When I was a child it would never have occurred to my mother to let me go to school ‘breakfastless’, as it were. I don’t think it would have occurred to any mother at the time. Breakfast was a ritual. You had to allow time for it; get up early enough to partake of the traditional café au lait served in a big bol, with tartines beurrées and confiture or miel. Most people only had croissants on holiday, in hotels or pensions de famille, for instance, or on special occasions: they were a luxury (which was just as well since they’re very fatty and not very good for you at all).
I know there are children who go to school in the morning without so much as a glass of water in their tummies. How are they supposed to be alert and able to take in anything they're taught? I can’t think at all when my blood sugar is low (I may have lost a job once, years ago, when I went for an interview several hours after lunch, without realizing I was bound to get hungry halfway through it. Had they asked what my name was at that point I wouldn’t have been able to answer, let alone respond to a grilling from a potential employer). When I am very hungry I stop being compos mentis, and I’m an adult.
Everyone needs nourishment after hours of nocturnal starvation, but because these days children cannot be told what to do and cannot be persuaded to eat or drink anything that is good for them just because it's good for them, and because everything has to be fun fun fun, the clever people at Kellogg’s have come up with another gimmicky breakfast product: Coco Pops Straws. They’re biscuits lined with chocolate, through which you can drink milk. Chocolate-tasting milk and biscuit is yummy and everyone loves it – the Australians have Tim Tams (you break off opposite corners of the biscuit and suck milk through it) – but biscuits are full of sugar and fat, and therefore unhealthy, and cannot be deemed to supply growing children with adequate amounts of vitamins and other nutrients. The advertisements for the product have been called ‘socially irresponsible’ and have been referred to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for being misleading. Kellogg’s answer was that they were trying to encourage children to drink milk. But of course you were!
Irresponsible advertising directed at adults is bad, but irresponsible advertising directed at children is unforgivable. Slap!