Want to know the secret to a good breakfast? Mix it up! When building your breakfast make sure you get a nourishing balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fibre.
Whole-grain cereals and toasts are great sources of complex carbohydrates and fibre, while fresh fruit and vegetables provide extra vitamins and antioxidants. Get healthy protein from low-fat cottage cheese, yoghurt, milk and eggs. Include just a little fat by adding nuts and seeds to your cereal or spreading nut spreads (such as peanut butter) on whole-grain toast, or adding flaxseed oil or LSA (ground linseed, sunflower and almond mix) to porridge, muesli or yoghurt. And voila! You have a perfectly balanced breakfast.
The Calorie King’s secret breakfast recipe
Cereal is an ever-popular breakfast food, but not all cereals are created equal. Some are so high in sugar they make chocolate cake look like healthy! Allan Borushek, dietitian and author of the best-selling Pocket Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter, still recommends a cereal-based breakfast because it’s an opportunity to get your daily dose of fibre. His salubrious muesli-style breakfast is exemplary of cereal done right – provided portion size is moderate of course:
“I have a mix of rolled oats, roasted seeds (sunflower and pumpkin), roasted almonds or pecans, diced dried apricots, sultanas, wheat germ, topped with sliced fresh banana, strawberries, blueberries or raspberries and low-fat milk or soymilk. It’s a colourful, tasty, nutritious mix that starts the day with a healthy dose of fibre, antioxidants, protein and so on, and fuels the body right through the morning.”
You can build your own cereal similar to his one, adding your favourite grains, dried and fresh fruits, and nuts.
Cereals and porridge
The Calorie King advises reading the ingredient list and nutritional information when choosing a cereal, to ensure it is low in sugar and high in fibre, and adding extra fresh and dried fruits to the mix. Be aware that some toasted muesli’s can be high in added fat.
Healthier cereals include:
|Kelloggs All-Bran, ¾ cup, 45g||125||525||1.4g||21.5g||12.4g||6.1g|
|Kelloggs Sultana Bran, ¾ cup, 45g||138||580||0.8g||28.6g||6.4g||10.2g|
|Sanitarium Light ‘n Tasty, 1 cup, 30g||100||419||0.6g||21.8g||1.8g||7.4g|
|Sanitarium Weet Bix, 2 pieces, 30g||98||411||0.4g||20.1g||3.3g||0.8g|
|Uncle Toby’s Vita Brits, 2 pieces, 34g||111||465||0.7g||22.5g||4g||0.4g|
|Uncle Toby’s Healthwise Heart Health, 1 cup, 30g||116||485||1.8g||23.4g||4.7g||5.4g|
|Weight Watchers Fruit & Fibre, 1/3 cup, 30g||87||366||0.6g||18g||4g||5.2g|
|Vogel’s Ultra Bran Soy & Linseed, 45g||115||475||0.8g||19.8g||14g||5.7g|
Porridge is a popular breakfast in colder months, but be wary of flavoured instant porridge which is highly processed and usually has a lot of added sugar. Go for regular oats and try adding grated apple, chopped banana, dried fruit or nuts and top with low-fat milk. A teaspoon or so of healthy flaxseed oil or ground LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond) can also be easily added to porridge.
|Regular: Plain, cooked with water, ¾ cup, 170g||100||420||3g||18g||2.5g||0|
|Instant: Uncle Toby’s Oats, Quick, 30g||104||434||2.3g||17g||3g||0.3g|
|Flavoured: Uncle Toby’s Oats Temptations, Apple Sultana and Honey, 40g||154||642||2.6g||27.7g||2.6g||11.5g|
CalorieKing.com.au member Skittzo suggests adding psyllium husks to your porridge for extra fibre, and topping with cinnamon, sultanas, low-fat milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Attention traditional breakfast eaters! You don’t have to surrender your eggs and bacon for soy milk and carrot juice to eat a healthy breakfast. Just make a few adjustments, such as replacing bacon with low-fat bacon.
Try these smart ideas from CalorieKing.com.au members.
Suze78 suggests a tasty sounding muffin combo:
Try a poached egg on a soy and linseed muffin, with low-fat cream cheese, baby spinach and cracked black pepper.
