Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Leaving the cereal on the shelf

I ate breakfast every morning when I was little - oatmeal in the winter, cereal in the warmer months, pancakes or waffles on the weekends. Breakfast was, after all, the most important meal of the day. I probably needed that meal to sustain me as the nuns were not going to let us eat again until lunch at 12:30.

Times have changed, as my son eats several times in his school day: He eats a small breakfast at school at 8:45, which is followed by a snack at 10:30 and then lunch at 1:30. He also gets a snack at after care at 4:30.

We don't follow this meal schedule on the weekends. He never complains about being hungry either, as I normally kick off his Saturday and Sunday with a large breakfast of eggs and sausage, or pancakes.

What we don't eat is cereal. This seems odd to me, since my husband and I consumed a lot of cereal in our youth (his favorite was Golden Grahams; I loved Peanut Butter Captain Crunch). Cereal is not something we've regularly offered our son, which is a good thing, since studies are starting to question the effectiveness of "breakfast foods" like cereal.

There are several reasons for the backlash on breakfast foods, including that the "most important meal of the day" message was made up by marketers. But there is also some evidence to suggest that what we eat is more important than when we eat. A yogurt at 10:30 am may serve us better than filling up on carbs before we head out the door. Some of us may not be hungry until lunch.

So there you go. Eat breakfast if you want to and when you want to. For now, my son still seems to be hungry first thing in the morning on weekends, so I'll continue frying up the bacon.

What's your breakfast go-to food? Tell me in the comments.

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