Friday, June 17, 2016

Boring Breakfast

My breakfast this morning. Boring! Easy! Wheat Squares, juice, and coffee.
Cereal used to be every American's breakfast. Lately, national consumption figures have decreased. "Since the late 1990s, its popularity has been slowly fading. Sales, which totaled $13.9 billion in 2000, dipped last year to about $10 billion," wrote Kim Severson in the New York Times earlier this year. (See: Cereal, a Taste of Nostalgia, Looks for Its Next Chapter


For years, beginning in my childhood, my favorite cereal was Kellogg's Sugar Smacks, which at later times have been called Honey Smacks or just plain Smacks. I don't buy them any more because they don't taste the same. Maybe they changed the formula when production left Battle Creek, Michigan, and transferred to Mexico. (At least I think that's what happened. At one time, the boxes specified the place of manufacture, but Kellogg's doesn't disclose that any more.)

For a while in the last few years I enjoyed Trader Joe's lightly sweetened puffed wheat, which was similar but much less heavily sugary. It uses agave syrup which sounds good, but either nutritionally or taste-wise agave syrup isn't very different from sugar syrup or honey. TJ's just didn't overdo it, and didn't add sort of a chemical aftertaste that I detected in Smacks. Recently my local TJ's  hasn't been stocking this cereal anyway.

My view is that cereal is no work at all when it comes to breakfast preparation. Severson, however, says: "Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it." Go figure!

I do remember this: years ago we visited European friends in France at their vacation home in a very obscure village in the south of France. We arrived with a supply of our favorite breakfast cereals, which we shared. At the end of our stay our friend said she was hooked -- now she would no longer have to get up and go downstairs from their Paris apartment to the nearby bakery to bring croissants to her children then around 8 and 3 years old. They would be happy with cereal. I've probably told this story before, but I can't resist repeating it.

My cereal shelf. In plastic box: Wheat Squares purchased in large-ish
quantity from Costco. Also TJ's corn flakes, granola, and bran flakes.
And Cheerios.
OK, we too eat cereal less often these days. Sometimes we eat an omelet. Or toast and butter and jam.

12 comments:

Beth F said...

We haven't eaten store-bought cereals in years because of the possible allergens, sodium, sugar, and additives. I make my own granola and my husband sometimes buys spoon-size shredded wheat, with no additives or sugar.

Tina said...

We eat Chocolate Chex, just about everyday. It's gluten free and whto my husband was having a wheat issue, we had to switch cereals. Now I love it. Great story about Paris.

jama said...

I've always loved cereal in the morning, never finding it inconvenient (the millennials are spoiled!). These days I favor oatmeal, cornflakes, and toasted O's.

Trish said...

I keep hearing that statement about the millennials and cereal and it's baffling!! Isn't cereal the easiest breakfast choice? LOL!

I love cereal--just finished my bowl of multi-grain cheerios with a sliced banana. If I didn't have to worry about feeding my littles, I'd probably just eat cereal for every meal. Healthy, huh? Of course it's all laden with sugar. All breakfast foods are--except eggs. It's insane!

Katherine P said...

The part about cereal being inconvenient because you have to clean up after eating it is mystifying. It's a bowl and spoon. It's hard to think of something that's easier to clean up! I'm not a huge breakfast eater but I do love a good bowl of cereal from time to time. My favorite is the Frosted Mini Wheats or the Special K with the dried strawberries. That's so funny about your French friend. If I was having to go to the bakery every morning for breakfast I'd be pretty thrilled about cereal too!

Margot said...

I've been eating Rice Krispies with milk and fruit a couple of times a week for the past 70 years. Inconvenient? That makes me sad.

Vicki said...

I can't imagine much of anything would be easier than cereal. I've loved Lucky Charms since I was little. It's still my favorite, but I usually eat oats with fruit, cinnamon, flax seed and wheat germ for breakfast. Once in a while I'll eat Cheerios with a banana.

Claudia said...

You're right, boxed cereals are boring. I make granola, but even that lasts a long time around here. Would rather have a scone or toast with fruit, and when I make scones we're set for a few days of breakfast. On Sundays it's nice to make something special, like a fruit clafouti - say mango.

Carole said...

I'm a toast with jam or lemon curd girl. Cereals are too sweet for me. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I have Trader Joe's Whole Grain Heart Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal with a Thomas's High Fiber English Muffin for breakfast, sometimes with a fried egg if I'm working and only eating yogurt for lunch. My favorite cereal as a child was Quisp, and one the rare occasions when I see it the grocery store, I get so excited!

Esme said...

Interesting. I do not eat it often and when I do it is a Trader Joe one with high fiber. I do not find it filling enough.

Joy said...

Cereal works for me -- I use a granola-like cereal from Whole Foods. I'm sure it has way more sugar than I really need, but I tried switching to something more pure and it made me grumpy. Mornings are already hard for me! A little sugar to brighten up my mornings is worth it.