The Most Important Meal of the Day
What should we be eating for breakfast and what are the best options?
This morning when I dropped off my son to child care we sit together and have breakfast before I leave. Whilst I was sitting with Jimmy I overheard another parent that was quickly dropping off her child say to him “you can’t have rice bubbles because they are full of sugar”.
When she left her son didn’t waist any time getting a big bowl of it.
This made me think, did she know that there isn’t any added sugar in rice bubbles?
The toast with jam has more sugar in it but she didn’t say to him “you can’t have any jam!”
May be we need to help educate people on the best choices to make in regards to breakfast foods.
I then spent a few minutes talking to the lovely lady making the breakfast for the children. After a few minutes she understood which were the best options and why. The concept that people didn’t know what was healthy the healthiest choices shocked me.
Also felt that the way she approached the topic with her son actually had the opposite effect she was hoping for.
So what is the best option?
The first step is to make sure we EAT BREAKFAST.
Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes your supply of glucose and provides other essential nutrients to keep your energy levels up throughout the day(2).
The Kraft Foods ‘Aussie Breakfast Report’ researched the breakfast eating habits of Australians. The study found that despite 42 per cent of Australians acknowledging that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, more than half (56 per cent) are missing out on their morning meal at least once a week, and almost a third are skipping as many as three times per week (1)
Totally unacceptable, this is the most important meal of the day and this many people aren’t having it at all!!!!!
The reports reveal a number of reasons why people sometimes skip breakfast, with the main ones being that they don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning (with 65 per cent of participants citing this as a reason), being disorganised (49 per cent) and sleeping in (40 per cent). Many Australians also blamed skipping breakfast on being short of time (36 per cent)(1).
Are these actually good enough excuses? Can the people that are dissorganised just prepare something to eat the night before if they know that time is an issue?
When you look at the reasons it is easy to see that there are many things we can do to ensure we get a good start to the day.
- Prepare a shake blended up with the usual contents of a bowl of oates with fruit. This will help you get in plenty of nutrients in a quick drink already prepared.
- You can prepare some fruit salad- usually a hit with both adults and children, and add some youghurt and nuts on top for extra nutrients (calcium, protein and some good fats in the nuts).
- Overnight oates- The night before, combine 1/2 cup milk (any type), 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 a banana (mashed/ sliced), 1/4 cup chopped nuts, a tea spoon of linseeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon in sealed Tupperware container. By morning, you’ll have delicious overnight oats! These can be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if in the mood for something warm.
- Make some quick eggs in a muffin tray one night. I started doing this because I wanted to get more protein in my breakfast. I would get a muffin tray and add some shaved ham or cooked bacon in the bottom (about a table spoon full) and crack an egg on top. Then add it to the oven for about 10 min on 200 degrees. And there you have it, eggs for breakfast. They heat up really well and can be frozen (see photos)
- “You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein,” says Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist at Clay Health Club and Spa, in New York City. So things like whole-wheat or wholegrain breakfast cereals, such as muesli or bran cereals, porridge, whole meal or multigrain bread to toast without added sugar would be a good start combined with some protein- which could come from anything from eggs to dairy products or nuts. 2 pieces of multi grain bread with peanut butter and a banana would be an easy quick option that meets the needs of our bodies.
- If you are someone who doesn’t like to have breakfast till you are awake like myself, make your meal portable so that you can have it as soon as possible after waking up or arriving at work.
- If you often forget breakfast put some UP&GO’s, fruit and nuts in the fridge at work so that you wont go without if you forget. An UP&GO has more added sugar than ideal but its better than not having breakfast. Even keep these at home for an easy grab if you forget to prepare. There are also some healthier breakfast/protein bars out there now that could be a great occasional easy fill in snack if you are rushed. Make sure there is no added sugar and that it contains fiber and protein.
There are heaps of options out there and I’m sure you will find one that suits you and your family.
The following is a great link with some recipes that are really yummy or everyone and hit the spot for what we need to start the day.
So start embracing breakfast and you will feel a lot more energized and satisfied in the mornings.
Thank you for reading.
Mrs Jessica Gray
Div1 RN (Specialising in Diet Related Disease and Nutrition)
MS Australia Ambassador
Australian Para Athlete