Breakfast is the fuel your engine needs to get the day off to a roaring start. Carrying you through to lunchtime, breakfast helps to improve concentration levels, prevents unwanted cravings and helps you avoid overeating at meals or snacks later in the day.
Another plus is that breakfast eaters are more likely to be a healthier weight than breakfast skippers. If your excuse for missing breakfast is lack of time, decide what you’ll eat and get the ingredients ready the night before. You could also consider packing something to take with you.
Making nutritious choices at breakfast can set you up for healthier eating all day long and is not hard to do! To put together a balanced meal, choose one item from at least two or three of the groups below:
Fruit and vegetables
Full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, fruit is great cut up fresh and added to your brekkie, as freshly squeezed juice or even when tinned in natural juices. Avoid having fruit juices or fruit cups with added sugar. Try adding veggies into your breakfast by topping your toast with a small can of baked beans or fresh tomato and avocado, or some sautéed mushrooms and spinach.
Wholegrain and wholemeal breads and cereals are great carbohydrate foods to keep the tummy rumbles away. They have lots of fibre, B vitamins, iron and folate. A breakfast made up of oats, barley, and/or wholegrains can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Some Aussie favourites include bran and fruit flake cereals, porridge, muesli, English muffins and toast. If you will only eat white bread, always choose brands that are boosted with extra fibre.
Dairy foods are high in protein and calcium. They are great for our bones and can help keep us feeling full. It is best to choose skim or reduced fat dairy products to help keep our hearts healthy. Dairy sources include milk, yoghurt and ricotta or cottage cheeses. If you cannot have cow’s milk, there are several alternatives available, just make sure they are fortified with calcium.
Some breakfast foods high in protein include eggs, baked beans, and lean meats like poultry and fish. Nuts and seeds are also a great way to add some crunch, protein and good fats into your brekkie.
Breakfast recipe inspiration
If you need some breakfast recipe inspiration that breaks away from the more traditional breakfast fare, here are a couple of tasty options:
- Fresh fruit topped with low-fat yoghurt and crispy wholegrain cereal
- An omelette made with eggs, tomato, mushrooms, baby spinach and reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- Baked beans or scrambled eggs, with mixed veggies and a sprinkle of low-fat shredded cheese wrapped in a tortilla
- A fruit and vegetable smoothie with low-fat yoghurt
- Smashed avocado and an egg on wholegrain toast
Breakfast is a simple way to help make a difference to your overall wellbeing, and your ability to function well throughout the day.
Interested in a health coach?
The COACH Program® is a confidential free health coaching service delivered over the phone by nib’s Accredited Practicing Dietitians to help those at risk of, or with, Coronary Heart Disease. Based on a self-management model, it’s all about helping you to take better care of yourself. Please phone 1800 339 219 or email [email protected] for more information.