What do you need on your plate for breakfast?
Okay, you’re up. You’ve thrown off the blanket and you’re ready for the day. After a long night’s sleep, the morning meal needs to get everyone’s engine running again. Wondering exactly what makes a good breakfast? Well, keep reading…
What does a balanced and healthy breakfast look like?
A balanced breakfast will give you and your family the very best start to the day. You need a good mix of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. These are found in lots of foods, and you can choose pretty much what you like, as long as you pick from the different breakfast food groups: Grain, fruit and dairy – and of course a glass of water.One serving of the right size from each of these food groups will set everyone up for the day ahead. Take a look below, to find out why this is, and check out some examples of delicious balanced breakfasts.
Grain, fruit, dairy...
1. Start with grain
Grains like oats, corn, wheat and barley are good for you. Especially if they are whole. For a glorious breakfast that includes the goodness of grains, try a bowl of breakfast cereal made with whole grain or a slice of wholemeal toast.
Find out more about the difference between whole grain and refined grain
2. Fill up on fruit
Breakfast is a great time to kick start your ‘5 fruits a day’. High in vitamins, minerals and fiber, fruit is a great addition to any breakfast. Try to eat fruit that is in season (it’s more sustainable, it tastes better and it gives your child the chance to learn more about the beauty of the different seasons). With so much to choose from, it isn’t hard to make a fabulous feast out of fruit. And for the little ones, why not cut up some of their fruity favorites and add them to their yogurt or cereal bowl? Yummy.
3. Delicious dairy
Rich in calcium for healthy teeth and bones, dairy foods are also a good source of protein and are great at breakfast time. Milk is good with cereal but why not add a spoonful of yogurt? And cheese isn’t just for sandwiches, it makes a great breakfast – try it on toast!
Need a bigger breakfast? Add some extra protein
If you’re feeling very hungry in the morning or will need a lot of energy, you could add some extra protein to your plate. Try an egg or a small handful of almonds – your balanced breakfast will be complete and you’ll be ready to kick start your day!
"And water of course!"
With so much delicious food to think about, let’s not forget about the importance of water. It is generally recommended to drink around 2 liters (8 glasses of 250ml each) of water every day. Research shows that almost 2/3 of children are not hydrated enough when they get to school. So let’s reverse the trend!
Build your breakfast
Just pick one item in each food group
|Breakfast cereal made with whole grain||25-30g||30-45g||30-45g|
|Whole grain muffin with jam (15g)||1 mini||1 piece||1 piece|
|Whole bread with butter (5g) & jam (15g)||40g (1 slice)||80g (2 slices)||80g (2 slices)|
|Crispbread with butter (5g) & jam (15g)||2 pieces||4 pieces||3 pieces|
|Semi skimmed milk||125ml||150-200ml||125ml|
|Hot chocolate (best to avoid having hot chocolate and jam in the same meal for a more balanced sugar intake)||200ml of semi skimmed milk with 1 to 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder||250ml of semi skimmed milk with 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder||200ml of semi skimmed milk with 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder|
|yogurt||125 grams||200 grams||125 grams|
|Cottage cheese||14 grams||28 grams||14 grams|
|Fruits (seasonal fruit is better)||Children||Teenagers||Adults|
|Orange||1 piece||1 piece||1 piece|
|Banana||1 piece||1 piece||1 piece|
|Apple||1 piece||1 piece||1 piece|
|Kiwi||1 piece||1 piece||2 pieces|
|Optional: more proteins||Children||Teenagers||Adults|
|Almonds||5 to 8 nuts||10 nuts||5 to 8 nuts|
|Egg||1 small||1 medium||1 small|
|Turkey meat||1 small||57 grams/2 slices||28 grams/1 slice|
|Cheese||14 grams||14 grams||14 grams|
|Peanut butter||1/2 tablespoon||1 tablespoon||1/2 tablespoon|
A glass of water :)
- Jonnalagadda SS, Harnack L, Liu RH et al (2011) Putting the whole grain puzzle together: health benefits associated with whole grains--summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium. J Nutr. May;141(5).
- Learn more about the Health benefits of milk http://www.milk.co.uk/page.aspx?intPageID=73
- Bonnet F, Lepicard EM, Cathrin L et al (2012) French children start their school day with a hydration deficit. Ann Nutr Metab. 60(4):257-63. Assael BM, Cipolli M, Meneghelli I et al (2012) Italian Children Go to School with a Hydration Deficit. J Nutr Disorders Ther. 2:3. Barker M, Benefer M, Russell J et al (2012) Hydration Deficit After Breakfast Intake Among British. The FASEB Journal, 26: lb 395. Stookey JD, Brass B, Holliday A et al (2012) What is the cell hydration status of healthy children in the USA? Preliminary data on urine osmolality and water intake. Public Health Nutr. Nov;15(11):2148-56
- ^ Jonnalagadda SS, Harnack L, Liu RH et al (2011) Putting the whole grain puzzle together: health benefits associated with whole grains--summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium. J Nutr. May;141(5).
- ^ Learn more about the Health benefits of milkhttp://www.milk.co.uk/page.aspx?intPageID=73
- ^ www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1459
- ^ Bonnet F, Lepicard EM, Cathrin L et al (2012) French children start their school day with a hydration deficit. Ann Nutr Metab. 60(4):257-63. Assael BM, Cipolli M, Meneghelli I et al (2012) Italian Children Go to School with a Hydration Deficit. J Nutr Disorders Ther. 2:3. Barker M, Benefer M, Russell J et al (2012) Hydration Deficit After Breakfast Intake Among British. The FASEB Journal, 26: lb 395. Stookey JD, Brass B, Holliday A et al (2012) What is the cell hydration status of healthy children in the USA? Preliminary data on urine osmolality and water intake. Public Health Nutr. Nov;15(11):2148-56
We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:
How can I find foods made with whole grain?
Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too. It’s easy to know if a Nestlé breakfast cereal is made with whole grain: just look out for the Green Banner and whole grain tick on top of the box.
What should be in a complete breakfast?
A complete breakfast should include a balance of nutrients from each of the major food groups. As a guide, it might look like this: • 1 grain-based starchy food • 1 dairy food • 1 portion of fresh fruit • 1 glass of water • Optionally, an additional source of protein Nestlé breakfast cereals are a nutritious breakfast choice as they are: • A source of fiber and whole grain • Low in fat (most have low levels of all types of fat, including saturates) • Fortified with vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, calcium and iron • A lower calorie per kilojoule, fat and sugar choice than many other breakfast food options
Do breakfast cereals contain too much saturated fat?
No. Breakfast cereals aren’t a major source of saturated fats, and contain no added trans fats. Some grains, such as oats, can be higher in fats – but these are naturally present in the grain, and tend to be ‘good’ fats, not saturated fats.
Can processed foods be made with whole grain?
Yes. If a food product has the word “whole” listed on its ingredient label – wholewheat pasta or wholemeal bread, for example, then you know it’s been made with whole grain flour, even if the other ingredients are processed. By the way, even whole grains need to be processed: removing the inedible outer husk makes them safe to eat. But they’re less processed than refined grains, which require additional steps to remove the bran and germ.
Do breakfast cereals really make a significant contribution to vitamin and mineral intakes?
Research shows that adults and children who regularly eat fortified breakfast cereals are more likely to reach their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, including the B Vitamins and Iron. Eating whole grain breakfast cereal with milk is a nutritious way to start the day and can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.