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Blog  BY staff  |  26 January 2021

How to make your breakfast healthier?

Breakfast is often labelled the most important meal of the day, with what you are eating each morning being the fuel you and your family need for the upcoming day. Breakfast can also be one of the hardest meals to make time for, we are always on the go and most of us would prefer some more time sleeping, though making your breakfast healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time consuming, nor does it mean ‘diet’. With trying some new flavours and new recipes these tips will hopefully renew your energy for the day and help improve your mood and health.

Why is breakfast important?

As mentioned, a morning meal provides the fuel your body and brain need for the day. There are also several important reasons why it is so important, including:

  • Helping regulate your hunger.
  • Reduce snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
  • A healthy breakfast can provide essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can only be gained from food.
  • Boosts your energy levels and restores your glycogen levels ready to keep your metabolism up for the day.
  • Positively associated with academic performance for children.
  • Decrease risk of obesity.
  • Research has shown those who eat a healthy breakfast are more active during the earlier part of the day.

What makes a healthy breakfast?

For a breakfast to be healthy it is best to ensure it is a balanced breakfast. This means to try and include whole and unprocessed foods from each of the five food groups, including fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. It is important to remember that the quality of these food groups matter, a bowl of cereal may have grains and fruit, however these may be high in sugar such as dried fruit or simple carbohydrates such as sugar-coated rice puffs. Whilst they may be quick and easy options processed cereals, pastries, and breakfast meats such as bacon and sausage should be limited as they do not provide healthy and long-lasting fuel you need for the day. Instead, when looking for grains try to include complex carbohydrates such as oats which will also provide fibre in your diet or to incorporate a protein from foods try to look for low sugar yoghurts, eggs, nuts or seeds and legumes.

So what are some ways to make breakfast healthier?

  • 1.Learn and try different complex carbs in both sweeter and savoury dishes.
  • 2.Swap out dried fruit for fresh fruit.
  • 3.Watch your breakfast portions.
  • 4.Practice mindfulness (if you can!)
  • 5.Try to add a vegetable or healthy fat to every breakfast.

Many complex carbohydrates are surprisingly versatile and can be used to please the sweet tooth in the family and also those who prefer the spice of life. Wholegrain toast can be transformed in minutes into spicy eggs and avocado on toast or berries, cottage cheese with some walnuts. Other complex carbohydrates include oats, quinoa and beans, though always try them in moderation.

Dried fruit usually found in many cereals, muesli and oat options are packed full of sugar. Using fresh fruit will give you a burst of flavour, nutrients and has more fibre keeping you fuller for longer.

When food tastes good after a long time of not eating, it can be easy to overindulge. To moderate your portions, serve your breakfast on a smaller plate of bowl.

Similar to watching the amount you eat, being mindful of how and what you are eating is also important. At breakfast we tend to scoff food down in the rush and get our days started. Take an extra couple of minutes to sit down, chew properly and take in the moment and you will soon realise how easy you were overeating and always adding to stressful mornings.

Western diets have focused heavily on simple carbohydrates at breakfast for convenience and taste, often leaving vegetables or healthy fats, like avocado, reserved for later in the day. By including these at breakfast you are more likely to reach your required vegetable intake for the day and as an added bonus have so many more recipes to choose from.

Here are some of our favourite quick combinations for breakfast:

  1. Wholemeal toast + homemade pesto + avocado + sliced tomato + egg
  2. Oats + berries + crushed nuts + milk of choice + chia seeds
  3. Wholemeal crepe + Greek yoghurt + sliced fruit + a bit of honey
  4. Wholemeal wrap + egg + tomato + avocado + beans + salsa
  5. Quinoa + cocoa powder + protein powder + milk of choice + mashed banana + crushed nuts
Oats + mushrooms + goats’ cheese + milk of choice + thyme