We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you are busy getting ready for work and getting the kids off to school it makes sense to have something quick and easy. In Australia approximately 80 percent of households start their day with a bowl of cereal.
You only have to walk down the cereal aisle in the supermarket to realise just how many options are available. But how do you decide what is healthy? Forget the hype on the front of the pack and go straight to the INGREDIENT LIST and NUTRITIONAL PANEL.
Here are some tips:
- High sugar cereals aren’t the ideal choice. Anything that has sugar listed in the first three ingredients should be left on the shelf.
- Choose high fibre options as they keep you feeling fuller for longer. You want a cereal with more than 3 grams of fibre per serve.
- Cereals can be high in sodium. There is almost as much salt in a bowl of cornflakes or rice bubbles as in a packet of potato chips. For example, per 100g Weet-Bix has 270mg of sodium compared to 550mg in Corn Flakes.
- When choosing muesli opt for untoasted varieties as these are lower in fat.
My favourite choices are Weet-Bix, Vita Brits, Bran Flakes, Sultana Bran, oats/porridge and low-fat muesli. If you require gluten free cereal, Freedom Foods have healthy options. Most cereals have vitamins, niacin and folate and minerals added to them so that is a good thing for everyone.
No matter what your age, the worst thing to do is not have breakfast. It has been proven that people who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to be involved in industrial accidents and children who skip breakfast tend to be fatter than those who don’t. Teachers can pick which children have missed breakfast as they get tired and generally find it hard to focus mid-morning.
Always measure your cereal. Even healthy options can rack up your daily calorie total if you’re not careful. A healthy serving size for women is three quarters of a cup, and for men one cup. Add some skim milk and a sliced banana or strawberries and you have a quick, easy breakfast.
If you struggle to eat breakfast or simply don’t have time, a breakfast shake might also be a good option for you.
What do you and your family eat for breakfast? Please share in the comments below.
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