breakfast

HEALTHY BREAKFAST TIPS

 

 

Breakfast has earned its reputation as the most important meal of the day. It’s a chance to start your morning off on the right foot—and research shows breakfast eaters are more likely to get key nutrients in their diets and to lose weight and keep it off. But if you’re not careful, what you think is a healthy breakfast could be a sugar bomb and leave you hungry soon after you eat.

So how do we ensure that we don’t skip a healthy breakfast in the morning? I have some easy breakfast hacks to share with you to get your days off to the right start. So how do you eat a healthy breakfast? The following are tips to help make your first meal of the day both healthy and enjoyable.

 

  1. Be prepared –If you just reach for the first thing in the fridge or cupboard during the morning breakfast rush, you’ll probably grab something quick but not particularly healthy most of the time. If you plan your breakfast ingredients ahead of time though (say the evening before), you can be sure of eating healthy as well as fast.

  1. Incorporate wholegrain foods – Wholegrain foods include whole meal bread, oats and wholegrain cereals. Wholegrain foods can help 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Eat healthy foods –Avoid breakfast cereals that are high in sugar and instead choose healthy breakfast options such as muesli, oatmeal, yoghurt, low-fat milk, fresh fruit and whole grain breads.
  1. Suck down a smoothie – Smoothies are a good way to get your breakfast nutrition in a great-tasting shake, especially when you don’t have a lot of time in the morning. Just throw some ice, fruit and juice or low-fat yoghurt into the blender and away you go.

  1. Prepare your own coffee –Many people grab a coffee on their way to work, but some of those fancy brews contain a lot of unwanted calories. If you’re a coffee drinker, make your own in the morning and preferably make it black with no sugar, as one cup of black coffee contains no fat and almost no calories.

  1. Crack an egg –The jury’s still out on whether eggs are very good or bad for us, but in the meantime they’re a quick and easy occasional breakfast solution. They’re an instant source of high quality protein and, while the yokes are higher in cholesterol than the whites, they also contain necessary nutrients such as zinc, iron, Vitamins A, B and D, lutein and choline.  

  1. Make it an occasion – Family members are more likely to skip breakfast if it’s not part of the normal routine. If you can get everyone to sit down at the table for breakfast just as they would for dinner, then you have a better chance of ensuring they eat breakfast and that it’s reasonably healthy as well.

  1. Substitute the cereal –For a different way to get your breakfast fibre, substitute the bowl of cereal for a bowl of brown rice instead. Cooked the night before and with some added honey, raisins, apple and cinnamon, it’ll give you the fibre you need plus Vitamin B and a whole new breakfast taste sensation.

  1. Substitute the fat –If you’re one of those people who believes in breakfast but has to make it a ‘big breakfast’ (bacon, eggs, sausage etc), check out the vegetarian section at the supermarket. There are a surprising number of meat substitutes available these days (i.e. soy bacon and sausages) that will give you that protein hit without the saturated fats.

  1. Put it in a sandwich –While sandwiches and wraps are not normally regarded as traditional breakfast foods, if time is of the essence rather than going without breakfast try making it portable. Low-fat cheese, lean meat and salad in a sandwich are all good healthy ways to get your nutrient start for the day.

  1. Get up earlier –If you find you don’t eat breakfast because you don’t have time, there’s a simple solution – get up a bit earlier. It doesn’t have to be the crack of dawn either. Just ten or fifteen minutes earlier than normal will give you all the time you need to sit down and enjoy a healthy breakfast. If science were to invent a pill that would help us lose weight, improve our minds, lift our spirits and lower our risk of heart disease, we’d all take it once a day without hesitation.

 

HEALTHY BREAKFAST TIPS FOR CHILDREN

 

 

  • Young children have higher energy requirements and can soon be filled by too much fiber so a mixture of white and whole meal 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.

 

REFERENCES 

  1. Breakfast: The most important meal of the day? International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X17300045.
  2. Does Skipping Breakfast and Being Overweight Influence Academic Achievement Among Korean Adolescents? Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210909916300169.
  3. The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212267214013550.
  4. Effect of skipping breakfast on subsequent energy intake. Physiology and Behavior. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938413001479.

 

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