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Healthy Breakfast Tips

Follow these healthy breakfast tips to ensure you are getting the most from your morning meal.

Incorporate wholegrain foodsOats are a wholegrain food

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 visits our sister campaign

Combine carbohydrates with protein

Combining a protein with a carbohydrate based food such as bread, oats or cereal provides invaluable nutrients for the day ahead. Protein sources include milk, eggs, yogurt, nuts and lean meat such as bacon and fish such as kippers or salmon.

Start your '5-a-day'

Breakfast is the ideal time to get started with your recommended '5-a-day' of fruit and vegetables. A glass of fruit juice or a banana, berries or chopped apple with your cereal or porridge is a good way to include some fruit. For a healthy dose of vegetables, try baked beans, tinned or fresh tomatoes or mushrooms on 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 include a drink with your breakfast. Dehydration can result in headaches, tiredness and feeling grumpy. People often mistake dehydration for hunger so you may find yourself overeating if you aren't drinking enough. 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, as many people do, then you can take your breakfast with you and eat it on-the-go or when you get to work. As long as you eat it within the first couple of hours of your day, you will still be getting the benefits of breakfast.

For further advice about healthy eating visit the British Nutrition Foundation website

Feeding your family

It's important to instil healthy breakfast habits with 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 provides nutrients which are less likely to be made up later in the day.

Healthy breakfast tips for 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 labels to select breakfast cereals that contain less salt and sugar.
  • Add fresh of dried fruit to cereal to add 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 whether your child's school runs a breakfast club. If you really struggle for time in the morning, you could send them to breakfast club which provides a great time for social interaction with other pupils and staff.