To Eat or Not to Eat
By SM Ford
I always thought eating or not eating breakfast was based on childhood teachings. If your parents fixed you breakfast every morning, you'd be a breakfast-type person. If they didn't, you wouldn't. I had always eaten breakfast and was always hungry for it. My Mom fixed a variety of breakfast items over the years: pancakes, homemade cinnamon rolls, oatmeal (not instant!), eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, etc. If you can think of it, we probably had it. Even occasionally we ate convenience foods such as cold cereal, instant breakfast drinks, or toaster pastries.
My friends who didn't eat breakfast said they were never hungry in the mornings. I always figured they weren't used to eating breakfast, except for maybe cold cereal, so of course they weren't hungry. They had been trained wrong. After all, everyone knows the most important meal of the day is breakfast! If you want to skip a meal, don't leave out breakfast.
So, I, with hunger pangs every morning, had a tendency to feel superior to those who did not want breakfast. I knew not to skip breakfast. My mother trained me better, I thought.
But once I'm married and had two daughters to feed breakfast to myself, I discovered it isn't all training. My youngest daughter's first words almost every morning were, "What's for breakfast? I'm hungry." My oldest daughter took an hour or so before she said she was hungry. On school mornings this was not quite so evident, because I just fixed the meal while they got dressed and told them it was time to eat. You can guess which one I usually had to prod to eat the meal and get done in time to go to school.
On weekends, the younger one usually got up first while the older one and my husband slept in. She did her usual: "What's for breakfast? I'm hungry." If I didn't fix anything, waiting for the rest of the family to awaken, it was, "When are we going to have breakfast?!" If I insisted on waiting for her father and sister, she'd go wake them up in a “Let's get this show on the road. I'm starving!!!" manner. It didn't matter if her sister and dad weren't really hungry, she just knew I'd fix that all-important breakfast if they were up.
So much for my feelings of superiority—washed down the drain by my own children. To eat or not to eat breakfast is not merely a matter of good training. To eat or not to is once again proof of our own individuality.
About the Author
SM Ford is a Pacific Northwest gal, who has also lived in the Midwest (Colorado and Kansas) and on the east coast (New Jersey). She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can't figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however.
Sue likes traveling and animals, especially those in the cat family, and has a dog and cat who own her.
You can read Sue’s “Real Parenting” column on the 4th Thursday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.