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Jul 22, 2006 12:39 AM

Non-breakfast food for breakfast

This last week I have played hostess to my ten-year-old niece. Her father - who does not eat breakfast - is appalled because she doesn't want breakfast foods at breakfast. She wants hot dogs, cheese sandwiches, spaghetti and real food for breakfast.

I was happy to indulge her, having the same attitude myself. I can remember making hamburgers for breakfast when I was a teenager. My mother certainly didn't care; she just wanted to be sure we'd started the day with food in our stomachs that wasn't 95% sugar.

Anyone else out there with the same attitude? I've suggested to my sister (mother of visiting niece) that she do a cost analysis of breakfast food vs. regular food. I am sure that cereals are ridiculously expensive and perhaps if she shows this to her husband - a former accountant - he'll realize that cereal is a waste of money and he should pay attention to what kids will really eat.

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  1. Ask your brother-in-law to think like an adult, not a parent when he looks at the food choices. Why is costly breakfast cereal OK and a cheese sandwich not OK? The cereal is made of grain just like the sandwich bread and I'll wager that BIL has eaten cheese before noon, likely in the form of a cheese omelet. Milk is OK but cheese is not? Hmmmmmmm. Ask him how he feels about eating unborn chickens. I've never had anyone think that is an OK choice when phrased in this way. Spaghetti is a no-no but I'll bet when the parts are analyzed he cannot have any argument with the noodles being grain, the tomato sauce being (botanically) fruit and the cheese topping being dairy. Hence, the spaghetti is nutritionally the equivalent of a bowl of cereal with fruit & milk, simply in another guise.

    You can continue this analysis if you'd like. Are ham and sausage OK because they're "normal breakfast foods" but hot dogs are unacceptable because they're generally eaten later in the day? Food Historians call this behavior "Cultural Bias" and it is rife in every population.

    One of my favorite uncles answers the "Are you hungry for lunch?" question with "What time is it?" instead of a yes or no. Reared by his proper British mother and nanny, he was taught that lunch came at noon and not before.

    Thank God that your niece is happily eating. I hope that her parents will worry about important things instead of making this a battleground needlessly.

    1. I have the same attitude. I've never liked breakfast food, at least the traditional American breakfast food. However, I have found that I enjoy traditional Japanese breakfasts (grilled fish, miso, rice) as well as Middle Eastern, which I hear is mainly yogurt/lebneh and pita...mmm.

      I think some people just don't like a lot of grease, acid and sugar in the morning.

      3 Replies
      1. re: eeee

        My Japanese mother was big on yakitori-style stirfried leftovers for breakfast: throw in some shredded vegetables, cold chicken from last night's roast, whip up an egg, and fry the whole deal in a wok. Used to call it "hodgepodge."

        But my favorite was hot soup poured over cold rice to make a thick, porridgy gruel. Hearty and filling.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Ditto on the hot soup over rice, sometimes with an egg in it.

          1. re: OCAnn

            anything soupy for breakfast is excellent. pho, broth over rice both with and without an egg, ramen, congee...

      2. DH &I always eat leftovers for breakfast...we are low-carb so cereal is out...I enjoy leftovers and look forward to them the next day,much more filling and satisfying than typical breakfat foods...protein is more filling/better for you than carbs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ClaireLiz

          I do leftovers for breakfast pretty often too- but I love having breakfast at dinner! Pancakes anyone?

        2. I'm with you, I don't like most traditional American breakfast food for breakfast, either. I'd rather have a sandwich or a taco or slice of pizza, or leftovers. French toast and the like are ok for brunch or supper, but not early morning, ugh.

          I expect your BIL is worrying more about what "should be" than about $. People get amazingly hung up on "shoulds."

          1. Cold pizza...YUM! In fact, my final evaluation of any pizza is based on how good it is cold the next morning.

            I'm too deeply addicted to eggs to forego them every day, but I've been known to brunch on cold quesadillas, cold spaghetti or mac'n'cheese, and of course pie. And whenever I make a quiche of any kind, I always try to keep enough set aside to have cold for breakfast. I think I like it even better cold than warm, and NEVER reheated.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              As I spend a large part of the year in Chicago but NYC is home, I've been lucky enough to try both ends of the cold pizza spectrum. And I have to say - I really think deep dish wins the cold pizza contest for yumminess.

              1. re: theannerska

                deep dish is another whole dining experience from NY style. I love deep dish for a sit down meal, and the thin slice is great when you're by yourself and in a rush. after having great deep dish pizza in the great lakes region, i wish there were more places on the east coast that serve it.

                1. re: fara

                  I sometimes wonder why more places don't attempt the deep dish, but then again, have you ever had "New York style thin crust" in the midwest? It's just not the same...

              2. re: Will Owen

                Me too on the cold pizza & cold spaghetti!!!

                1. re: OCAnn

                  Me too, and cold lo mein is my favorite breakfast. Eggs are ok, but I'm lukewarm about them.