Sign of the time: We worden ontbijtfamilies

Opvallende signalering in artikel in Time Magazine afgelopen vrijdag: het ontbijt is voor veel Amerikaanse families hét contactmoment van de dag geworden, wat voorheen het avondeten was.

As parents deal with unpredictable workdays and kids’ after-school activities stretch into the evenings, gathering the clan around the table at dinner has become a more complicated operation to pull off. Yet the studies that suggest family mealtimes are great for everybody’s health and sanity are not ambiguous. Rather than struggle to hold it all together, some parents are just opting to front-load their family time.

Dat zegt veel over hoe gezinnen momenteel hun leven hebben ingericht en waar hun prioriteiten liggen:

With the rise of the gig economy and results-oriented work environments, more and more employees can set their own hours or work locations. But that doesn’t mean they put in fewer hours—they just contend with end-of-day spillovers. Eating together before work, rather than after, can be easier to plan for. […]

 

For many parents, that time crunch leads to an increased reliance on eating out or grabbing takeout, but the Mackinnons took a different approach: “I’m not a good cook and I really don’t like cooking,” she says. “But I can make breakfast.” […]

 

And of course, the looming specter of college means many kids’ days are full of enriching activities, from sports to sessions with a math tutor. “I would say dinner when we have all five of us is once or twice a week, whereas breakfast we can manage four or five times a week,” says Mackinnon. “It’s the meal we most consistently eat together.”

De conclusie van het artikel laat trouwens een ietswat bittere nasmaak achter over deze lifestylechoice:

Dinner is not in any danger of being replaced in the family-ritual pantheon. Nor should it be. But many families are finding that breakfast is a bit like an egg-white omelet; it’s not as good as the original, heartier dish, but it’s better than nothing and probably won’t kill them.