Rekindling childhood food loves

I recently clicked on a link to an Epicurious article where Emily Johnson posted about her love of cinnamon toast, a childhood favorite that she had recently rediscovered. Johnson doesn’t even call the toast a “guilty pleasure”, instead unabashedly embracing her choice of breakfast breads notwithstanding the fact the substance is a nutritionist’s nightmare.

It can be an act of bravery for a food lover to admit to enjoying a food that others disdain, or for a healthy eater to profess their love of a nutritionally-lacking food. But as Johnson aptly observes, we don’t get unlimited trips around the sun so we should eat the things that give us joy. This doesn’t mean we should throw out all of our healthy habits, but instead that we shouldn’t feel “guilty” about enjoying foods that give us pleasure.

As someone who was recently relegated to a world without gluten, I am becoming reacquainted with breakfast cereals as a replacement for my morning toast. Yes, most of them have a lot of sugar, but gosh darn it they are tasty. I was surprised to see so many gluten free options: Honey Nut Cheerios, many types of Chex cereal, and the one that made my heart happy: Lucky Charms.

I remember eating Lucky Charms as a kid, carefully creating the optimal proportion of crunchy marshmallow (an oxymoron I never considered until recently) to oat-y charms in each spoonful. I always saved a few marshmallows for the end, like a dessert. For decades I hadn’t eaten Lucky Charms, relegating them to a fond memory of my past. But why keep them as a distant memory when I can enjoy them now? Just like Emily Johnson owns her cinnamon toast, I am not ashamed by my morning breakfast choice. I will make one departure from the mornings of my youth: I can now enjoy the cereal with a cup of coffee.

Photo of Lucky Charms marshmallow squares from Serious Eats by Alexandra Penfold

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  • MarciK  on  October 31, 2019

    About once a week I buy a scone filled with big chocolate chunks. Even a nutritionist tried to make me feel guilty about my morning Raisin Bran cereal because of the sugar in it. I’m not feeling guilty about eating bran, no matter how much sugar it has.

  • averythingcooks  on  November 2, 2019

    My mother would never buy the classic sugary cereals when I was a kid EXCEPT for the 1 box of Captain Crunch that appeared under the Christmas tree every year – lovingly wrapped and delivered by Santa and oh so carefully portioned out (hoarded??) by me.

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