Advertising's role in what's deemed 'breakfast' food

What do you consider ‘breakfast’ food? Do you know how/why some foods became synonymous with breakfast?

My ‘breakfast’ tends to be either (home-made) muesli with fruit and yoghurt, or leftovers (of anything stew-like) on toast.

Other members of the family look askance at my tucking into chilli con carne on toast in the morning, but to me it’s a perfect start to the day. :smile:


To me the meals of the day are distinguished by the time and effort it takes to prepare them. Mostly the foods I eat for breakfast are chosen because they are quick and easy to put on the plate, so mostly it is cereal, fruit and yogurt which require almost no preparation.

Sometimes I have a cooked breakfast (everything tastes better with bacon) but not often. Mostly I don’t want to spend the time on it and I don’t need the extra kilojoules.

It would be rare for me to specially set out to prepare a dish for breakfast that takes more than a few minutes. When the family are here I might do waffles or pancakes.

As for chilli con carne, there is no reason to exclude it from breakfast if a larger meal is warranted but I would never cook something like that just for breakfast, it would be cooked the day before. A reason that kind of thing rarely becomes breakfast is that it is kept for lunch.


Guilty of the shortcut fast (convenient) breakfast before rushing off to work for another long day. 30 minutes max from the toes hitting the bedside flooring to walking out the door complete with homemade lunch to hand.

History suggests the heartier breakfasts of various combinations truely predate the “Americanisation of culinary excellence”, or not? Diabetes sufferers, those with high cholesterol and blood pressure evidence enough to help one decide.

There are many other view points on what are traditional breakfasts - from English to Japanese.

When time is not of the essence a well prepared breakfast can be a most relaxing and enjoyable way to start the day. The ultimate consumer rebellion against mass marketing by choosing not to follow.


Organic Weetbix (because the packet fits in my cupboard) plus light soy milk and fresh fruit followed by a mug of black coffee made in my coffee press.


Many of my friends think I am a bit mad for choosing to have a bowl of steamed veg instead of cereal, bacon and eggs and the like. I love veg and I really don’t think it matters what time/s of the day I have them.



To me, breakfast is whatever you feel like eating at that time of day! And can be bothered to make ready to eat.


What I consume for breakfast varies with the seasons, and especially with what fruit is ripe (enough) on my fruit trees and vines and berry canes and strawberry plants.

And if the mornings are warm but there is nothing on offer in my own garden (or from cool storage underneath my well-insulated house), I will still eat fruit bought from the shops, usually accompanied by a handful of a mix of raw nuts and seeds I mix myself (which back in the day would be dominated by macadamias from my family’s organic plantation).

Sometimes I will substitute a bowl of puffed non-grain grains (buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth etc) with milk from brown cows and a banana or three diced over the top, dusted with a teaspoon or so of pollen granules from WA.

If the mornings are cold, I make non-grain porridge, usually a mix of some or all of kibbled buckwheat, rolled quinoa, rolled amaranth etc, with a cup or so of milk from brown cows, cooked in the microwave for half an hour or so, with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of molasses and a mashed banana (or three) folded through before eating.

Back in the last millennium I used to make my own muesli, based on rolled barley, rolled spelt, rolled triticale and thick-rolled oats, with liberal quantities of flaked or slivered raw nuts and seeds. This recipe became the basis for a commercial muesli which Choice chose to condemn as unhealthy because all those nuts and seeds had – shock, horror – fat in them, making my muesli, according to Choice, less healthy than one of those commercial breakfast cereals processed so severely that few nutrients were left, and indeed, rats fed on the cardboard box famously fared better than those fed on this Choice-recommended cereal.

Not that I am still bitter or anything, and not that this had anything to do with me ending up with nothing to show for the prime of my working life when the business underwent a forced sale…

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Which cereal was that? Whose rats were they and how would we know if they did better or worse?

We’ve found the best judge of ripeness to be the local flying foxes, and more recently the rat which has taken a liking to our corn crop. Sampling the very tops of each cob just as it is about to reach peak perfection. Has put an end to my dreams of making corn flour from the large wind driven mill on the hill. No hope of pancakes with Aussie native bee Manuka honey. Few hopes for even a flattened baked flake to serve with fresh Riberries (a super food) and the best milk in town. Borrowed quietly in the wee small hours from the neighbour’s Nubian goats. I’m hopeful they might get some sheep one day, so we could borrow some of their lamb for Sunday roasts.

Do you think you could offer some advice on the best local stone to use for the mill? The current set shed too much grit. Good for the budgie but not so great according to the dentist for my teeth. Thankfully our health insurance gives a premium discount for our healthy life style. Eases the burden of only getting back around half the cost of renewing each crown. /:blush::joy:

Fortunately we have a good local supply of free range eggs, and local butchers home cured bacon. No advertising required to know where to go for the best of the best.


If I’ve learned anything in my decades of life so far, it’s that nutrition advice should be taken with a grain of salt (as long as that doesn’t add up to more than grams of sodium per day, of course).

IMHO, the long period of demonisation of fats has a lot to answer for.

It was probably a major contributor to the ‘obesity epidemic’ and increasing levels of tooth decay in children, because the side-effect of removing fat from commercial food preparations was to load these products with sugar to keep them palatable to the masses.

On current evidence, nuts and seeds are really ‘healthy’, and one can eat a fair amount of them daily without increasing one’s waistline.

