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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:

  1. High sugar cereals aren’t the ideal choice. Anything that has sugar listed in the first three ingredients should be left on the shelf.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • We don’t do cereals as they are very processed and high in sugar. Our kids have once per week in the weekend wheetbix or overnight soaked oats and for the rest we do lots of vegetable pancakes , banana pancakes, vegetable muffins or scrambled eggs on homemade toasted bread.

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  • we are big on the weet bix! the kids just love it especially with banana or strawberry

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  • Personally I will have a coffee and thats all I can stomach until about 11am. My partner is big on brekkie and the latest is coffee with a big bowl of nutri-grain

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  • I agree with this article, you really need to read the ingredients to see what you’re eating and how much. I stay away from Sultana Bran as although there isn’t a lot of added refined sugars, there is still a lot of sugar in the cereal from the sultanas (around 22% of the cereal are sugars).

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  • Luckily my children like weetbix. Unfortunatly my husband loves nutrigrain, and when he buys it the kids want it too :(

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  • Thanks for this wonderful article Annette, it has opened my eyes …must limit the consumption of rice bubbles and increase my weetbix and oats.

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  • I always look at the sugar content but I forget the salt. I can’t believe how much salt corn flakes have in them!

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  • Finally, finally, finally, after 15 years my son loves Weetbix. He sometimes has them with sliced banana. It’s a great start to the day for him. He did decide he really liked Muesli, just before the braces went on so this became a no-no. Happy with this current choice. I’m a fan of muesli with yoghurt and porridge in the winter. My husband will eat anything. In fact, if a cereal is not getting eaten and nearing its use-by date, I just have to tell hubby and he’ll work through it!

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  • My little one loves her rice bubbles.

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  • We stick to porridge/oats from the cereal aisle. Otherwise its a cooked breakfast, but its the one meal of the day we try to never miss out on. Only miss it if we have to fast for bloods or ops or something similar.

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  • I have to admit I’ve never measured my breakfast, but over the years have used increasingly larger bowls to satisfy my big breakky hunger!

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  • My kids always had Cornflakes or rice bubbles and from time to time coco pops but they much preferred the days i would cook them scrambled eggs on toast.

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  • I struggle feeding my kids proper breakfast. I do have corn flakes, weetbix and rice bubbles. my kids dont like porriage. I get them to hve yoghurt if they are still hungry before having toast which I only allow them 2 piece. my son dislikes shakes. Would like Ideas posted for fussy eaters.

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  • This is great. I’m struggling with my girl in the morning. I think winter calls for another try at porridge. I think it’s nice with a banana chopped in it. See what happens!

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  • We keep it simple and just have oats!

    Reply

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