“Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dine like a Pauper”
It’s a well known phrase, but do you follow it?
During a busy morning, breakfast can fall low on your list of priorities, but taking just a few minutes to have something to eat in the morning can really pay off later in the day. We have lots of breakfast recipes to give you some inspiration, and if you don’t have time to eat at home, we have some breakfast ideas which you can enjoy on-the-go or when you get to work. There really is no excuse to skip breakfast!
Research shows that eating breakfast can make you healthier and happier. Without breakfast, your body is effectively running on empty – like trying to start the car with no petrol! It’s no wonder breakfast skippers can struggle with energy levels, concentration and stress levels.
Top tips for a healthy breakfast
- Incorporate wholegrain foods
Wholegrain foods include wholemeal bread, oats and wholegrain cereals. Wholegrain foods can help keep you feeling fuller for longer and studies have shown they may help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and stroke. For more information about wholegrain foods visit www.wholegraingoodness.com
- Combine carbohydrates with protein
Combining a protein with a carbohydrate based food such as bread, oats or cereal, provides you with invaluable nutrients for the day ahead. Ideal protein sources include milk, yogurt, nuts and lean meat such as bacon and sausages and fish such as kippers or salmon.
- Start your ‘5-a-day’
Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to start on your recommended ‘5-a-day’ of fruit and vegetables. A glass of fruit juice or a banana, berries or chopped apple with cereal or porridge is a good way to include some fruit. For a healthy dose of vegetable, try baked beans, tinned or fresh tomatoes or mushrooms with your toast
- Stay hydrated
As well as going without food overnight, your body has also gone without liquids, so to avoid dehydration it’s important to top up your levels. Dehydration can result in headaches, tiredness and feeling grumpy. People often mistake dehydration for hunger so you may overeat if you aren’t getting enough water. Start your day with a glass of water, fruit juice or herbal tea. Coffee and tea are also fine but are not as hydrating as other drinks due to their caffeine content.
- Build breakfast into your routine
If you struggle to eat first thing, take your breakfast with you and eat it on-the-go or at work. As long as you eat within the first couple of hours of your day you’ll still get the benefits of breakfast.
Feeding your family
It’s important to instil healthy breakfast habits into your children from a young age. For breakfast, children can enjoy bread, cereals, milk and fruit which are all important elements of a healthy balanced diet and provide nutrients which are less likely to be made up later in the day.
Healthy breakfast tips for your children:
- Young children have higher energy requirements and can soon be filled by too much fibre so a mixture of white and wholemeal bread is best.
- Look for breakfast cereals that are fortified with nutrients such as vitamin B, vitamin D and iron if you want to boost children’s intake.
- Check the labels to select breakfast cereals that contain less salt and sugar.
- Add fresh or dried fruit to breakfast cereals to provide sweetness, rather than sugar.
- Add a glass of fruit juice because vitamin C from the juice will help iron absorption from the cereal or bread. Iron is an important nutrient for growth and development and is often in short supply in children’s diets.
- Include foods such as milk and dairy products (e.g. yogurt) as these contain calcium which is important for healthy teeth and bones.
- Always include a drink (e.g. milk, water, fruit juice) to ensure children start the day well hydrated.
- Try smoothies made with fresh or canned fruit, fruit juice and low fat milk and yogurt.
- Provide fresh fruit, cartons of fruit juice or fortified breakfast cereal bars for lunch boxes.
It may also be worth finding out if your children’s school run a breakfast club. If you are really struggling for time in the morning you can send them to a school breakfast club which is a great social time for them to interact with other pupils and teachers too.