National Nutrition and Obesity Week – Breakfast: The best way to start your day!

alarm clockMorning rush

Of course, our mornings are more urgent than our evenings. It is harder to relax and enjoy a meal when you’re anticipating everything that needs to be done in the day ahead and you have time pressures. However, it just takes a bit of planning and preparation to fit breakfast in. It helps to do as much breakfast preparation as you can the night before. Before you go to bed, set up your kitchen for breakfast. Soak the oats and slice the fruit so you don’t have to do it in the morning. Cook extra maize meal porridge for the next day’s breakfast when making supper, or boil some eggs the night before. Planning can make breakfast quick and easy.

health food

I don’t like typical breakfast foods!

Most people do find something they like amongst the range of foods we generally eat for breakfast, but it is important to remember there are no hard and fast rules. It doesn’t matter whether you eat the same things as others for breakfast – it just matters that you have a healthy start to the day. This means having a minimally processed starchy food, fruit or vegetable and combining it with at least one other food group. For example, maize meal porridge with maas, brown bread with pilchards, fruit and unsweetened low-fat yoghurt. Last night’s leftover beans can be used as a sandwich filling on brown bread for a great breakfast.

happy family

yawnIt takes my system a while to wake up, I don’t feel like eating in the early morning

Although breakfast is ‘breaking the fast’ between our longest sleep and lunch, there are many people who question the advice to eat when they don’t feel hunger. What’s important to consider is that breakfast can take place within 3 hours after waking.

avo & egg breakfast

Breakfast is easiest to ignore and I’m skipping meals to lose weight
scale

It is important for those who are overweight and obese to follow a sensible, results-driven weight loss programme guided by registered dietitians and nutritionists. There are an abundance of studies that show that children, adolescents and adults who eat breakfast have better weight outcomes and lower risk of overweight and obesity.

making breakfast

children

As parents and caregivers, we are role models for the healthy lifestyles we hope our children will adopt for their lifetimes. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast perform better at school than those who skip it. Eating breakfast has an immediate, positive impact on cognitive function, especially memory and concentration. Parents are the major influence on whether children make eating breakfast a habit, and studies have shown that 1 in 5 of South African children skip breakfast. It helps to make breakfast a family activity and involve children in preparing breakfast and eating together. Parents also need to ensure that healthy breakfast options that their children like to eat are available in the house.