a woman drying up her dishes after breakfast

Breakfast

What do you need most for breakfast?

Okay, you’re up. You’re off the bed and you’re ready for the day. After a long night’s sleep, the first meal of the day needs to get everyone up and running again. Wondering exactly what makes a good breakfast? Well read on …

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, fibre, 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: grains, 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 for 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 fruits salad

2. Fill up on fruit

Breakfast is a great time to kick start your ‘5 fruits a day’. High in vitamins, minerals and fibre, fruit is a great addition to any breakfast. Try to eat fruit that is in season (it’s more sustainable, they have a better taste and also, 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 favourites and add them to their yoghurt 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 on a spoonful of yoghurt? 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 a slice of ham, 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 litres 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 wheat field during sunset

The Whole Story on Whole Grain

Whole grains are known to be full of nutrients, compared to 'white' foods. Why not switch to whole grain today, and feel the difference?

READ MORE Read the full article "The Whole Story on Whole Grain"

Build your breakfast

Just pick one item from each food group

GrainsChildrenTeenagersAdults
Breakfast cereal made with whole grain25-30 g30-45 g30-45 g
Whole grain muffin with jam (15g)1 mini1 piece1 piece
Whole bread with butter (5g) and jam (15g)40 g (1 slice)80 g (2 slices)80 g (2 slices)
Crispbread with butter (5g) and jam (15g)2 pieces4 pieces3 pieces
+
DairyChildrenTeenagersAdults
Semi skimmed milk125 ml150-200 ml125 ml
Hot chocolate (best to avoid having hot chocolate and jam in the same meal for a more balanced sugar intake)200 ml of semi skimmed milk with 1 to 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder250 ml of semi skimmed milk with 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder200 ml of semi skimmed milk with 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
Yoghurt125 grams200 grams125 grams
Cottage cheese14 grams28 grams14 grams
+
Fruits (seasonal fruit is better)ChildrenTeenagersAdults
Orange1 piece1 piece1 piece
Banana1 piece1 piece1 piece
Apple1 piece1 piece1 piece
Kiwi1 piece1 piece2 pieces
+
Optional: more proteinsChildrenTeenagersAdults
Almonds5 to 8 nuts10 nuts5 to 8 nuts
Egg1 small1 medium1 small
Ham1 small57 grams/2 slices28 grams/1 slice
Cheese14 grams14 grams14 grams
Peanut butter1/2 tablespoon1 tablespoon1/2 tablespoon
+

A glass of water :)

Footnotes

  1. JJonnalagadda 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

Footnotes

  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:

What are the health and nutritional benefits of Nestlé Gluten Free Corn Flakes?
As well as being a healthy choice for people who want to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, or have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, Gluten Free Corn Flakes are fortified with B-vitamins, folic acid and iron
I’ve heard a low GI diet can help me lose weight. Is this true?

It’s too early to say. The science in this area is still emerging. There is evidence that low GI foods take longer to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer, but none that you’ll eat fewer calories at the next meal.

Is Nestlé planning to launch gluten-free versions of its other cereals or cereal bars?
Not yet, but we will keep listening and responding to people’s needs.
Why do some breakfast cereals have different serving sizes labeled on pack?

The serving sizes mentioned on breakfast cereals can slightly differ, mainly due to differences in product density. Beyond its nutrients density, it’s also important for the portion size to suit the average cereal bowl. Some types of breakfast cereals, such as mueslis or granolas, are denser than traditional flakes; so a 30 g serving could look tiny and unrealistic in a bowl – that's why we use 45 g as a reference. These different serving sizes have been defined by the European cereals trade association and consistently applied by all industry members in Europe.

Does the high GI of breakfast cereals negate the whole grain benefits?

No. Even though some foods made with whole grain have a high GI, you can still benefit by including them in a healthy, balanced diet. Eating lots of whole grain can be good for the heart, even if the GI of the food is high. The whole population can benefit from eating more whole grain; the effect of low GI foods is still not clear.

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