Breakfast is the first opportunity each day to nourish your body and can be up to a third of your daily nutrient intake. This is particularly important for children as research shows skipping breakfast before school negatively impacts concentration, learning, energy levels and other food choices during the day.
Although these factors are slightly less significant for adults, most of us need all the help we can get with energy levels at work and making the best food choices (especially when there’s tempting treats in the office kitchen!).
Try having at least something small and nutritious within the first couple of hours of your day if you aren’t hungry for breakfast as soon as you wake up. If you consistently aren’t hungry in the morning, it’s also worth considering whether your evening meal portion or late night snacking habits might be the reason.
If there’s a few hours between breakfast and your next meal or snack, it’s also helpful to make sure your breakfast gives you plenty of lasting energy and keeps you full throughout the morning.
Unfortunately many of the traditional Aussie breakfast options are high in sugar and low in fibre, leaving us tired and hungry again not long after we’ve eaten.
Here are some healthy & satisfying breakfast ideas:
- Good old porridge
Quick, easy, filling and delicious, porridge is particularly great for breakfast on cold mornings.
Use traditional rolled oats and add nuts to make it higher in protein, good fats and fibre so that it keeps you full for longer and gives you even more nutrients. Try mixing it up with walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or LSA mix.
Rather than adding honey or sugar for sweetness, why not try cinnamon and fruit? Fresh fruits like banana, grated apple, berries or stone fruit work well either cooked through your porridge or chopped up on top. Stewed fruits (without added sugar) or dried fruit also work well.
- Mix and match with muesli
When the weather gets too warm for porridge, a great alternative is any combination of muesli, nuts, seeds, yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Many commercial mueslis and yoghurts are high in sugar so make sure you check the label (or look at our list of ‘A Healthy Choice’ products). Top your muesli with plain Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit for a balanced, filling meal high in protein, fibre, fat and calcium that will keep you going all morning.
Another way to try this breakfast is preparing it the night before and letting it soak overnight for a grab-and-go option.
- Eggs any way
Scrambled, poached, fried in a little olive oil, in an omelette or frittata – any way you like them, eggs are a filling breakfast. The Heart Foundation recommends 6-7 eggs per week so having eggs for breakfast every second day is perfectly healthy, it just matters what you put with them.
Serve your eggs with grainy, high fibre toast and incorporate veggies to make the meal extra nutritious (for example avocado, mushrooms, tomato, baby spinach, capsicum or herbs).
- Toast with a nourishing topping
White toast with just vegemite or jam isn’t likely to fill you up for long and doesn’t provide you with much nutritional benefit.
Choose a bread that’s both wholemeal and wholegrain then get creative with your toppings – incorporating some protein, extra nutrients and fibre. Some ideas are:
- smoked salmon and avocado
- ricotta, cinnamon and thinly sliced apple or strawberries
- tomato, pumpkin seeds and feta
- banana and natural peanut butter (choose one with no added sugar or salt)