I love cereal, but I never buy it. I could eat half a box of Cocoa Puffs in one sitting, which is a bad idea for many reasons, not least the fact that the stuff abrades the roof of your mouth. Breakfast cereal is an amazing substance, though: food that has had all the goodness processed out of it, then had vitamins and minerals artificially added into it along with lots of sugar and salt. The healthiest thing about it is the milk.
I’ve eaten all kinds of breakfasts. When I was commuting to work, there was a time I’d stop every morning for two plain biscuits and a diet Coke from a fast food place near my house. I don’t even want to think about how much weight I gained that year.
On a weekend I will go for made-from-scratch pancakes (that’s American pancakes, the big puffy ones) with bits of fruit stirred into the batter. But during the week I prefer something savoury in the morning – makes me feel more full and less likely to crave a bacon roll in the middle of the morning.
Left to my own devices, I’d heat up a tin of oyster stew, and I know no one else who likes that for breakfast. I’m also fond of instant noodles, but Small Boy wants to eat the same things he sees me eating, so I have to avoid those now. I try to get him to eat something with a bit of protein and calcium in it like a pot of yoghurt or fromage frais, but he usually has a bit of whatever I’ve got.
What I end up cooking most often is a simple cheese quesadilla with a touch of chilli powder. It’s quick and easy to prepare, full of protein and carbohydrates, and popular with two thirds of my household (Husband eyes it warily over his toast and jam).
The breakfast I enjoy eating most, though, is a toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Luckily enough, Small Boy loves them as well. The sight of an eager two-year-old worrying at a big slab of bread and bright pink salmon is enough to bring a tear to my eye and send Husband reeling from the room. We take him off to nursery energised and smelling of fish.