Breakfast, lunch, and dinner: An idea of the past?

The pandemic has changed almost everything, including how often we eat. The potentially perpetual snacking cycle, unending home cooking, and less money for food—all factors in why the practice of eating three meals a day has been profoundly disrupted for many people. But as Amanda Mull wrote for The Atlantic, there’s no nutritional reason that requires we space our food intake this way. In fact, the idea of “three hots” is tied to the development of the modern workday, in which people labor outside the home and eat convenience foods—like many cereals—that aren’t as hearty as the two meals a day common in agrarian America. Now, with the pandemic obliterating time as we know it (and the separation between home and workplace), Americans may need to divest from the deeply ingrained ritual of noshing morning, noon, and night. As a New York dietitian put it, “We’re really not taught that we can trust our body’s cues. … It can feel so destabilizing to have to think about them for maybe the first time ever.”

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