We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should NOT be skipped. But once you've got that part right, what should you actually be eating for breakfast? There are so many unhealthy sugar laden mueslis, snack bars and breakfast drinks out there that it can be a tricky decision to navigate. We consulted Nutritionist Samantha Gemmell who works with Feel Good Food Packs to ask her advice on what we really should be eating for breakfast.
How to create a healthy breakfast...
It's said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But eating the wrong foods for breakfast can lead to a downward spiral of low energy, headaches and gorging on Tim Tams for morning tea! So let's have a look at what you need to set up the perfect brekkie.
A Good Source of Protein
Protein is not only good for your muscles, it's also essential for your hormones and the feel-good chemicals produced in your brain, is needed for your liver to detoxify every day, and builds strong healthy hair and nails. Start off with some high protein foods such as eggs, quinoa, beans, yoghurt or chia seeds.
Low fat is SO 90s – good fat is where it's at. Including good sources of fat at breakfast can help you feel full and satiated until lunchtime rolls around, and boost your levels of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, D and K. Superstars include avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, nut butters and olive oil.
For those not following a low-carb diet, slow burning fibre-packed carbohydrates are the way to go. These babies give you slow trickles of energy, instead of a spike and crash like refined carbohydrates give you. Top picks include oats, wholemeal bread, high-fibre gluten-free bread, quinoa flakes, sweet potato and fruit.
Fruits and/or Veg
For some reason, it's become weird to have fruit and veg with your brekkie, but these are nutritional powerhouses! Packed full of fibre, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals, adding in a serve of one or both is guaranteed to get you off to a good start. Add some wilted spinach to your eggs on toast, a handful of berries over your cereal, or chuck some greens into your smoothie.
When it comes to a healthy breakfast, be sure to AVOID these foods...
This will spike your blood sugars and leave you eating everything in sight come break time. Watch out for labels that list sugar at the top of the ingredient list, or that have multiple forms in the one packet, for example sugar, glucose syrup and honey are often used together in commercial muesli bars.
Foods marketed as low-fat are often filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners to make up for lack of taste, and leave you feeling unsatisfied. Choose full-fat options to feel fuller for longer.
My favourite healthy breakfast recipes...
Here's a few of my favourite healthy breakfast ideas for you to try.
Porridge topped with KOJA
Cook oats in milk of choice and/or water as per instructions. Top with one of KOJA's delish Breakfast Toppers.
Eggs and avocado on wholemeal or gluten-free toast
Cook your eggs however you prefer them (fried/ poached/ scrambled), and add to wholemeal or gluten-free toast spread with fresh avocado. Add a side of wilted spinach if desired.
Choc chia pudding
Soak 1/4 cup of chia seeds and 1 tbsp cocoa/cacao in 1 cup of your milk of choice overnight. In the morning, blend before serving if you prefer a smoother texture, then top with KOJA Breakfast Topper of choice and a handful of blueberries.
Grease a muffin tray, chop up preferred veggies (I love mushroom, spinach and broccoli) and divide evenly throughout the muffin tray. Add one egg per section, sprinkle with some parsley and oregano, and bake at 180 degrees until cooked.
Overnight Quinoa Flakes
Add ½ cup quinoa flakes and ½ tsp of chia seeds to container or mason jar. Cover with milk of choice, and allow to soak overnight in the fridge. Enjoy cold, or warm it up, and add KOJA Breakfast Topper and sliced banana to finish.
Omelette with mushies & capsicum and sweet potato hash
For the hash, fry up ½ sweet potato, cubed, in some olive oil. Set aside. Chop up 3-4 mushrooms and ¼ red capsicum into cubes, add to fry pan with some olive oil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in 2-3 whisked eggs, and cook through. Voila, delicious omelette with hash!
What are your favourite healthy breakfast recipes? Share them with us in the comments below!
Find out more about Samantha and Feel Good Packs:
Feel Good Food Packs is non-profit organisation in Melbourne focused on making health accessible to everyone by providing nutritious food and nutrition education to people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. To learn more, or to find out how you can help Feel Good Food Packs get more healthy food to people who need it, visit www.feelgoodfoodpacks.com