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Healthy Eating (11th - 24th Jun) |What should we eat for breakfast?

Breakfast is one meal which many of us skip due to our busy work schedules. It may not be the last thing to worry about when most of us do not have the time for a big breakfast in the morning, nor could we stomach such a thing. Research has proved that a healthy breakfast is the most important meal for the day. A good breakfast refuels your body and helps you to kick-start your day in a way that can benefit your overall health.

So what defines a healthy nutritious breakfast?

  • For a tasty and healthy start to the day, it's good to base breakfast on starchy foods such as bread or breakfast cereals.Try making toast with wholemeal or granary bread, and use just a small amount of low-fat spread (e.g. margarine) or jam. Choose a spread that is high in polyunsaturates or monounsaturates (both types of unsaturated fat), instead of one that's high in saturated fat, such as butter.
  • Porridge oats are cheap and contain lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Make porridge with semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk, or water. If you usually add salt or sugar, try adding a few dried apricots or a sliced banana for extra flavour instead. Wash down breakfast with a glass of 100% fruit juice as this will count as a fruit and veg portion.
  • If you work in an office, keep a box of wholegrain cereal, a bowl and a spoon at work – then just pick up some lower-fat milk on the way to enjoy a good breakfast!
  • When choosing cereal, try to go for one that contains wholegrains and is lower in salt and sugar. Also, serve it with semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk, or low-fat yoghurt (but remember 1% or skimmed milk isn't suitable for children under 5). Adding fruit to cereals is also a great way to get kids to eat less sugary cereals. Alternatively, try mixing sugary cereals with lower-sugar ones, increasing the amount of lower-sugar cereal over time to get kids used to them.
  • Why not try a fruit smoothie? If there’s time, make it the night before and store it in the fridge, or prepare all the ingredients ready to buzz in a blender in the morning. Use fresh fruit such as banana and strawberries and some plain low-fat yoghurt or lower-fat milk, or puree a few canned apricot halves with some orange juice. You could also try adding some wholegrain cereal to your smoothie for extra fibre.
  • Keep a stock of foods that are easy to grab on the way out in the morning, such as apples, pears, satsumas, bananas, mini bags of dried fruit and unsalted nuts, cartons of fruit juice and slices of fruit bread. Crackers and breakfast bars can also be convenient, but bear in mind that these can be high in fat, salt and sugar, so remember to check the label before buying.
The Food Pyramid is basically the classification of a variety of foods that we consume and it is categorized in a particular order of food group which provides a general guideline to a healthy diet that’s right for you. It was developed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992 and provides an excellent outline to help you make healthy food choices in order to get the nutrients we require and the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight. In addition it also suggests the serving sizes of the food types to help you control the amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar in your diet.
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