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Debate: Breakfast Is Not Hard or Expensive

Is Providing Your Children Breakfast Easy and Cheap?

This recent letter to the editor in a New Zealand newspaper is causing a big debate with the readers on  stating that children’s breakfast is neither hard nor expensive. A wonderful parent and blog follower, Rose-Leah, who lives in Australia sent me this letter on the blog’s Facebook page. For those who don’t use Facebook, I have put the letter here in quotes below and the original article from Facebook underneath. I believe it is a important topic and I wanted to get your feedback from around the globe. 

 Breakfast Not Hard Or Expensive. There is a myth that children go to school hungry because of childhood poverty. I grew up poor sole-parent family living on the domestic purposes benefit. My four siblings and I had Weet-Bix and fruit every morning of our schooling life. This was prepared by Mum when we were young and then ourselves from age of 10 onwards. We had sandwiches for lunch, and meat and three vegetables every dinner. It has not done us harm because Mum turned out an All Black, two farmers a marketing manager and a dental nurse. Has giving your children breakfast somehow become insurmountably harder? I costed three healthy breakfasts: two free range scrambled eggs on lightly buttered mixed grain toast with salt and pepper cost $1.39 and took five minutes to prepare; quick-cook porridge with a banana and a sprinkling of brown sugar cost 94c and four minutes’ time. And three Weet-Bix and milk with a sprinkling of sugar cost 55c and took two minutes. Some parents need help. My mother had financial assistance from the state and our local church for strength. But do we really want to accept that 55c  and two minutes’ time is too high a threshold to expect for parents’ dedication to their children? Eugene Rush, Mt. Wellington New Zealand
(Note that 55c in New Zealand Dollar (NZD) = 45 cents American Dollar = 35 cents Euro)

Original Published Article:



Is Two Minutes of Time and 55 Cents Too High a Threshold For a Parent?

When you read this letter to the editor, no one can argue that 2 minutes and 55 cents is too high to ask for any ‘loving’ parents. But there must be more to this story. Why are so many children in rich countries going to school hungry and skipping breakfast?

As examples, in the United Kingdom, one out of seven children go to school hungry, in America, 11 million low-income children eat a school provided breakfast, in Europe, countries like Spain are in the midst of a severe hunger crisis and in New Zealand where this article was published, 11% of children in households with at least one adult in full time work are in income poverty.

The author of this letter grew up in a poor household with a single parent and four siblings. Why was this mother able to provide basic means to her kids and make it sound so ‘easy’ at the same time?

A controversial debate: breakfast is not hard or expensive

This article has drummed up a long series of comments on Facebook on whether a parent is ‘not a good enough parent’ if they cannot reach a minimum threshold to provide a nutrition rich and cheap breakfast for their school-aged children.

This is where you can provide some insight. There must be more to this story because if it was so ‘simple’ to provide basic non-expensive food for our children then more parents would do it. Most parents love their children and want to provide the best for them.

So what do you think?

Your suggestions, tips and comments?

Here is where I know you have some great suggestions, tips and comments on providing nutritionally rich cheaper costs foods for a family. I imagine that you also have some ideas on how to get children to eat a breakfast when the morning schedule can be rushed or kids don’t have an appetite first thing in the morning.

Please share your feedback with us and your thoughts on this article. You can do it below or direct on the BrightonYourHealth Facebook Page.



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I also appreciate when you share this article with anyone that you know could benefit. Merci and thanks in advance!



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5 Responses to Debate: Breakfast Is Not Hard or Expensive

  1. Bala September 26, 2014 at 18:29 #


    I think to follow one’s hunger and satiety signals is important to understand the body’s physiological demands and then make necessary adjustments to improve quality of life, a process that is different for different people.
    But having said that, generally speaking, the benefits of breakfast for both children and adults is reviewed in this article published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics, entitled, “Breakfast: a multidisciplinary approach” by
    Affinita, Antonio et al., 2013.
    This review is particularly interesting not only for its inclusion of quantitative studies but especially so for the multidisciplinary approach it follows, for instance to include the history of a word like “colazione” .

  2. Lety September 24, 2014 at 16:47 #

    Morning starts with breakfast for my children.
    They are happy during breakfast and they do love eating their breakfast. Milk and some biscuits for my son (22 months) and milk with fruits, or with a “petit croissant” for my daughter (4 and 1/2 years old).
    But…I improved my quality of life since when I stopped of having breakfast. Because in this way I’m not hungry in the middle of morning and (it sounds strange, I know) I eat less and better at lunch time. In May I attended a meeting focused on various topics related to nutrition and there was a talk right focused on breakfast. The speaker stressed how a great number of people need having breakfast, but another great number don’t. Of course, children must be included in the first group. Their body has to grow up, hence they cannot have nutritional reduction!

    • mbrighton September 25, 2014 at 15:06 #

      SO interesting Le*! Kids need breakfast, but some people are just not hungry in the morning. If your body is saying “no” we better listen! Ciao e grazie for your input!

  3. Bala September 15, 2014 at 15:15 #

    Hi , Mary,

    As a parent-to-be, I don’t have direct experience in the topic of your post, but, I draw a parallel to the central question at debate: why is a simple and inexpensive breakfast not adhered to by all? Using adults as an example, it seems that most people who skip breakfast, do so because they don’t have the time more so than not wanting breakfast itself or not liking themselves enough to have breakfast. I think the minute they realize, and experience, the importance of having breakfast on their energy levels and general health; and, the fact that there are simple, inexpensive, healthy options, they likely start to have breakfast. To believe in the importance of breakfast and the ease of its preparation, I think, is a matter of awareness and education which when present, I guess, will increase the number of people (including parents and their children) to consider eating breakfast. To this end, it helps to have nutritionists and food enthusiasts like you, and blogs like the one you write to increase awareness and discussion.

    Oats and milk with an optional supplement of fruits; or, as the picture in your post indicates, yogurt with an optional supplement of granola and fruit, I think, are examples of simple, quick breakfasts.

    • mbrighton September 16, 2014 at 10:02 #

      Bala, As usual—you give insights! You will be a great parent—very happy for your upcoming miracle.Please share with me the big news when it happens. All the best and have a nice day over there. Warmly, Mary

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