Back to school can be a hectic time, and trying to get the kids out the door with a healthy breakfast in them can seem impossible at times. But it’s not as difficult as one might think!
Why is it so important that everyone gets a healthy breakfast? Skipping breakfast has been linked to obesity and low energy/concentration levels for many years, but now it is also being linked to higher risks of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and high cholesterol (a significant risk factor for heart disease). However, it is important to note that in order to reap the rewards from eating a daily breakfast, you must be sure that the meal is nutritious and filling—another reason to think about our breakfast choices!
The good news is that in Ireland, people are seeming to realise the importance of breakfast, with around 87% of people having breakfast every day and even more on the weekends. Research has shown that fruit is very popular at breakfast time, with variety increasing while people become more conscious of eating seasonally. Including a variety of fruits in the diet is important; for instance, including fruits high in vitamin C, such as strawberries, will aid iron absorption.
Build your breakfast guide:
- Choose high-fibre, nourishing carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, oats, wheat cereal, or low-sugar muesli.
- Make sure protein is a feature. Eggs, protein-rich dairies such as milk or Greek yoghurt, beans, nuts, and seeds are all great choices.
- Make it colourful! Adding fruits and/or veg to your breakfast will give numerous nutritional benefits to the meal. Berries or bananas with your cereal, tomatoes and mushrooms with your eggs, or accompanying breakfast with a fresh smoothie. Adding fruits high in vitamin C such as strawberries will help significantly with iron absorption in the body.
- Healthy fats are also important to include: avocado, nuts, and seeds are all great options for this category too.
If you are not one to eat breakfast, you can make an effort to re-jig your morning routine. There are some ways to make adding breakfast into your day a bit easier…
Stock up on healthy breakfast choices. Make sure that the house always has some fresh fruit and healthy fibre options for breakfast such as porridge oats or wholemeal bread. Keep healthy proteins and fats like Greek yoghurt, eggs, and nuts in supply to make breakfast in a rush that bit easier.
Prepare as much as you can the night before. If you are not great at the early starts and find that you don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast in the mornings, you can prepare the night before to make it easier to just grab and go! Try making up a nutritious smoothie or overnight oats and keeping it in the fridge to have on the go!
Another option, if acceptable in your workplace, might be to keep the ingredients for your breakfast in the office to make when you arrive. Make this a routine and you won’t miss breakfast anymore. Especially a good idea for those who don’t feel that they can eat first thing in the morning. This will save you money overall too!