Interesting, isn’t it, how the focus is on weight gain or loss rather than on general health … ? :thinking:

Another persistent idea is that ‘overweight’ (defined by BMI, not by amount and location of fat deposits) automatically equates to ‘unhealthy’, even though there’s some evidence that older people whose BMIs would put them in the ‘overweight or obese’ category live longer and healthier lives than those of ‘normal’ weight.

One large, well-regarded study found that older adults at either end of the BMI spectrum — those with low BMIs (under 22) and those with high BMIs (over 33) — were at greater risk of dying earlier than those with BMIs in the middle range (22 to 32.9).

Older adults with the lowest risk of earlier deaths had BMIs of 27 to 27.9. According to World Health Organization standards, this falls in the “overweight” range (25 to 29.9) and above the “healthy weight” BMI range (18.5 to 24.9). Also, many older adults whom the study found to be at highest mortality risk — those with BMIs under 22 — would be classified as having “healthy weight” by the WHO.

The study’s conclusion: “The WHO healthy weight range may not be suitable for older adults.” Instead, being overweight may be beneficial for older adults, while being notably thin can be problematic, contributing to the potential for frailty.


I never eat breakfast. I do time restricted eating for health and only eat during an 8 hour window.

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If you’re asking those details because you wish to replicate the experiment it would be difficult for anyone here to help you. But you could try looking up the many articles on the web about the experiment done feeding a group of rats the cereal and another group the cardboard it came in and what the results were.

All I want is the name of the boxed cereal that was so terrible.

I always ask the proponent for their reference first otherwise we can be talking past each other about different material.

It would also be good to know that the one recommended by Choice was actually in such an experiment. Oh and to make the connection between fat content and the suspect.

This might be the experiment @gregcarman was thinking of. The cereal mentioned by name here is Corn Flakes.

Disclaimer: I have no idea whether that experiment was actually conducted and with those results.

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Two are mentioned, neither published. I would like to wait and see.

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If I’m not mistaken:
Category: Health and Body.
Topic: Health Star Rating. Review, consultations etc.
Post #33 by @gregcarman : “Choice did a product review on breakfast cereals, and recommended eating Kellogg’s All Bran because it was low in fat and high in fibre (now there’s a surprise).”

Would be interesting to know if that’s the one fed to the rats? I’d doubt it’s only one type as there are many articles about the expirement including that the cardboard was mixed with sugar and water.

BTW All bran is my breakfast (+ Weet Bix) but not by Kellogg’s.

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Wheat bran without any additives contains some sugars (around 4g per 100g), is about 30% Carbohydrate (including the sugars). Most is insoluble fibre so while assessed as carbs it is not energy for the body. Often to make bran more palatable there is added sugar, salt, and to meet some vitamin and mineral needs the products are fortified with added vitamins and minerals. Psyllium husk for comparison has (per 100g) 30g of sugar, 5g of protein, 6g of lipids (oils/fats), 75g of carbs (including dietary fibre and sugars), dietary fibre is about 10g.

So health wise All Bran with it’s roughly 15.7g of sugar per 100g s quite reasonable, as it would/should be eaten as a supplement rather than a complete breakfast (recommended serve is 45g). Weetbix per 100g has roughly 3g of sugar, as part of the total 66g of carb (roughly 4g dietary fibre also as part of this).


The All Bran generic brand from Woolies I’ve switched to:
13.4g/100g Sugars
42.1g/100g Fibre

And, yes, only a small amount, plus 2 Weet-Bix.
Sometimes I just have toast, seldom porridge, very seldom pancakes. It’s about the time it takes to prepare it, I favour one which doesn’t take much time.

I used to have Cornflakes (Kellogg’s) until I heard of the experiment with rats, if I remember rightly they said the cereal was cornflakes. I must say that cornflakes were better tasting than all bran :blush:


As always, I am bludging on the hard work of other members of this Community – many thanks to @Gaby and @isopeda

And as always, I had my tongue somewhat stuck in my cheek when referring to the infamous rat experiment – apart from anything else, I’m pretty sure neither the original nor any of the many replications were ever published in a reputable journal with rigorous peer review.

Not to mention the minor matter of how far you can extrapolate from a suitable diet for rats to one for human beings… :wink:

And I have religious reasons for never eating Weet-Bix, given that they are a business owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the source of billions of tax-free dollars for that Church, why our government allows the profits from this business to be exempt from tax just because it is owned by a church bewilders me.

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I limit the flying foxes to my Snow Apple and various plums, since I net all the other trees.

And the fruit bats have to compete with a considerable number of various varieties of parrot for a share of the un-netted fruit – we breed an aggressive brand of parrot here in the ACT! :wink:

But the Resident Rat does get under the bird netting, although it seems to have a peculiar preference for my red apples (Jonathans).

I have never ground my own flour, although I was tempted to get the stone-grinder attachment for my Champion juicer after sampling the wheatflour it produced for a friend of mine – no noticeable grit to my unreliable memory.

Back when I started Mountain Creek Whole Foods in Canberra with three friends back in the 1980s, we did a roaring trade in Orgasmically Stoned-Growned Flower (although I preferred to make my pancakes from buckwheat flour and duck eggs and macadamia oil and buttermilk, and to use the honey that came from the beehives on my family’s organic macadamia plantation).

We also did a roaring trade selling goat’s milk – I learnt from the dairy farmer that the secret to keeping the milk tasting sweet (and not having that distinctive taint so common in goat’s milk) is to make sure the buck is kept downwind of the does, and ideally at least a kilometre away. Apparently when the girls smell the boy their response ends up as a bad taste in the milk – make of that what you will!

I used to make my own goat’s milk yoghurt from that milk…