A bowl, a spoon, a box of cereal and a bottle of milk, that’s breakfast. Done. As soon as the kids can pick up a box they can make breakfast. There are no pots or pans to wash up and minimal preparation time. Infact you don’t even really need a kitchen! Brekki in a box easily shaves 15 – 20 minutes off the morning routine, gets us out of the house and on with our day. It’s easy and convenient.
But with this convenience and the promise to save our precious time has come the demise of our health, our family unit and importantly an energetic connection to our food.
Exaggerated? I don’t think so. Let me explain.
Last week we were all in the kitchen making brekki. Someone on eggs, someone on bacon and someone making tea, (I was acting sous chef). This moment made me so happy. It was chaotic, but we were all in there together in our little kitchen cooking, chatting, creating and connecting. A humble meal that had the power to bring our family together, create memories and connection. Our tummies were full and so were our hearts. For me, it was the perfect way to start the day.
(Btw there are many mornings that are definitely not so perfect… and I’ve thought how a box of cereal and milk would be SO much easier)!
And after a chat with my gorgeous neighbour it got me thinking. We all know the importance of a good breakfast, but many of us still find it difficult to break up with breakfast cereals. Why is that?
It’s much more than the ease of getting it ready. There are a few, very good reasons.
In this post I share a new perspective on our attachment to breakfast in a box. It’s about time, convenience, billions of dollars and importantly, the emotional bonds of childhood.
A brief history.
Some form of porridge has been enjoyed as breakfast for centuries. The arrival of packaged cereal in a box
is only recent, in the early 1900s, with Kelloggs Cornflakes. Kelloggs cornflakes originally began life as a health food created by a Doctor, John Harvey Kellogg, to nourish patients at his Sanitarium.
‘His brother Willian K Kellogg worked for him for many years until, in 1906, he broke away, buying the rights to Cornflakes, to set up the Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company’. A savvy entrepreneur, ‘William Kellogg discarded the health food concept, opting for heavy advertising and commercial taste’. (wikipedia)
How cereals make billions and why we have such a strong emotional attachment to them.
Transforming the fabric of food and family life.
Until breakfast cereals arrived there was no such thing as convenience food. Breakfast cereals, Cornflakes, heralded the beginning of convenience. Then with women entering the workforce more in the mid 1900’s and mornings becoming time critical, it was at a time in history that was ripe for anything that saved time i.e. convenience and cereal in a box. It was marketed as being good for us. We didn’t know otherwise and had no reason to question it.
Breakfast in a box took off at lightning speed, leaving its nourishing country cousin, the cooked breakfast, far behind back in the paddock, our bodies depleted and families fragmented.
‘The number of different types of breakfast cereals in the U.S. has grown from 160 (1970) to 340 (1998) to 4,945 (2012)’. (wikipedia)
For busy women entering the workforce breakfast cereals and convenience food offered a perfect alternative to cooking. It was understandable, and one that the billions of dollars spent on advertising, made very attractive but without realising WHAT that meant for the wellbeing and socialisation within our families.
An amazing breakfast / brunch we had with family that was whipped up by our cousin in the middle of the South African bush. Fond family memories of a magical time and place. (Don’t think the memories would be quite so fond with a box of cereal)!
So is breakfast in a box really that bad nutritionally? … Yes.
Most of us know this, but here’s a quick recap on what this ‘food’ really is.
11 tips to help break up with cereal.
How to choose a better box of breakfast cereal?
Then to prepare a good cereal breakfast e.g. a muesli soak it overnight to help release any anti-nutrients and make it into a porridge or a bircher muesli the next morning.
It’s a complex and very lucrative web that big business has spun to lodge breakfast cereals firmly in our hearts and our homes. The lifestyle, the emotional connection, the convenience and the advertising all make it extremely difficult for us to part company with it.
But it, along with convenience foods generally, has come at a cost. The demise of our health, our family unit and our energetic connection to our food along with creating a breakdown in the socialisation that naturally comes with preparing, cooking and eating a meal together.
I know many of you already start your day with a good breakfast, but for many of us it’s still a very hard choice to make, especially as time is of the essence in our busy lives. And at the end of the day it is our choice. But perhaps it’s time to stop and have a good look at those choices and why we’re really making them.
What is this important meal of the day creating in your home?
Is it the emotional connection you want your children to be passing onto their children?
Is it adding to the busyness of every day life or is it allowing you the chance to stop, prepare for the day and connect with loved ones?
Is it fuelling busy bodies or growing bodies with the nutrients they need for peak performance, achievement and happiness?
Is it the emotional bond of your child hood that you’re hanging onto?
Whatever you decide or wherever you’re at, the most important thing is to take the time to really enjoy your food and to connect with those around you. In joy.
Let’s bring breakfast back. To keep us motivated and inspired with this busy, time poor and important time of the day, join me in ‘The Great Breakfast Adventure‘ a FREE 5 day discovery to The Best, most energising & simplest breakfast for the whole family. Includes my ebook ‘Brainstorm the best Breakfast’ with over 30 pages of tips and new recipes to try. Details here.
All you need to know to fill your heart and your families tummies to get the day off to the best start possible.
The food that makes billions (documentary)