Family fun toolkit
Take a trip. Turn your breakfast table into a holiday destination by having a traditional morning meal from around the world. One weekend you could be in France tucking into croissants and coffee, the next you’re off to Canada for pancakes and maple syrup.
You name it! Put name tags on each place setting – but make them the names of famous people or historical characters and get the family to choose who they want to be. To make it even more fun, get them to act ‘in character’ all through breakfast.
Eat outside. Al fresco eating gets some air into the lungs and makes you all feel like it’s the holidays!
Wheat is the most widely grown cereal grain. It’s grown on over 17 per cent of the total cultivated land in the world, and is the staple food for 35 per cent of the world’s population. It provides more calories and protein in the world’s diet than any other crop.
Egyptians used to bury mummies with necklaces made from barley, and in 1324 King Edward II of England set the standard for the measurement - making the ‘inch’ equal to ‘three grains of barley, dry and round, placed end-to-end lengthwise’.
Leave it to the kids. If you’re feeling brave, let go of the controls and hand over to the children. Let them decide what's on the breakfast menu – you just give them a hand with the cooking. They get a bit of independence, you get the chance to heap praise – and do the clearing up. Just make sure they get the serving sizes right for a balanced breakfast.
Play a game. Puzzles are a great way of stimulating the mind first thing in the morning. Even a few rounds of I-Spy can lift the mood and wake everyone up.
Telling jokes. A guaranteed way of bringing laughter to the table is for everyone to come to breakfast ready to tell their best (or worst) joke.
What about breakfast during the week? For tips to make those busy weekday mornings go smoothly, check out the 'Morning madness survival guide'.
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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.
A ‘whole’ grain has more nutrients than a ‘refined’ grain, because all parts of the grain are retained – kernel, bran, endosperm and germ – along with their fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But most of the bran and germ are removed when producing refined grains. Whole grains therefore contain more nutrients than refined grains.
The general name for proteins found in cereal grains such as wheat. It holds the food together, like a ‘glue’, and gives dough its elasticity.
Keep it simple: make grains the base of your diet and choose whole grains over refined grains wherever possible. U.S Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 3 servings (48g) a day. So, whenever you look for breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, rice or flour to cook at home, look for the word “whole”, ideally among the first ingredients in the list.
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