Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why I started making breakfast every day.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!"

Ugh. I get pretty tired of hearing that. What does it even mean, anyway? "Important" according to whom? Somebody's grandmother? Scientific studies that have been warped through the grapevine and reduced simply to the word "important?" I'm sure there are people out there who could wax poetic about this bit of folk wisdom, but it's always seemed a bit senseless to me.

I've never been super into breakfast. In the past, I've often been one of those terrible breakfast-skippers. It's as if no one ever told me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

That said, settling down and becoming a mother has had an effect on me. I've started to feel that it may actually benefit us all if I made us breakfast once in a while, instead of buying and consuming endless amounts of cold cereal. (Not that the breakfasts I make are always healthier. A good waffle every once in a while never hurt anyone.) And reading French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters by Karen le Billon convinced me that eating more meals together, even if my child is still too young to eat bacon, will ultimately benefit our family in the long run.

So, last week I decided it was time to start acting more like a real mom and cook breakfast every day.

(It's funny--I'm still so new at this mom thing that I keep feeling like I need to start acting more like a mom. As though I'm just pretending to be a mother. Even though I'll continue to be a mother no matter what I do.)

(And I don't know why I think "real moms" cook breakfast for their families every day. It's not like my own mother did. I know plenty of wonderful moms who have better things to do than slave in the kitchen at 5:30 in the morning. Things like, I don't know, sleeping.)

(Ooh, here's a thought--maybe I'm a 1950s housewife, reincarnated!)

So far, my Breakfast Initiative is going swimmingly. The best part is probably getting to make recipes that I've always looked at longingly but never really got around to making, like this and these.

But also, it's kind of nice to actually sit at the table with my husband and just talk in the mornings. No TV, no phones, no distractions.

(We're drowning in leftovers, of course, since there are only two of us and every breakfast recipe in the annals of the Internet is designed to feed an entire football team. Good thing we like leftovers.)

It kind of makes me excited to have a horde of children to feed. Someday, I may have four or even five kids swarming around the table gobbling French toast like there's no tomorrow, and I'll look down on them in satisfaction and rejoice in the breakfast-making habits that I cemented when my first child was still a baby.

Of course, when that day actually comes, I'll probably look back wistfully on the days when I could sit down to a quiet breakfast with my husband while our only baby was still asleep.

I've never been very good at living in the moment. But I think that somehow, it helps to make breakfast every day.


  1. Do I count as a "real mom?" Here's what I did for breakfast this morning:
    Summer woke up at 8 am, which is too early for me. (She usually wakes up between 8 and 9. If it's closer to 9, I'm okay, but I just can't do 8.) So I grabbed a pound of strawberries, rinsed them, chopped off the tops, and put them on a plate for her. (I gave her more than she could eat so she wouldn't finish them and ask for more!) Then I lay on the couch to rest. When I got up, I ate leftovers. This is pretty typical of our breakfasts (although I don't sleep on the couch every morning).

    I've always been a leftovers-for-breakfast type of person. Morning is the time of day when I'm the least interested in sweets. Those recipes look delicious (now I want to try them!), but I wouldn't eat them for breakfast. I've also discovered that if I try to cook a breakfast for Summer, she's too hungry to wait until it's ready. She'll eat fruit or cottage cheese or whatever I can have ready in a hurry, and then when the cooked food is done, she's already full. I guess I could overcome that problem by getting up before Summer does, but there's no way that's happening!

    I did try once to get up early and make breakfast for Ken before he went to work. (The dietitian said he should eat breakfast every day.) But neither of us really liked that. Ken is too tired in the morning to be social, and he just doesn't feel like eating in the morning, and I wanted to be sleeping! So now Ken either reheats leftovers or drinks a protein drink. Ken is much more appreciative of my cooking at dinnertime.

    1. Of course you count as a real mom, and it has nothing to do with breakfast! (Like most women, I'm really good at telling other people they're doing a great job, and I worry excessively about my own performance in life.)

  2. I make breakfast every weekday morning, and I really like it. I hope I always have time to make breakfast for the kids. Usually it's not a hugely time-consuming meal. Muffins, pancakes, and biscuits are our favorites. (It's amazing how many different muffin recipes are out there!) Sometimes we even just have toast and a smoothie. But I rarely make breakfast early enough for Breton to eat it with us. When the kids are in school, I'm exercising while he's getting ready for work, and during the summer I'm sleeping. :) (In my defense, he leaves at 6:15am and actually doesn't eat before he leaves, just takes breakfast with him.) But the lucky thing is that there is always leftovers for him the next day!

    1. That's nice! If my husband left at 6:15, I don't know if I would make breakfast for him, either. (Although he does leave at 6:45, which is pretty early...and he doesn't even have to commute! His workday starts at 7:00. Blah. At least he gets home early.)