Carltonp suggest this make over of a popular fast food breakfast item:
An English muffin topped with a poached egg with some lean ham (which has been heated in the microwave).
Stevisu has a good idea for a vegetarian version:
Try a toasted multi-grain muffin topped with a poached egg, and cooked tomato and mushrooms.
Kelly167 suggests this healthy gluten free breakfast:
I like to scramble one whole egg with two egg whites and have that on a piece of gluten free toast. It’s yummy and fills me up!
Mischka has this delicious sounding scrambled egg recipe:
milk (or soymilk)
chilli sauce (sweet or hot depending on how I am feeling)
dry packed sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water
Serve on toasted sour dough.
You can vary the flavours by adding small amounts of mushrooms, pesto, parmesan cheese, onion, fresh chilli or yoghurt.
CalorieKing.com.au dietitian, Joan Bushman, shares her favourite Sunday breakfast:
I scramble two eggs with ¾ cup fresh or frozen vegetables, such as sliced capsicum, and add some fresh basil, parsley or some garlic and seasonings. I often throw in a small amount of brie or feta cheese as well. After scrambling all together and adding wholegrain toast, I serve it on nice china, go out on the patio, and enjoy the sea breeze and garden views with my breakfast; I love ambience!
Quick and easy
Many breakfast foods are easy to eat in five minutes or quick to prepare and take in the car. However, be aware that many “on-the-run” breakfasts are not nutritionally adequate. For example, breakfast bars may not be as nutritious as cereal of the same name; you also miss out on nutrients from the extra cereal toppings such as milk and fresh fruit. Breakfast bars and diet shakes can also be extremely high in sugar which leads to mid-morning blood sugar crashes.
Check out these healthier ideas from CalorieKing.com.au members.
Carolyn6mundy recommends her speedy banana chocolate smoothie to keep you full till lunch:
1 over ripe banana
150 ml no-fat milk
1 carton low-fat yoghurt
1 tablespoon drinking chocolate (or carob)
1 tablespoon psyllium husks
Blend it all together and enjoy.
Mischka has these two toasted sandwich ideas:
As she’s not a morning person and is often running late, Mischka says these sandwiches are good to eat on the way to work.
Savoury: Wholemeal bread with egg & bacon
Sweet: Fruit bread with a small banana, pinch cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sugar.
Many Australians have a diet lacking in fibre. Instead of the recommended 25-35g fibre per day, many people are getting less than 20g. Starting the day with some fresh fruit is one great tasting way to increase your fibre intake – and a good way to make sure you get your two servings of fruit per day.
You’ll love these luscious fruity ideas from CalorieKing.com.au members.
Max452 has a delicious recipe for a high fibre brekkie sorbet:
½ large frozen banana
1 frozen mango cheek
8 frozen blackberries
8 frozen raspberries
4 teaspoons psyllium husks
2 tablespoons super cold water
Chop fruit and blend in food processor. Mix in psyllium and water with a spoon before blending again. The result is a great, fruity, filling sorbet. The banana and mango make it creamy without any dairy.
Jackmum recommends these tasty additions to standard fruit salad:
Top fruit salad with a variety of nuts and seeds and a few rice bubbles for some crunch.
If you don’t like breakfast foods, or just want a refreshing change for your morning meal, check these out!
From Gaylehebbard: Vegetable muffins are my favourite. Try ones with corn, sweet potato or capsicum.
From Normab: This is my husband’s favourite breakfast. It’s an Indian omelette. Fry 1 diced onion in a pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray, add about 4 eggs (for 2 people), sprinkle with chilli flakes and fresh chopped coriander.
From Jackmum: Try light cream cheese on toast topped with half a tin of flavoured tuna.
From Jojoamethyst: My tasty psyllium pancakes are full of fibre and protein.
2 tablespoons psyllium husks
½ teaspoon baking powder
Mix the ingredients together. Leave it to sit for about 5 minutes (this stops it being a bit gritty). Cook like normal pancakes using cooking spray to grease the frying pan. Serve with low joule jam.
From Turtle: My occasional treat is toast with a teaspoon of peanut butter topped with sliced banana.