Breakfast has to be my favourite meals of the day. I love starting the day well with a good breakfast. But I know it can take some thinking about, especially first thing in the morning when perhaps you’re getting the kids ready or trying to get out the door for work. So here’s some breakfast inspiration for you and the kids.
A good breakfast full of protein and fat will you fill you up nicely, it’s also an opportunity to get some nutrients into you at the start of the day.
I’d recommend avoiding cereals, I know they’re quick and easy but they tend to be high in sugar and salt, and low in nutrients. They’re generally fast releasing – what this means is that they release sugar into the blood quickly, this gives you a burst of energy but it dips very quickly afterwards. This can leave you sluggish and hungry again quite soon after.
And challenge your thinking around breakfast, you can have anything for breakfast! It’s doesn’t need to be sweet and it doesn’t have to be eggs. Lots of my nutritional friends have what they have for dinner or lunch for breakfast, I’m not quite there myself yet, but what I’m trying to say is just don’t limit yourself to the norm of breakfast!
Good old porridge! Porridge is a great start to the day, oats are slow-releasing, so release energy more slowly and you can also vary porridge depending on what you add to it. I usually add berries and cook the berries with the porridge, add some nut butter (for fat & protein) and then get creative with toppings. Yoghurt or coconut yoghurt, some nuts and seeds and perhaps some more fruit. Try banana and cinnamon porridge, blueberry or raspberry and vanilla.
Eggs make a great breakfast whichever way you have them; poached, scrambled, boiled, as an omelette. Eggs are very nutritious and full of protein, they really do fill you up read for the day. Try poached eggs on toast with avocado and a side of roasted tomatoes or a mushroom, pepper and spinach omelette or my veggie eggs recipe.
I’m a big smoothie fan, I think it’s a great way to get a punch of nutrients in for the day. But you have to be careful, you can go quite wrong with smoothies! You want to make sure you’ve got some protein and fat in there and they’re not all fruit. Have a go at my favourite green smoothie (I add pumpkin and sunflower seeds to this now too) or my go-to-berry smoothie.
I’m a big fan of overnight oats as it means you can get breakfast ready the night before and you’re ready to go in the morning. I’ve got a couple of overnight oat recipes, my summer berry overnight oats for the summer and my overnight bircher muesli.
The big breakfast
There’s nothing wrong with a full English if you do it the right way. So some good quality organic sausages, same if you want bacon, poached, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed spinach, roasted tomatoes, a side of avocado and if you want baked beans just make your own.
Granola is another one you need to be careful with. Traditionally it’s very high in sugar and the pots you can buy with fruit compote and yoghurt are extremely high in sugar. So make your own or look for low sugar options. Here’s my grain free granola recipe – add some yoghurt and some fruit for a filling, nutritious breakfast.
My kids love pancakes and if you’ve been following me you’ll know that I use Anna Jones’ 10 minute pancake recipe from her book ‘A modern way to cook’ and I add spinach to it! I know spinach, but the kids love the novelty of green pancakes and as I always say it’s another punch of nutrients. I didn’t have all the ingredients the other day so I created this raspberry and banana pancake recipe inspired by her 10 minute pancakes. Pink pancakes are also good!
Hopefully this gives you some inspiration, and if you need any more get your cookery books out or get online.
Before a finish just a final note on toast, if you’re going to have toast make sure you use wholegrain varieties like wholewheat or rye. And make sure you have protein with it, so nut butter or eggs for example. Toast can be fast-releasing like cereals, so adding some protein will fill you up for longer.
‘Look after yourself first and then you’ll have the energy for everything else’
Nicky is a registered nutritional therapist who takes an integrative approach that works on both the body and the mind. She’s passionate about teaching women (and Mums) to look after themselves first, so that they can be there for their children and have the energy for whatever life has in store.
Nicky qualified from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2009 and is registered with The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).