Cold cereal can’t replace hot breakfast

By Karl Terry: PNT columnist

When did cereal get a complete aisle to itself at the grocery store?

The selection boggles the mind and can completely derail a trip to the supermarket if you’re a parent with young kids.

Not having kids of my own, I get to stand in the aisle and stifle a chuckle as kids immediately start working mom for the latest cereal offering. Usually that means it’s the one with the most sugar and artificial coloring, often with images of a popular cartoon character. I’ve noticed two kids working together can put cereal in a basket faster than a young mom can put it back while stomping her foot and threatening “time out.”

I also get a kick out of watching adults sneak kid cereal into their cart. Yeah, a whole generation has now grown up on that sugary stuff.

I eat dry cereal with milk several mornings a week these days, but growing up I hardly ever touched the stuff. We always had a hot breakfast and most breakfast cereal tasted like cardboard to me.

We didn’t have cereal in the house much until I got older but both sets of grandparents did. One grandmother mostly went in for Shredded Wheat (before it was bite size) or Grape Nuts. Not too kid friendly.

The other grandmother bought Cap’n Crunch and Lucky Charms and would even buy the individual boxes, making it even better. It was about the only place I ever ate cereal growing up.

My wife has always eaten cereal, sometimes even for breakfast with milk on it. Mostly she likes to snack on it right out of the box. If it’s chocolate or sweet it’s even better for her.

I didn’t start to partake regularly until I was in my 40s out of health concerns. My favorite is the cereal with honey-sweetened oat clusters and flakes. I pretty much only eat it in a bowl with milk on top. One of our dogs begins his day by finishing the milk from my cereal bowl, something he started more than a decade ago when he was just a pup.

My biggest problem is my wife also likes this cereal and will often decimate a box during an afternoon binge of snacking straight from the box. I decided the best way to handle the problem was to buy a similar cereal that has raisins in it. She detests raisins, saying they look like dead flies. She has no problem eating grapes, however.

I figured I had the solution until the morning I poured myself a bowl of raisins out of the box. She had carefully picked out all the “dead flies” and put them back in the box.

Oh well, I never really warmed up to cold cereal that well anyway.

Eggs and bacon have always been more my style. At least no one will be snacking on those two items straight out of the carton or bag.