An Ode to Breakfast

I was brought up with the belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast was as necessary as putting petrol into the car, and going to school without breakfast was equivalent to going to school with no shoes. Our brains and bodies need fuel to get the most out of the day, and getting off to a good start required a good breakfast.

In the years following the breakfast boom, the importance of breakfast became subject to debate. The question of what to eat for breakfast or whether to eat it at all was a hot topic of nutritional science as people turned to data over intuition to guide their morning eating habits. Outside of the scientific realm, people usually instinctively fall into one of two camps: those who love breakfast, for whom it is the primary reason for getting out of bed in the morning, and those who prefer not to eat first thing in the day at all, and simply don’t feel hungry.

What people eat for breakfast varies widely across the globe for cultural reasons, and it varies between people simply because of our unique preferences for sweet, savoury, hot, or cold foods, our morning routines and particular circumstances. There might be particular breakfast foods we only eat on weekends or when abroad on holiday, or that we feel we shouldn’t be eating as adults are presumed to have more grown-up tastes. We might only consider a narrow range of foods to be suitable to eat first thing in the morning, develop a repertoire of ‘brunch’ recipes that can be eaten any time of day, or take particular pleasure in eating breakfast for dinner or as a bedtime snack.

Breakfast might be seen as the focal point to our morning routine; a grounding ritual combining mindfulness and nourishment. Alternatively, breakfast might be competing with other priorities such as child care, exercise, emails and work commitments; something that needs to be fitted in around a long list of other activities. Does breakfast take place before coffee, with coffee, after coffee? Eaten in the comfort of one’s pyjamas or only once showered, dressed and otherwise fully ready to face the day?

Breakfast may be savoured, or it may be scoffed. What all of this tells us is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to breakfast. Most of us have a strong sense of when, how, and what we like to eat for breakfast. Our level of awareness when it comes to breakfast dictates whether it falls into the category of habit, routine or ritual. Many of us eat breakfast out of habit; most of us develop a breakfast routine; and for some of us, breakfast is a ritual – a meal activity we are interested in fully experiencing and being mindfully present for, rather than merely completely.

In this #huskandhoneyathome series, we'll hear from some of London’s most enthusiastic food lovers about their relationship with breakfast, and they’ll also be sharing their favourite breakfasts to make with Husk & Honey. From overnight oats, to breakfast crumbles, to classic yoghurt and granola pairings, to a luxuriously topped porridge or French Toast, we hope this series will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen and share your favourite combinations with us too!

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Written by Emma Louise Pudge | @emmahitsthespot