Starting your day with a good breakfast is one of the best health decisions you can make. Breakfast literally means 'breaking your overnight fast'. Remember it could be at least 10 hours since your last meal, so it is important to re-fuel your body ready for another day.
Enjoying breakfast can help lift your mood and has been shown to help with improving concentration levels, behaviour and learning abilities in school children. 1,2
Breakfast and weight control
Although many people skip breakfast in an effort to reduce their food intake and lose weight, research shows that enjoying a high fibre breakfast, may lead to eating less food later in the day.3 This is probably because, high fibre meals can be quite filling so you are less likely to snack on high fat and sugary foods mid-morning. In fact, eating breakfast is strongly associated with successful, well-maintained weight loss maintenance. 4
What makes a good breakfast?
It is important to make the most of your breakfast meal by including highly nutritious foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fruits, low-fat dairy or fortified soy products and nuts and seeds. Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt (such as takeaway options) as these will simply take up the space (and provide more calories!) of more nutritious foods. People who skip breakfast also generally find it difficult to achieve their daily nutrient requirements, so best to start packing in those nutrients early!
Tasty, nutritious breakfast ideas:
Make it quick!
One of the most common reasons why people say they skip breakfast is that they believe they "don't have enough time" in the morning. Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas:
- Whole grain cereal such as Sanitarium Weet-Bix® topped with fresh or canned fruit and Sanitarium So Good® or dairy milk;
- Peanut butter on wholegrain toast or crispbread with a small glass of juice;
- Low-fat yoghurt sprinkled with natural muesli;
- A chilled liquid breakfast like Sanitarium Up&Go®;
- A piece of fruit and a glass of milk (preferably low fat).
For those with a bit more time in the morning......
- Fruit smoothie with some of your favourite fruits such as banana or berries;
- Baked beans on wholegrain toast;
- Toasted wholegrain English muffin topped with warmed canned cream corn or ricotta cheese and sliced tomato;
- Porridge topped with sliced banana and a little honey.
- Simeon DT & Grantham-McGregor S. Effects of missing breakfast on the cognitive functions of school children of differing nutritional status. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;49(4):646-53.
- Wesnes K, Pincock C etal. Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren. Appetite 2003;41:329-331.
- Levine AS, Tallman JR etal. Effect of breakfast cereals on short-term food intake. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;50(6):1303-07.
- Wyatt HR, Grunwald GK etal. Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the National Weight Control Registry. Obes Res 2002;10(2):78-82.