypt, children ate bread at every meal. In fact, bread was Ancient Egypt's main food. There were hundreds of kinds of bread, in many different shapes and sizes. Some recipes used fruits, garlic, or nuts to flavor the loaves.
Eating bread caused some problems, though. Bits of desert sand and stones often got into the dough. Scientists have discovered that most Egyptian mummies have worn and missing teeth. They believe the Egyptians wore their teeth down while chewing on their bread.
So what did Ancient Egyptian children eat instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? It's a simple recipe, but probably not one you'll want to try at home. Children cut thick slabs of bread, spread garlic on top, and then piled on raw onions.
Yummy ...? Maybe that's why they chewed mint leaves to sweeten their breath!