Most people are aware that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but yet don’t give it the time and attention that it needs. I have always made sure that my children had breakfast, but only more recently have I ensured that both my husband and I do too. I think that it is not only important to our health, but provides a good role model for the children. It was when I took part in Change4Life’s Sugar Swaps that I learned that the cereal I assumed to be healthy was actually full of sugar. Just before that we discovered that the orange juice in the cartons we were giving the children every day (thinking we were giving them a good start) – was filled with sugar and rotting their teeth (thankfully we swapped dentists and the new one asked my husband if we drank a lot of fruit juice in cartons!)
Healthy Breakfast Drinks
I think ideally hot water and lemon is what we should be having – but I am not ready for that yet. I am currently juicing. The boys love making smoothies too. I started with fruit and have moved over to vegetables. At first it tasted awful but I just kept telling myself that it was good for me and would get easier. I find to really blitz it up helps – but it really has got easier and tastes ok now. I guess you just need to readjust to what you are used to. Leading by example can make such a difference that even my 8 year old has asked to try spinach in a drink in the morning.
If you still want tea – why not try a decaf or fruit version? We had both types of teabags at home at first and just picked which type to use without the other person knowing – until we established that we didn’t actually notice a difference. We have actually since found out that Decaf Teabags still have some traces of caffeine in and actually there’s stuff that suggests that they are worse for you than regular teabags due to the way that the caffeine is taken from the teabags!!! I asked PG Tips about their Decaf brand and they said:
“we follow the industry standard of decaffeination to a level below 0.2% which is approx 0.1mg of caffeine. The decaffeination involves the tea leaves being washed in a way that removes almost all of the caffeine. If you have any other questions feel free to call my pals at the Careline on 0800 454 611. Love Monkey x”
Needless to say we are trying to cut down our tea consumption either way and up our water intake instead (but not be aware that flavoured water is also high in sugar, and bottled water I heard there was something bad about the plastic bottles lol). We now have Red Bush and a variety of teas. My favourite is possibly Detox.
Healthy Breakfast Food Ideas
The biggest hurdle for myself was changing what I considered to be a healthy breakfast: I believe (this is not backed by a dieticain or anything) a cooked breakfast (cooked the right way) is probably better than sugar heavy cereals. Even the cereals with fruit in them had a lot of refined sugars that I had no idea about. During the Sugar Swaps I changed for porridge and wheat biscuits. To make that a bit more interesting I started investing in seeds and nuts to give it a different texture and added fresh fruit. Tinned fruit is also good but make sure you buy it in juice not syrup. These days I use frozen fruit a lot more too. I think for me the thing was about making time for breakfast. Thinking that we couldn’t fit things in when really we could: Whether that was about getting up a little earlier or preparing things the night before. Our youngest son has Sensory Processing Disorder (and a complicated diagnosis a bit like Autism, except they decided it wasn’t quite Autism) and so he was going to be the most tricky to change. I think this is further made more difficult at the advertising aimed at children with such high sugary content.
Breakfast ideas with Eggs
Eggs are good for you nutritionally, keep well, are easy to use and come in their own recyclable packaging (ours are composted). The Sensory Seeker is happy to have scrambled egg (on its own and again accepting that that is ok and that he didn’t NEED toast with it), or pancakes (which occasionally we can convince him to have fresh fruit with. As part of a cooked breakfast (with sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and beans), poached (with salmon), boiled (with soldiers) or even fried, you could make waffles, or muffins, or even eggy-bread.
- Eats Amazing has an easy recipe for kids eggy bread fingers
- A Mummy Too has Gluten-Free oaty crepes with homemade chocolate hazelnut spread
- Ham & Cheese Muffins
- Eats Amazing has Healthy Pancake Muffins
- A Mummy Too has Quick Simple Savoury Breakfast Muffins
Breakfast Ideas with Fruit
Obviously some of the egg recipes have fruit in but as it is a good time to get at least one of your five a day here are some more breakfast with fruit ideas.
- Simply add fruit nuts and seeds to porridge, wheat biscuits, granola or bran flakes.
- Avocado on toast
- Plain low fat yogurt and fruit
- Eats Amazing Easy recipe for kids – Frozen Banana Yoghurt bites
- Eats Amazing DIY Breakfast Sundae Recipe
- A Mummy Too Three ingredient caramel apple croissants
- A Mummy Too Apricot and almond oat bars
Breakfast Week (24 – 30th January 2016) have joined forces with TV presenter and model Vogue Williams, who won the ITV Bear Gryll’s Mission Survive programme, to call on the nation to make it their mission to rethink breakfast.
Breakfast Week is organised by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds on behalf of UK cereal farmers and producers, who grow and make the foods we all enjoy at breakfast. AHDB research[i] shows that when people skip breakfast:
- three in ten (30%) say they lack energy and one in seven (14%) feel grumpy
- they consume an extra 252 kcals a day
- they are twice as likely to reach for a bag of crisps or a biscuit mid-morning than breakfast eaters.
[i] Survey statistics from a survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted on behalf of Breakfast Week by One Poll between 9th and 11th December 2014.
I have not been compensated for this post. Thanks to the amazing bloggers that create and share these amazing recipes.