Growing up I was a bit shy to disclose my affinity for Ovaltine. My favorite flavor is Chocolate Malt. I’m not sure why I was shy about it although I was shy about a lot of things. Perhaps because instead of coming premade in a snazzy yellow bottle or pouring out in a beautiful chocolate syrupy ribbon, Ovaltine came in a dark brown glass jar resembling a large vitamin bottle. Perhaps it was because the kids at school didn’t carry it around and instead nourished themselves on pint-sized cartons while nibbling on their peanut butter crackers. I remember thinking how much they were missing out on this Swiss discovery. It might as well had been a milk shake and with vitamins to boot! For me, Ovaltine wasn’t much of a bedtime drink as it was a breakfast one. I loved dipping my cinnamon toast into a cold glass of Ovaltine (I never drank it hot). By the last quarter of the glass, I was left with cinnamon-y chocolate goodness to savor and send me off on my day. Now it’s my additive to my afternoon protein shake.
In honor of this nutritious drink and on behalf of my tingling taste-buds, I did a little research. As a result I discovered a secret society of children called ‘Ovaltineys’! Beginning in 1935, The Ovaltineys radio broadcast commenced as an advertising campaign in Britain, but this was no commercial. The Ovaltineys had their own rule book and set of secret handshakes and signs all in the name of nutrition and good will toward others. Who said you can’t make the world a better place through food???
While you sit down with your rule book and memorize all seven rules and practice your hand signs (it was a goody two-shoe gang!) you could listen to your fellow Ovaltineys sing their famous “We are the Ovaltineys” jingle as well as other songs such as my favorite–“Teddy Bears’ Picnic.” The Ovaltineys were the Little Rascals with manners and healthy eating habits. They listened to their parents (or at least tried their best to) all because of a chocolaty powder goodness that turned milk into a treat. Even Leslie Crowther was a member–the man who was Britain’s original Price Is Right host! I wonder if the contesdants had to guess the price of Ovaltine.
Next time you have to have breakfast on the go or need to satiate a late night sweet tooth, just have a little more Ovaltine and don’t forget to say please.