The children always have diluted juice with their breakfast (that’s as long as they don’t see me adding the water)
We then had a conference call with a food nutritionist and chatted through our diary – here is the feedback she gave us:
MummyIt’s great to see a variety of different foods are being eaten at breakfast time but some of these aren’t always the healthiest options.
- Wholegrains (eg porridge and Weetabix) were only eaten twice in the week. Experts recommend we eat at least three servings of wholegrains a day and breakfast is the ideal time to get one of these servings. Wholegrains are simply grains that contain all three edible parts: the germ, endosperm and bran. Together, they provide a range of vitamins, minerals, fibre, starch and other nutrients, contributing to a varied, balanced diet. One of the easiest ways to get a serving of wholegrains at breakfast time is to choose a Nestlé cereal. They all contain wholegrain – just look for the green banner.
- Great choices for wholegrain include Shredded Wheat – it’s made from just 100% wholegrain wheat and so is free from added sugar and salt. Other great options include Shreddies and Cheerios – they would make a good alternative to cornflakes, which contain no wholegrain.
- To help boost wholegrains further, swap white bread for a wholegrain variety such as 50-50, high fibre white bread, wholemeal or granary. Bear in mind that jam contains no nutrients and is packed with sugar. A better alternative would be to have a little peanut butter.
- Skipping breakfast should be avoided (sorry but a coffee doesn’t count as ‘breakfast’!). People who skip breakfast find it harder to control their weight, probably because they overcompensate by eating more during the rest of the day. Plus it’s harder to meet requirements for nutrients if you skip this meal – as a rule, breakfast should provide around 25% of a person’s daily intake.
- Biscuits provide few nutrients, and are generally high in calories, fat and sugar, and low in fibre so won’t help to fill you up. This means they’re not a great choice for breakfast. If you want something that tastes sweet but is lower in fat, contains fibre and is fortified with vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins and iron, better choices include Nestlé cereals such as Curiously Cinnamon, Oats & More or Clusters.
- Milk contains calcium, important for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. Lattes made with milk can therefore be a good choice for boosting calcium intakes. Having a bowl of wholegrain cereal is also a great way to enjoy milk and get the calcium that comes with it. To keep fat and saturated fat intakes down though, it’s best to use a reduced-fat option such as semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk.
- Cooked breakfasts are fine as an occasional treat, but they can be high in salt if bacon and sausages are included. Plus tinned spaghetti can add salt to the diet. Adults should have no more than 6g of salt a day. Grilling is a better option than frying to keep fat intakes down – go for lean bacon and reduced-fat sausages, and opt for poached or scrambled egg instead of fried
- Clare is missing out on an opportunity to get one her 5-a-day for fruit and veg at breakfast time, even though the children usually do. The easiest way is to add a sliced banana or handful or two of berries to a bowl of cereal. Alternatively, simply munch on a piece of fruit such as an apple, pear or orange – or have a small (150ml) glass of unsweetened fruit juice.
Emmy and Harry
It’s great to see that fruit is eaten with most breakfasts – this puts Emmy and Harry on the road to 5-a-day at the start of the day, with the result that they’re more likely to achieve this. It’s good to see that a variety is eaten too.It’s also great that fruit juice is diluted – this is better for teeth.It’s good to see that cereal is often eaten. Opting for a wholegrain variety is a good choice – all Nestlé products including Shreddies, Cheerios and Cookie Crisp contain wholegrain. They’re also fortified with a range of nutrients including B vitamins and iron (as well as calcium and vitamin D in Cheerios and Cookie Crisp). Cereal acts as a great vehicle for getting milk into children and along with that comes a range of important nutrients, including calcium, which is important for maintaining normal bones and teeth. Childhood and the teenage years are the crucial time for building strong bonesIt’s not a good idea to provide biscuits for breakfast. Most children would choose a biscuit over other foods at any time of the day so it can quickly become habit forming!
Just beware of salt intakes – Marmite and tinned spaghetti contain a lot of salt so they should only be eaten occasionally. Children need a lot less salt that adults. Children aged 1-3 years should have no more than 2g salt a day; children aged 4-6 years should have no more than 3g salt a day.
That told me, hehe!
I admit I hadn’t realised how much salt was in Marmite however Emmy is a fussy eater and it’s the only sandwich filler she will eat so I won’t be changing that, I have however started buying 50/50 bread.
I have started eating some fruit on days that I don’t manage to eat a proper breakfast.
We have been sent a selection of Nestle cereals to enjoy at breakfast times, these all have added wholegrains and vitamins meaning without any extra effort we have already changed our breakfast habits for the better. I’ve been really surprised mostly by Emmy who is loving Shreddies – she is very fussy and I wouldn’t have tried her with these as I thought she wouldn’t like them, however she chooses them or Cheerios most days. Harry of course will eat anything!