Healthier Breakfast

A healthier morning meal can refuel your body after a night of rest, give you an energy boost that lasts the whole morning, and prime you to make smart decisions for the rest of the day.

As you start your day, have a little thought on what to eat in the morning. Aim for a breakfast that has a good combination of carbohydrates, fibre and protein. Read on for some power breakfast ideas that can top up your tank and fuel your energy for the whole morning.

Related: My Healthy Plate

Healthier Breakfast Ideas

Smoothies: Quick and Healthier

Sometimes, a decent smoothie is all you need. It is a convenient meal that is fast to put together and even quicker to drink for a sustaining and filling meal.

Power tip:
Use a base of low-fat milk or yoghurt and top it with fruit. Fruits like frozen bananas and dragon fruit are a tasty addition as it lends a natural sweetness and creaminess to the drink. To add more bulk and texture, add a spoonful of chia seeds, wheat germ or ground up flaxseeds.

Wholegrains: Power Your Morning

Kickstart your day with some grains to boost your nutritional intake. Some examples include:

  • Wholegrains such as barley, corn, oat and quinoa. They are all high in dietary fibre and good sources of vitamins and minerals. Consuming them regularly could reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce your risk of diabetes, and could help to control cholesterol.

  • Cereals are convenient and come in all forms. Choose cereal that has little or no added sugar, and higher in fibre. This can be found in wholegrain or bran cereals. Muesli can be a healthier option being a cereal made from toasted whole oats, nuts, fruit and wheat flakes. It typically offers less sugar and calories than most breakfast cereals, and is a good source of fibre and antioxidants. The addition of nuts provides both protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Congee or rice porridge is a good source of carbohydrates. Even better, have brown rice porridge, with meat and vegetables added for protein and fibre. The combinations can be endless, whether it is fish porridge, meat porridge or even vegetarian rice porridge with peanuts and vegetables. Top it off with a tasty garnishing of scallions, cilantro, sliced young ginger, and a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil.

  • Carbohydrates are often the largest portion of a breakfast meal, but be sure to choose wisely. Pick breads, buns or pancakes that are whole wheat or wholemeal, as they will have more fibre and nutrients than the white, refined alternatives.

  • Wheat germ. Just two tablespoons provides about 15 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E and 10 percent of your daily folate. Sprinkle wheat germ on your oatmeal, cereal or smoothie.

Power tips:

  • Have your cereal with low-fat milk, and add nuts, wholegrains and fresh fruit for a meal that will satisfy your hunger and keep you going for the rest of the morning. However, be careful of your portion sizes and read the nutrition information panel for suggested serving sizes.

  • Be mindful that unnecessary calories are added when you top your slice of wholemeal bread with a thick layer of butter or jam. Instead, spread only a thin layer of butter or jam, or have some egg, hummus or peanut butter for a protein-rich option.

  • Instead of white rice, try brown rice porridge, or even multi-grain porridge that is a mix of wholegrains like barley, millet, quinoa, buckwheat and lentils. Wholegrains contain high fibre and can help you sustain your energy level throughout the whole morning.

Related: Wholegrains—The Wise Choice!

Nuts, Seeds and Beans: Energy Boosting Breakfast

Add different nuts, seeds and beans to your breakfast for some nutritional oomph! Some examples include:

  • Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts. A sprinkle of ground or whole nuts into a smoothie or bowl of cereal will make your breakfast rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Soybean milk. Not keen on a full breakfast? Why not just have a glass of soybean milk? Look out for those with the Healthier Choice Symbol or those that are calcium-fortified. Homemade soybean milk from hawkers or food courts doesn’t contain very much calcium.

Oats: Your Healthiest Breakfast Yet

Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre that's been shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Any type of oatmeal is a healthier choice — whether steel-cut oats, rolled or instant versions, but avoid the flavoured versions that can contain a lot of sugar.

Power tip:
Add low-fat milk or yoghurt to your oats topped with fruit, nuts and seeds.

Yoghurt: A Fast and Easy Choice

Tangy, creamy yogurt has plenty of calcium and protein to keep you full throughout the morning. It is also packed with nutrients and micro-flora that can help to keep your gut in the pink of health.

Power tip:
Have your yoghurt with a fruit salad, topped with wheat germ, oats, seeds or nuts.

Fruit: A Fresh Start

There's nothing like fruit in the morning to give you a vitamin zap! Add it to cereal or cooked oats for a natural sweetness, or blend it with yoghurt or milk to make a smoothie. You can even have a fruit salad comprising a mix of different fruit, for different vitamins and minerals.

Eggs: Easy and Exciting

One tip to keep you feeling full longer is to eat a substantial, protein-rich breakfast. It will keep you full, so that you end up eating less during the afternoon and evening hours.

Eggs are a source of lean protein and nutrients like vitamin D. Have them in many different ways. When eating them scrambled, sunny-side up or as an omelette, be mindful of how much fat or oil you use when cooking.

Power tip:
Whip up an omelette stuffed full of your favorite veggies, like spinach, onion, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, even zucchini… be creative!

So as you hit the floor running in the morning, don’t neglect to fuel your day with these nutrient-dense breakfasts that are easy to prepare and provide you with plenty of energy for what the day brings.

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