Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day…
Breakfast is literally breaking the fast. After a nights sleep our body is running on empty and we need to supply the body with fuel. You wouldn’t expect a car to run without petrol so why expect your body to run on empty? Including breakfast will help your energy levels and concentration and I am a firm believer that if you start the day well you are more likely to make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
There is lots of research to support the concept that eating a regular healthy breakfast results in improved behaviour and performance in school. There is also research that shows that eating breakfast helps maintain a healthy weight. Common reasons given for skipping breakfast include lack of time, poor meal planning and a mistaken perception that skipping breakfast will result in weight loss. However, breakfast skippers tend to snack more and overcompensate for the lost calories at breakfast by eating energy dense high fat or sugary foods later in the day, especially at suppertime.
But did you know that breakfast can influence your overall nutrient intake too? We know that breakfast eaters have significantly higher intakes of calcium and folate, and significantly lower intakes of total fat than breakfast skippers. And that those who pick healthy breakfast cereals are more likely to eat more fibre, calcium, iron and have significantly higher intakes of folate.
Similarly, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study in adolescents and adults revealed that breakfast skipping is a health compromising behaviour and those who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight that breakfast eaters. Adolescent girls were found to skip breakfast more than boys and it appears that kids really do learn by example; children of breakfast skipping parents were much more likely to skip breakfast than children of breakfast eaters.
When choosing a healthy breakfast from your family focus on balance. Base it around a fibre rich carbohydrate, add some protein and always make sure there is colourful fruit or vegetable!
Examples of healthy breakfasts:
1. Porridge with Berries and Glenisk Natural Yogurt.
2. Whole-grain toast topped with blueberries, and peanut butter.
3. Whole-meal pancakes with berries and yogurt.
4. High fibre cereal topped with fruit and milk
5. Brown toast topped with scrambled eggs and spinach.
6. A vegetable omelette with brown toast, and a glass of milk.
7. Poached egg with avocado and tomato on slice of sourdough with glass of milk.
8. A Glenisk Yogurt layered with fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries sprinkled with almonds and/or seeds like chia, linseed or pumpkin.
9. A breakfast smoothie, containing yogurt, fruit, spinach and seeds.
10. Overnight oats made with berries, greek yogurt and berries.
Many years of breakfast skipping can result in lack of appetite in the morning and even some people reporting that they ‘feel sick’ when they try to eat something first thing. The first thing to do is have something small e.g. a glass of homemade smoothie or piece of fruit; this will help increase your appetite. Maybe try having a piece of fruit or a yogurt at home and then a high fibre cereal when you get in to work. Gradually increase the size of your breakfast and your appetite will slowly start to increase in the early morning. Time is never an excuse! It only takes 5 minutes to have breakfast in the morning and we can always get up a little earlier!…