Most of us would agree – mornings are hectic. Getting yourself and possibly others ready for the day ahead may include eating breakfast, making lunch, and getting out of the house on time. Certainly there is very little time to get creative with breakfast, something quick and simple is required but often it is the same breakfast every day because we are low on inspiration.
Scarily, a recent survey found 84% of parents thought they were giving their children a healthy start the day – and this coincides with the news that children's breakfasts contain at least half their daily recommended amount of sugar according to Public Health England. We suspect many adults also consume these same breakfasts….so we are not any better. Not an ideal start to the day.
If breakfast is furthest from your mind because you just don’t feel hungry this is likely to be because your body has become used to going without breakfast. So here’s a challenge – try eating something small every morning for one week e.g. smoothie, and see if you miss it after one week. Breakfast is after all breaking-the-fast. We cannot expect great things if we do not provide ourselves with fuel, and the right fuel.
One of our favourite breakfast suggestions is a smoothie. Three words spring to mind; healthy, quick, and great taste. Smoothies are full of goodness, flavour, and they fuel you to feel energized and ready to face the day. Many ready prepared smoothies are mostly fruit (we really should limit fruit to no more than two fruit pieces per day as they are high in sugar). To supercharge your smoothie and your day ideally the smoothie should include some greens (spinach, kale), complex carbohydrates (oats), and some protein to keep you fuller for longer.
The Go Getter smoothie from Superb has a great nutritional balance – spinach (counting towards your 5-a-day), oats (for sustained energy), chia seeds (for protein), blueberries (for vitamin C) and banana (for potassium and smoothie consistency). What we like about this too is it doesn’t need to be frozen or kept in the fridge - it is happy in the kitchen cupboard/desk drawer for up to 18 months. Just blend with some coconut water, milk, apple juice or ordinary water – nothing complex.
If you have a bit more time, here are some of our other favourite breakfast suggestions:
Porridge – our top tip is to soak rolled oats in milk overnight in the fridge to reduce the cooking time in the morning. ½ cup of oats will set you up each morning and add in some defrosted berries to turn it purple which children love. Beware of many instant porridge mixes available from supermarkets as many brands have excessive sugar, so compare two or three brands looking at the 100g column choosing the one with the least sugar.
Toast and nut butter – forget adding jam or marmalade to toast, this is just sugar on sugar. Make your toast go the extra mile by adding some nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut) to granary or seeded toast to fuel you for longer. Supermarkets now stock various nut butter varieties and these nut butters can be stored in cupboards/desk drawers as a healthy snack with oatcakes.
Yogurt and fruit – choose natural yogurt (not low fat which is often high in sugar, although Greek yogurt is fine). Add a piece of fruit or some defrosted berries to enhance the flavour and to guarantee less sugar than the commercial fruit yogurt brands.
Poached/scrambled eggs – the perfect weekend breakfast when you have a little more time. Eggs are a great source of protein and two eggs on granary/seeded toast with some sliced/mashed avocado will give you the perfectly balanced start to the morning (protein, carbohydrates, and good fats).
Pancakes – a healthy twist on pancakes made super quick and filling you for longer than the ‘average’ pancake. Add half a mashed banana to two whisked eggs and shallow fry, flipping after couple of minutes. Serve with natural yogurt and berries.
Often the biggest challenge is finding the time to research healthier breakfast options. We hope we’ve provided you with a few of our tried and tested favourites – each is balanced, filling, and low in sugar. We welcome any of your favourite healthy breakfast suggestions.
Anjanette Fraser is a Director of The Natural Alternative Health & Wellbeing Ltd, educating companies and their employees on the importance of nutrition in corporate and personal health. Since the company inception over 10 years ago its national coverage has meant sharing knowledge with large and small organisations over multiple locations has never been easier. Anjanette is currently studying a MSc in Nutritional Medicine ensuring the information clients receive is scientific, current, and user friendly. For more information please visit www.natural-alternative.co.uk