Breakfast – how to eat brekkie like a boss!
Many studies have shown enjoying breakfast every day is important for our health.¹ Unfortunately, a recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found one in seven school children are skipping breakfast or going to school hungry.
Here’s why you should enjoy a nutritious brekkie every day.
Helps you maintain a healthy weight
Breakfast is often coined as the ‘most important meal of the day,’ and we’re here to confirm this! When you wake up it could be up to 10 hours since your last meal, so you really are ‘breaking the fast’ from the night before. Research shows that people who eat breakfast more often are less likely to be overweight or obese. While it’s not clear exactly why this is, we know breakfast fills you up, meaning you are less likely to feel hunger pangs throughout day and snack on high energy, high fat foods.
It’s important to eat something nutritious each morning to re-fuel for the day ahead. Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to eat foods which are rich in B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre. We know people who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their recommended dietary intakes for vitamins and minerals compared to those who skip it.
Improves alertness, concentration, mental performance, mood and memory
Skipping breakfast can often leave you feeling ‘fuzzy’ or unable to concentrate; this is because your brain is starving for energy. Your brain needs energy from nutritious foods like grainy bread, breakfast cereals, fruit and milk at breakfast so it can function at its best throughout the day. In fact, eating breakfast has been linked with improved English and maths skills in school children.
For the best start to the day, choose a healthy breakfast which is high in fibre, low Glycaemic Index and includes protein.
Smart eating ideas for brekkie!
- A bowl of whole grain cereal with milk, a dollop of yoghurt and sliced fresh fruit. Try adding a sprinkle of nuts for extra crunch!
- A delicious smoothie made from milk, fresh fruit and yoghurt
- A toasted slice of sourdough with some cheese, baked beans or avocado
- Untoasted muesli or rolled oats
- Poached eggs on whole grain toast with tomato, mushrooms or spinach
Rushed for time in the morning? No need to skip breakfast!
- Keep a supply of healthy whole grain cereals in the house. These are quick, easy and very nutritious.
- Prepare breakfast the night before by setting the table, with bowls and cutlery. This works well for children. You could also prepare bircher muesli the night before.
- If you eat breakfast at work, be prepared with some healthy food choices. For example, store some yoghurt and cheese in the fridge. Keep a loaf of whole grain bread, some nuts, fruit and tins of baked beans on hand.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can help you with individual breakfast ideas and tips to incorporate breakfast regularly into your lifestyle.
¹ O’Neil, Carol E. et al. The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2014;Volume 114 , Issue 12 , S8 – S26