China / Society

Chinese mom goes extra mile for daughter's breakfasts

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-01 13:30

BEIJING - For many people, breakfast is a simple meal to be grabbed in a rush before heading out to work. Not so for Xiao Lina.

The Beijinger has made a different breakfast for her daughter, Yaoyao, every day for more than a year.

Yaoyao may be 16 and Xiao may work a nine-five office job, but that hasn't stopped the mother and daughter passing 400 days with the exacting morning arrangement. Xiao is planning to keep it up for another three years, until Yaoyao goes to university.

On the menu are not only traditional Chinese items like dumpling, porridge and soy milk, but also Western fare such as croissant, pizza and coffee.

"In the beginning, I wasn't sure how long I could keep making different breakfasts, but it gradually turned into a habit," Xiao says.

She does it largely out of health concerns, to prepare growing teenager Yaoyao for another tough day straining for good test results at school.

"Repetitive meals are boring; diversity can make kids happy and give them a good start to the day," says Xiao, who has tried making food in funny, auspicious shapes.

Yaoyao recalls one of the many special breakfasts: "My mom made mushrooms and eggs in the shape of a '100' on the day I had a test. It made me feel a lot more relaxed about the exam, and I did end up getting 100 scores."

Xiao turns to friends and the Internet, as well as her own recipe books, for ideas. She keeps a detailed record to avoid repetition.

Every morning, Xiao wakes up at 5 a.m. and spends an hour working on breakfast. Sometimes, she stays up until 1 or 2 a.m. to prepare.

Xiao thinks the kitchen toil is worth it.

"My time with Yaoyao is limited," she says. "When she grows up, she'll go off to college and won't be living with us. So I really cherish the time I can spend with her now. Making breakfast is a good way to stay close to her."

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