“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.” Not anymore. The cereal industry has been in a nosedive since the turn of the new millennium. Cereal sales are down nearly 40% since 2000, and the slide into the rabbit hole doesn’t show any reprieve.
Concerned parents are to blame. A bowl of sugar and chemicals apparently isn’t the best way to start the day, unlike previous decades when elementary school children spent most of the morning hopped up on a sugar high. This of course led to a diagnosis of hyperactivity, which was the pre-cursor to attention deficit disorder, which led to Ritalin, which led to kids being zonked out most of the day, which… Oh, never mind, this is just too much to blame on Fruity Pebbles. Now, rather than a bowl of sugar in the morning, the kids sneak an energy drink filled with the dangers of caffeine. Progress?
Seriously, breakfast is a whole new ballgame. McDonald’s has made it an all-day affair. I’m good with that. And everybody has a menu stocked full of breakfast goodies. Gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, even Smoothie King and Jamba Juice are in the act. A “healthy meal in a cup” is how it is framed. You go, Jamba Juice.
I, for one, love breakfast food. I’ve found the best place to indulge is your own kitchen. My favorite morning indulgence are eggs, potatoes, sausage (patties, not link), and biscuits and gravy. The eggs should be fried in the sausage grease to make them perfect. Using that same grease in the gravy adds to the special nature of the day as well. Who doesn’t love that rib-sticking means by which to start the day? Before you go “all judgment” on me, I have this meal maybe once every six months — guilt-free, I might add.
Breakfast bars are a favorite of most. Not “bar” in the conventional sense — “give me two eggs over-easy with a shot of Jack.” Nope. Squares with a couple of hundred calories that are easy to eat on the move. Ah-ha! That’s the real issue.
Breakfast in the traditional sense, around the table or kitchen counter slugging down a bowl of Count Chocula or Frankenberry, has been replaced because of our fast-paced lifestyle. Mom, Dad and the kids want to stretch that morning sleep to the last possible moment. Alarms sound and the fire drill proceeds, culminating with Mom passing out breakfast squares like Halloween candy at the door leading to the car.
We’re eating more breakfast than ever before — just not cereal. It sort of breaks my heart. Another of my childhood memories being changed by a new generation of caring parents with busy lifestyles. What’s next, no Jetsons lunchboxes? Oops, never mind. Just another casualty as time marches on. Oh, well — time to eat breakfast.