Make time for Breakfast
Edwina Revel, RNutr, Programme Manager Early Start Wellbeing and Nutrition Team
As a team we appreciate the importance of making time for breakfast and will often catch up over a bowl of porridge
Did you know that breakfast means ‘Breaking the Fast’? It is a great way to refuel your body and brain after not eating during the night. Evidence suggests that it’s not just about having a breakfast; it’s about having a healthy one. It is important to have one even when you are in a hurry. Some of us may skip breakfast because we think it will help us lose weight but evidence suggests that eating breakfast can help you control your weight. A healthy breakfast will provide you with some of the vitamins and minerals (20-25%) you need for good health. Research has shown that if we eat breakfast we have a more balanced diet than those who skip it and are less likely to be overweight, lose weight more successfully if overweight and have reduced risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Interesting Facts! A quarter (25%) of people are skipping breakfast once or more during the week, with more than one in 10 (13%) never eating it. For those that do eat breakfast, the most popular place to eat it is at home at the table, either on your own or with family, followed by sitting on the sofa. Where is your favourite place to have breakfast? Maybe you could eat with your family at weekends or set up a breakfast club in your workplace.
So why do we often skip breakfast? Do any of the reasons below apply to you
- I am not hungry when I wake up
- I don’t have time in the morning
- I don’t want to gain weight
- I don’t know what to eat
How can we motivate ourselves to eat breakfast? Try out some of the practical ideas below to get you started;
- I’m not hungry when I wake up: Start off with a light bite. Maybe a piece of fruit or even half a slice of toast. After a while your appetite in the morning will increase and it might also help you to cut down on less healthy snacks later in the morning.
- I don’t have time in the morning: Try to set your alarm clock to wake 10 minutes earlier than normal. Is there a breakfast club at your school? Try to lay the table the night before so that everything is ready for you when you wake up. After a while it will become a habit.
- I don’t want to gain weight: Research tells us people that eat breakfast are slimmer! It’s believed that eating breakfast means you are less likely to eat unhealthy, eat high calorie snacks during the day or maybe even eat less during the day.
- I don’t know what to eat: Did you know the nation’s favourite breakfast is a cooked breakfast, followed by porridge, breakfast cereal and then toast! There are many useful websites offering ideas on different types of breakfast; take a look at Change 4 Life http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/meal-planner-recipe-finder.aspx and Shake Up You Wake Up http://www.shakeupyourwakeup.com/breakfast-recipes
The following are some tips that might help you to plan your breakfast: The Eatwell Guide is a useful tool to help us to think about the variety of foods we should aim to include in our diets.
- Wholegrain foods include wholemeal bread, oats and wholegrain cereals (yellow group).
- Include a protein sources such as milk, eggs, yogurt (blue group), nuts and lean meat such as bacon and fish such as kippers or salmon (pink group).
- Breakfast is a great time to include some of your recommended ‘5-a-day’ of fruit and vegetables. A banana, berries or chopped apple with your cereal or porridge is a good way to include some fruit.
- It is important to include a drink with your breakfast to keep you hydrated, such as water or a glass of milk.
- Wheat/Oat Biscuits
- Shredded Wheat
- Puffed Wheat
- Plain Porridge
Good protein options might include low-fat Greek yoghurt topped with fresh fruit, such as berries and mixed nuts. How about some scrambled eggs on a bagel or toast with cherry tomatoes and seasoned with some pepper? Be creative with your toast and include different toppings such as grilled cheese, peanut butter or baked beans.
Some of these recipes have been tried out by colleagues at work and nursery settings we work with.
Have fun trying out these breakfast ideas together with your family and friends!