Nine square meals a day?

I remember the oft quoted maxim of “little and often” being quoted as the way we should eat, rather than having three large meals a day.  I also remember someone saying that we should eat more for breakfast than, say, for dinner (breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dine like a pauper).

So, is it healthier to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and thus give the system a more regulated input – or is it better to deluge with a full meal.  The regularity of a metronome, or the violent cacophony of overabundance?  Let us assume that the former is a better way to go through life.

If we are to eat more frequently then we need some extra names for the meals – just having breakfast, lunch, and dinner is simply not enough.  But if we don’t name the meal times then aren’t we simply snacking between meals, a practice to be abhorred and eliminated?

In that case, here are my suggestions for mealtimes.  They’re mostly from current and historic practices, but I have also borrowed a couple of ideas from the cruise industry.

  • 0700: early-riser breakfast
  • 0900: late breakfast
  • 1100: elevenses
  • 1300: lunch
  • 1500: afternoon tea
  • 1700: high tea
  • 1900: dinner
  • 2200: bedtime drink (cocoa, hot chocolate … and something to eat)
  • 0000: midnight snack

Should I be a little worried that there are seven hours in this day without any food at all?  Perhaps a plate of sandwiches by the bed in case we wake with a raging hunger (although I feel that’s probably unlikely on this regime).

Sadly, I think that the portions for each meal in this timetable would be dismally reduced – but on the other hand, maybe “nouvelle cuisine” has now found its niche?