It's 6:30 in the morning. A mother rises early to prepare a tasty and nourishing breakfast for her family. They all especially love pancakes — not the frozen kind you pop into the microwave — but homemade from fresh whole grain batter and real blueberries. She does pop a plate full of turkey bacon into the microwave. Flipping pancakes on one side of the griddle, she starts cooking eggs on the other. Dad likes his eggs over light, and Junior likes his sunny side up. Baby Girl wants hers scrambled with cheese.
Mom hums to herself as she happily sets the table with the special breakfast she has lovingly prepared for her family, including real maple syrup, even though it costs three times more than the manmade corn syrup stuff. She knows they each have a hectic day facing them, and they will need a good supply of healthy proteins and carbs for energy and endurance.
Dad is first to arrive in the kitchen. "Wow, Honey, everything smells great!”
He reaches over to gulp down a few sips of hot coffee. "Sorry, Hon, I don't have time for breakfast. There is a special board meeting today, and I have to get there early to go over some things beforehand." With a hasty peck on her cheek, he is out the door. A moment later Junior comes bounding into the kitchen, plucks a piece of bacon from the platter in the middle of the table, and heads for the back door to retrieve his muddy cleats. "Hey," Mom yells after him: "What about breakfast?"
Junior turns quickly toward his mom: "Don't have time. The coach called for a special practice before school this morning… See ya later!”
Mom stares at the plate of sunny-side eggs and sighs. They are perfect: thoroughly cooked, but not dried up, just like he likes them. The silence is broken by Baby Girl as she rushes into the kitchen past her mom to grab her book bag from the countertop and head for the back door. "Wait a minute!" Mom yells.
"I can't," she hurries as she slings her bag over her shoulder. "I'm already late." And with that, she too heads out to face the day without even a bite of food.
Mom stands in the middle of her kitchen, not sure if she is mad or sad. She had risen early and made great preparation for breakfast for her family. She knows that without a proper morning meal, they would not be at their best. By midmorning, Dad would feel sluggish and experiencing brain fog. Without proteins to nourish his muscles, Junior would run out of energy and may even have muscle cramps. Baby Girl was at a point when her body was changing rapidly, and she needed the proper balance of nutrients to fuel her growth and to help her concentrate on her schoolwork. And Mom knew that the reason she was running late was she had probably changed her outfit ten times before she could decide what to wear. Outward appearance was more important than inner nourishment.
Dad would probably grab a donut from the employees’ lunchroom, and the quick sugar spike it would give him would help for about a half an hour or so, until it dropped, and then he would feel even more on edge. Junior would head for class feeling wiped out, and halfway through the first period, would be falling asleep. Baby Girl would struggle with her math test as her concentration failed, and in her frustration, would fight back teenage tears.
The thing is, this was not a once-in-a-while occurrence, but more and more her family skipped breakfast, running out the door, nutritionally unprepared to take on the challenges of a busy, hectic, physically and mentally taxing day. She knew that taking 30 minutes to sit at the table and eat the meal she had wisely and lovingly prepared for their well-being would make all the difference in what kind of day they would have. And she also knew that as they continued to neglect this vital morning meal, their reserve of energy and immunity against disease was being depleted.
Yet it seemed that no matter how much she sought to cater to their individual likes to entice them to the breakfast table, they just rushed by her to plunge into their day without the morning manna they so badly needed.
“Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them; whether they will walk in my law or not….in the morning you shall be filled with bread, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God” (Exodus 4,13