a woman drying her dishes after breakfast


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.

three empty red bowls with white dots superposed

Grain, fruit, dairy...

slices of whole grain bread

 1. Start with grain

Grains like oats, corn, wheat and barley are good for you. Especially if they are whole[1].  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

a bowl of fresh fruit salad

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.

two cups of dairy with raspberries

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[2]. 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.[3] Research shows that almost 2/3 of children are not hydrated enough when they get to school.[4] So let’s reverse the trend!

a drawing of a glass of water
a view of a wheat field during sunset

Whole Grain, the Whole Story

Whole grains are more nutrient rich than the 'white' foods. Why not have a go at changing to whole grain and see what you think?

READ MORE Read the full article "Whole Grain, the Whole Story"

Build your breakfast

Just pick one item in each food group

Grains Children Teenagers Adults
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
Dairy Children Teenagers Adults
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 :)


  1. 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).
  2. Learn more about the Health benefits of milk http://www.milk.co.uk/page.aspx?intPageID=73
  3. www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1459
  4. 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


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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.

Which Nestlé cereals are made with whole grain?

All Nestlé breakfast cereals carrying the green banner are made with whole grain; this is our Whole Grain Guarantee. They are made with at least 8g or more of whole grain per 30g serving. There are ingredient lists on all packs, showing the exact amount. By end of 2015, we’re committed to making whole grain the main ingredient in all Nestlé cereals popular with children.

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

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We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.

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