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The Fat Chance

Fact Sheet: Breakfast

Why Breakfast?

Breakfast refuels your body at the start of the day. Overnight your body has regenerated and is ready for more fuel. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism.

Skipping breakfast means that by mid to late morning you will feel empty and are more likely to select food or fuel options that are high in sugar and saturated fat.

A well-balanced breakfast should contain a combination of carbohydrate (preferably Low GI), fruit or vegetables, protein and a good fat.

A July 2003 report in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that it is important to eat breakfast at home. Those who ate breakfast outside the home doubled their risk of obesity. But it is worse for people who skip breakfast on most days. This group had a 4-fold increase in the risk of obesity when compared to those who regularly eat breakfast at home. The study also reported that energy intakes were greater on the days when breakfast was skipped. Of the 500 people in the study, those who ate 4 or more times a day had about half the risk of obesity compared to those who ate two or three times.

Breakfast for Adults

  • Low-GI cereal such as Guardian, Special K, All Bran topped with fruit - a couple of strawberries, a handful of blueberries or a small amount of tinned fruit in natural juice with lite blue or calci trim milk.
  • Oat Bran Weetbix or porridge, lite blue or calci trim milk and a piece of fruit or 1/3 cupped canned fruit.
  • Baked beans with 2 slices of Vogel's or Burgen bread, a grilled mushroom and or tomato topped with mixed herbs and a pottle of yoghurt.
  • 200ml juice, 1 cup muesli or 1/2 cup of toasted muesli, 1 pottle lite yoghurt and a little lite or calci trim milk.
  • A 2-egg omelette made with lite blue milk, a slice of low fat ham and shallot, mushrooms, tomatoes and parsley. Season with pepper and a little mixed herbs or fresh oregano or thyme. Serve on 2 slices of Vogel's or Burgen bread.
  • If you are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease limit your intake to 3 eggs per week.

 Children's Breakfast Ideas

A healthy breakfast will kick-start your children's day, and helps maintain concentration enabling them to perform better both physically and mentally.

  • Weetbix topped with sliced banana and lite blue milk
  • An apple, 2 slices of toast (1 whole grain and 1 high fibre white) with a smear of peanut butter, marmite or vegemite - no butter or margarine
  • Porridge, low fat milk and a piece of fruit. The fruit can be used to sweeten the rolled oats - puree half and stir through rolled oats and slice the other half and serve on top. Good fruit options are a medium sized apple, banana or sliced peaches or pears in natural juice not syrup
  • An egg (poached or boiled) and 1/2 cup of baked beans or tinned spaghetti on 2 slices of whole grain toast
  • Fruit salad and a pottle of low fat yoghurt with wholemeal, grain or white high fibre toast
  • Wholemeal pancakes with strawberries and yoghurt
  • A low fat smoothie made with lite blue milk, fresh fruit and a little rice bran and honey
  • French toast with fresh fruit

Breakfast Tips

For people on the run try a low fat milk smoothie made with fresh fruit and a fruit and bran muffin.

  • Creamed corn on toast or corn fritters makes a great alternative for a warm winter breakfast.
  • Breakfast does not have to be eaten as soon as you wake. You can eat when you get to work or school. The important thing is to eat a balance of foods to give you a good start to the day.
  • A balanced breakfast will include low GI carbohydrates, low fat dairy and fruit or vegetables.
  • Swap toast for an English muffin, crumpets, pancakes or waffles - although these are lower in fibre and won't keep you as full
  • When you are having baked beans or spaghetti on your toast you don't need to spread the toast first with margarine or butter
  • Breakfast cereals can be high in sugar and saturated fat. Stick to low fat, low GI options. Some of the better options are natural muesli, All Bran and All Bran with Fruit n' Oats, Guardian, Komplete, Special K, Rolled Oats (porridge that is not pre-softened) and Weetbix.
  • Use the natural sweetness of dried and fresh fruit to sweeten cereals rather than adding refined sugar.