Breakfast for Dinner

muesli-668519_640I feed my kids breakfast for dinner more often than I’d like to admit.  Sometimes breakfast for dinner means scrambled eggs and toast and maybe even steamed green beans.  Mostly, though, it’s the same cereal they had for breakfast, and I don’t always ask more than once if they want fruit or yogurt with it.

Do you know what kind of a mother I am on those nights?  A relaxed mother.  Relaxed because I have not had to cook at the same time as I supervise homework and piano practice and play a board game.  I’m not setting the table at the same time as being a referee for the hockey in the basement or the fighting on the stairs.  I am not doing dishes while the momentary peace that reigned around the dinner table falls to pieces in the post-dinner scramble of bathsbooksbed.  I can read with one or even two children right up until “dinner time” and I can resume reading five seconds after “dinner” is done.  No child has ever complained about breakfast for dinner.  The guilt I feel about not feeding them a cooked dinner is never more than fleeting.

Of course, the kids could help cook, set the table and wash the dishes.  And they do.  And they like to cook and make their own food.  But you know how it is: some nights it’s easier to do it all myself, and some nights doing it all myself is a mistake and I resent it.  Breakfasts for dinner cuts all of that out.

Breakfast for dinner is a regular sin in my house, but, like all the best sins, it’s one for which I feel absolutely no regret.

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26 thoughts on “Breakfast for Dinner

  1. I love this!! If only my son was a big cereal lover so I could do this too on the odd occasion as a mummy time out treat! Lets hope he soon loves to eat cereal 🙂

  2. I’m quite fortunate my son is a good eater. But, if he doesn’t want something, I don’t force him. Tonight’s dinner (by his request) was a small cup of frozen peas and corn – yes still frozen – and an entire raw carrot. On my ‘relaxed’ nights it can vary between a toasted cheese sandwich, baked beans, or an apple. If he wanted cereal, well he’d have that too, I’d have NO problem with it!

  3. Trust me .. that Kind of lessened my guilty feeling a bit. It’s mostly not breakfast for dinner but breakfast for lunch.. and have even be told once” Mama! Pancakes are usually for breakfast” and God.. I almost cried.But never takes a long time to make my 7 year old understand that mum is kept busy sometimes(most of the times) by the year old little sister.

    • I read an article in a Today’s Parent advice column about doing breakfast for school lunch. One very picky eater was not eating a bite all day, and he said, “I wish I could just have breakfast for lunch every day.” Wish granted. Happy child, happy mother, and all with a doctor’s approval.

  4. Our staple supper when my husband isn’t home for dinner–which for the last two months has been twice a week–is porridge and steamed green beans or cauliflower. They LOVE it. But cereal seems like a better idea–no porridge pot to clean.

    • There’s something in Adrienne Rich’s book Of Woman Born about Mother Time at the cottage, where, without the presence of the father, all structure loosens and time unwinds. I’ve always loved that image, and, yes, breakfast for dinner tends to happen when their dad’s not home.

  5. I am a fan of the “picky-picky” dinner. We open the fridge and pick out things: cheese, crackers, cold-cuts, pickles, olives, etc. I LOVE doing it and the boys do too. Anything that makes life just a bit more relaxed . . . ahhhh.

  6. We frequently had scrambled eggs for dinner when the kids were little. They’ve grown, and my husband and I still do. Pancakes and bacon are fine, too.

  7. What a good reminder to just chill out and relax, rather than stress about having a “perfect and healthy dinner.” Thanks for the post, I look forward to reading more on your blog 🙂

  8. Just found your blog–I love it and especially this post! Although my kids are grown now, this takes me back to the days when I had three under ten years of age and my husband occasionally worked a 10-hour day with a 90-minute commute at each end. I knew the only time he liked eating breakfast foods was in the morning, but the kids and I loved having pancakes at 6 PM when we knew he wouldn’t be home until after they were in bed!. They called it the “Daddy’s-Working-Late-Breakfast-For-Dinner” dinner.

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