Monday, 25 January 2016

What's So Special About Breakfast?

Man Asleep Under a Tree with Title OverlaidI can often be found banging on about the importance of breakfast, but why is it such a big deal? The obvious answer is that you haven't provided your body with any energy or nutrients overnight. During the day, we top up fairly regularly, so those eight or so hours without food make up a substantial fast period. There are other considerations though. If you have a whole day ahead of you, at work or school, you are going to be putting demands on your body. Not just physically, but mentally too. Your brain relies on good nutrition to function, so that you don't do or say anything that makes you look daft. Also you don't want to start falling asleep somewhere inappropriate either, because you might look like a bit of a plonker!

What happens though, if you are not a breakfast person? Not everyone can face food when they are bleary-eyed and half asleep in the mornings. Sometimes, a busy schedule or shift pattern can make it near impossible to fit a morning meal in. There are lots of options for on-the-go munching and it is still better to have something, rather than nothing, even if it's not a home-cooked banquet. Suggestions for quick grabbable breakfasts include; 

  • Nuts and Seeds. Packed with nutrition and something that you can leave in your bag, for nibbling on the way to work. Very little preparation or effort required and not too heavy if you don't want a lot. 
  • Breakfast bars. There are lots of examples of breakfast bars and biscuits available to buy prepacked these days. They are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, but can be high in sugar and salt, so best saved for emergencies!
  • Fruit. A banana makes a great portable breakfast. Naturally conveniently packaged, there are a wealth of energy boosting nutrients enclosed, and surprisingly filling too! 
  • Juices or Smoothies. You can buy so many different fruit and vegetable juice blends and smoothies, containing concentrated amounts of health-boosting nutrients, or make your own. I use an ordinary blender to make blends of my favourite fruits and you can add different flavour yoghurts for a tasty twist. Add to a travel cup to have when you get to work. 
If you are watching your weight, breakfast is essential. If you don't eat something the temptation to snack on a calorie-laden treat by mid-morning will be overwhelming. You will want to stay awake and combat the feeling of sluggishness. You may not even feel hungry, but the biscuit tin will be calling you. In this situation, try not to let indecision or lack of time get the best of you. Plan your shopping well, and choose breakfast options that appeal to you and will tempt you when you are not really fussed. Eggs are versatile and quick and make a welcome change from cereal or toast. If you only have time for cereal, invest in a luxury one, with texture, like a good granola, or muesli, or perhaps add yoghurt instead of milk for a change. 

A Row of Different Breakfasts involving Eggs
Go to work on an egg!
Setting a good example for our children is very important too. Children need to exercise, learn and socialise every single day and regular quality nutrition is vital for that. The pull of heavily advertised sugary cereals will be strong, so finding healthier alternatives, even if just for some of the time, is a really good idea. Eating healthily as parents is a great start, because children learn good habits from what they see. If mornings are too busy for complicated breakfasts, try preparing lunches the night before and adding in a healthy snack for breaktime. Be careful about nuts and seeds though, a lot of schools have an anti-nut policy. As children get older, encourage them to help, or even make their own breakfast. It's a good way to get them thinking about healthy choices and learning about food preparation. The better they eat, the better they are prepared to cope with everything they need to run at, jump on and climb over throughout the day!

Read my last post about education here; Saving Money with Back to School

Boy Running Sports Day
A well-fuelled boy!

Best of Worst



  1. I struggle to get my teen to have breakfast before he leaves for school as it's so early so I've given in and he takes a breakfast bar. I know it's high in sugar, but probably not much worse than most cereals he'd eat in a bowl. I love breakfast though and often eat too much!

    1. Sugary something is definitely better than nothing, especially with teens as they use lots of energy just growing! Wish I could say the same!

  2. Thank you for the lovely suggestions, I do enjoy eggs :) My two luckily love scrambled eggs, I quite like granola, sadly hubbie loves the sugary cereals and sometimes buys them so that's all the kids want then! x

  3. Scrambled eggs is one of my favourites! In fact I was going to have Weetabix this morning but now, guess what I'm having?!!

  4. My kids are obsessed with having chocolate cereal for breakfast because their friends have them, I refuse to buy them... they'll thank me in the long run maybe ;)

  5. It is funny, I have one that loves breakfast and one that hates it. But I make them both eat it

  6. Great post, I'll be trying some of those suggestions myself! I'm a breakfast-skipper and trying to get some variety into SB's breakfasts is a nightmare as she's a Weetabix-and-nothing-else kinda gal. #bestandworst

  7. We love breakfast in our house. My little boy eats about 3 bowls of cereal for breakfast and then follows hubby and I round and eats parts of ours a little later...we are definitely a breakfast family #bestandworst

  8. Great post! I'm a massive fan of breakfast. Love eggs, toast, nuts and fruit. I always tell my patients (I'm a dietitian) to try and have something, even if fruit and nuts or a breakfast bar (though not always ideal!). I always wake up really hungry. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  9. I adore eggs for breakfast and really they are so easy. Mich x

  10. I really should eat more eggs for breakfast, as you say they are so easy to prepare and so good for you. done! I'm changing as of tomorrow

  11. I'd be no use to anyone without breakfast! No matter how late we're running it's better to have unbrushed hair than no breakfast! We're loving pancakes right now.


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