Having breakfast at your desk is a habit to be celebrated, according to Desfast Day celebrated on April 12 every year. Whether it is a sandwich, a breakfast smoothie, or cereal, the first meal of the day becomes your body’s very first source of nourishment after waking up — no, plain old coffee doesn’t count! And, in the age of the modern worker, eating at your desk is a very common sight in offices around the world. Deskfast Day, which, if you didn’t realize it yet, is a combination of ‘desk’ and ‘breakfast,’ — is the perfect event to celebrate this modern trend.
History of Deskfast Day
People have been chowing down on a meal in the morning time since times immemorial. And we’re not just saying that — there’s evidence that backs us up. Multiple ancient cultures tell tales of early meals taken as the sun was rising. Roman soldiers would partake in a porridge they called ‘pulmentus’. Ancient Egyptian peasants would eat a meal of soup, bread, onions, etc. before they left for work in the mornings. And Greeks would frequently have a meal called ‘Ariston’ right after sunrise — a fact that appears in multiple bodies of Greek literature like the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.”
The situation was a little different during the Middle Ages, especially in Europe and other Western countries. The concept of eating a meal after waking was not popular and was laughed at. There was a two-meal system in place — one at midday and the other in the evenings. This would soon vary according to the period and region, but the early meals were still not common. Breakfast was only for the sick, the elderly, the very young, and the poor working class.
Eventually, by the 15th century, eating an early meal gained favor among all classes of people. Europeans would even eat meat at this time, and nobles would indulge themselves in lavish, long meals. The 16th-century household included breakfast in their expenses, and drinks like tea and coffee also became customary side beverages alongside breakfast. Claims that breakfast was the most important meal of the day rose during this period, and various politicians and leaders would also publicly state their preference for eating a healthy and large breakfast.
Then came the Industrial Revolution and it completely changed how the world saw breakfasts. The 9 to 5 workday gained prominence, and so did the way people ate their morning meals. Workers would get to work early, do their jobs for a while, then eat a meal at around 10 a.m., given by their wives or served by kitchen staff. Breakfast was now more common not only in European countries but in nations around the world.
The eventual backlash against the lavish 19th-century breakfast led to decades of experimentation and innovation, which brought us breakfast cereals, muesli, and other breakfast items that are still popular today. As the range of breakfast foods got more varied, the time people took to enjoy this early meal got shorter and shorter. This is how we got the ‘eating breakfast at your desk’ trend.
This trend has often been blamed on the 2007 — 2008 financial crisis. The shifting economic landscape saw people come into the office earlier and earlier, which reduced their time for eating breakfast. As they couldn’t eat at home, multiple workers would have a wrap, bagel, fruit, yogurt, e.t.c. as they logged onto their computers and began working. And thus, the ‘deskfast’ was born.
Deskfast Day timeline
Wheat and barley start getting cultivated in the Middle East.
James Caleb Jackson invents the first dry, whole grain breakfast cereal called 'granula,' which is not very popular because people are forced to soak these grains overnight to consume them.
McDonald's adds a breakfast menu, of which the Egg McMuffin is the star, being sold at only 63 cents and contributing to a huge rise in the company's popularity.
The regional manager of 'The Office's ragtag bunch of employees shows just how easy it is to eat at work — he is shown eating a salad, pizzas, ice cream sandwiches, and, in one memorable episode, an entire chicken pot pie.
Deskfast Day FAQs
What can I eat for breakfast at work?
Easy to eat — and hold — dishes are the best choice when eating a meal at your desk. These could include sandwiches, bagels, baked foods like muffins or scones, and fruits.
What's a healthy breakfast?
Nutritionists include cooked oatmeal, whole-wheat bread sandwiches, boiled eggs, whole fruits, and even yogurt as healthy breakfast options.
Is it okay to eat breakfast at 9 a.m.?
Most nutritionists recommend people eat a meal within an hour of waking up, to properly get nourishment and fuel. For many people, this includes the time between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Deskfast Day Activities
Enjoy breakfast at your desk
If you're working a desk job in an office, consider taking your breakfast to work with you. Grab a banana, make yourself a little breakfast smoothie, or get a yogurt cup. Whatever your preference, make sure to enjoy your breakfast at your desk on this day.
Get your co-workers involved
Why eat alone when you can ask your co-workers to join you in a little breakfast celebration? This can even be a fun group hang before the workday begins, to get you in the right mood for work.
Have a ‘deskfast’ potluck
Instead of getting breakfast only for you, consider feeding multiple people. Ask your breakfast troop to bring a dish of their choice, and add your own contribution to the mix.
5 Breakfast Facts That Will Blow Your Mind
Dinner means breakfast
The word 'dinner' is derived from the Latin ‘disjejunare,’ which means 'break the fast' — probably why breakfast was once called 'dinner' — until the mid-13th century.
Michigan is the World’s Cereal Capital
Kellogg's was first invented here and a few years later, Charles W. Post created the concentrated cereal, Grape-nuts here.
Traditional Russian breakfasts were luxurious
Traditionally, most Russian breakfast foods like 'blini' or 'oladyi pancakes' included red or black caviar as an ingredient.
Britain coined the term 'continental breakfast'
Nineteenth-century Britons called all countries of mainland Europe 'the continent' and their regional breakfasts 'continental breakfasts'.
The word 'breakfast'
The later years of the Middle Ages were probably responsible for the term 'breakfast,' which meant to “break the night's fast.”
Why We Love Deskfast Day
A great way to start the day
You can catch up with co-workers and teammates before your day has begun. Deskfast works as a great bonding tool, bringing you and your co-workers closer together than ever before.
You won't skip meals
Your body is getting the replenishment it needs, even if it is while sitting at your desk. At least you're not avoiding eating breakfast altogether, which is a win in our books.
It's the best of both worlds
Eating breakfast at the office helps you cover the most important meal of the day and give yourself a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning. Truly the best of both worlds!
Deskfast Day dates