Healthy breakfast tips

Healthy breakfast tips
You ve probably heard people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the
day. Eating a nutritious breakfast can help to reduce your risk of coronary heart
disease (CHD) and diabetes. It also contributes to a healthier diet overall by adding
important vitamins and minerals, such as thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium
and iron. However, about 23% of adults and 10% of children skip breakfast, so miss
out on this nutritional advantage.
To help you start your day right, we have developed some easy ideas for healthier
breakfasts for home, work and meetings. We ve even included some recipes to get
you started!
What is a nutritious breakfast?
A nutritious breakfast includes a variety of foods, such as high-fibre wholegrain
breads and cereals, vegetables, fruit, eggs, and reduced, low or no fat milk and
dairy foods.
The Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults* encourage us to eat a variety of bread
and cereals, preferably wholegrain. Wholegrain foods contain all parts of the grain.
Eating them can help to lower your risk of chronic diseases, such as CHD, obesity,
type 2 diabetes and some cancers. They are also easy-to-prepare, nutritious and
perfect for breakfast.
Eating two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day contributes to good
health. Breakfast is a great time to include fruit and vegetables in your diet to help
you reach this goal.
Eggs are also an ideal breakfast food. A healthy balanced diet can include a serve
of eggs (two eggs) in two to three meals a week. Remember that how you cook them
is important. The healthiest cooking methods are scrambled (using reduced, low
or no fat milk), poached and boiled.
Dairy foods contain calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. They also
include protein, vitamins A, D and B2. There is a wide range of dairy foods that you
can include in your breakfast, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. Choose healthier
reduced, low or no fat varieties.
National Health and Medical Research Council. Dietary guidelines for Australian adults. Canberra:
National Health and Medical Research Council, 2003. Available at: Last accessed 24 December 2010.
Healthy breakfast tips
Breakfast ideas for home
Quick fixes for people on the go
Keep a supply of healthy wholegrain cereals and reduced, low or no fat milk
in the house.
Prepare breakfast the night before by setting the table and getting out bowls,
plates, cutlery and cereals.
Have a back-up plan of fast, inexpensive options. For example, fresh fruit; reduced,
low or no fat yoghurt; a handful of plain, unsalted nuts and/or seeds; small boxes
of sultanas; and cereal bars that have earned the Heart Foundation Tick.
Pre-cook a batch of savoury muffins, for example with carrot, onion, zucchini and
cheese, and eat one for breakfast.
Bread, crisp breads and rice cakes
Spread margarine onto spicy fruit loaf or fruit muffin and top with sliced banana
and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Toast wholegrain bread and grill with melted reduced fat cheddar or
mozzarella cheese.
Halve a wholemeal pita bread or flat bread and fill with berries (or other seasonal
soft fruit) and reduced, low or no fat yoghurt. Roll up and serve as a wrap.
Spread 100% fruit jam on wholemeal toast and top with ricotta cheese.
Top wholemeal toast with salt-reduced baked beans and a splash of
Worcestershire sauce.
Cut wholegrain toast in thin slices and serve with a soft boiled egg or
scrambled eggs made with reduced, low or no fat milk.
Add a healthy savoury topping, such as avocado or hummus and tomato,
to crispbread.
Top rice crackers with a spread of margarine, sliced tomato and black pepper.
Serve layered wholegrain cereal, reduced, low or no fat yoghurt and fresh fruit
pieces in a bowl or drinking glass.
Healthy breakfast tips
Serve wholegrain cereal with slices of fresh seasonal fruit or fruit canned
in natural or unsweetened juice.
Cook porridge with a touch of cinnamon and add stewed fruits, such as apple,
quince or rhubarb.
Fish and eggs
Try canned fish, such as tuna, salmon or sardines, on wholegrain toast with
a touch of reduced, low or no fat mayonnaise and ground black pepper. Choose
fish canned in spring water or oil, or look for the Heart Foundation Tick on the label.
Scramble eggs with a little olive oil, red and green capsicums, onions and black
pepper. Serve with wholegrain toast.
Make an omelette with tomato and mushrooms, or add some pieces of smoked
salmon and chives.
Serve fresh fruit salad in a tall glass and top with reduced, low or no fat fruit
yoghurt and crunchy untoasted muesli.
Try half a grapefruit with a light sprinkle of sugar.
Make a smoothie using reduced, low or no fat milk and yoghurt, fresh or frozen
fruit, ground flaxseeds and a touch of raw cocoa powder* and cinnamon.
Toasty breakfast treats
Use a sandwich maker to make toasted sandwiches, using wholegrain or
wholemeal bread where possible. For sweet fillings, fruit loaf also works well.
Experiment with different fillings, such as:
banana and sultanas
apple, cinnamon and sultanas
pineapple and banana
reduced fat cheese and tomato
lean ham and tomato
salt-reduced baked beans.
Raw cocoa powder is high in antioxidants and is found in health food stores.
Healthy breakfast tips
Breakfast at work
Keep wholegrain cereal, wholegrain bread and reduced, low or no fat milk at work.
Try instant oat sachets and cook in the microwave. Add fruit, such as banana,
sultanas or grated apple, nuts or seeds for variety.
Keep tubs or cans of fruit at your desk to eat by themselves or add to cereal.
Choose varieties in natural or unsweetened juice.
Create a small snack pack of mixed dried fruit and plain unsalted nuts and seeds.
Look for cereal bars with the Heart Foundation Tick.
If you are having trouble bringing in suitable breakfast foods from home, walk to
your local supermarket at lunchtime and buy some breakfast foods. Walking and
carrying groceries is a good way to get some physical activity in your day.
Breakfast meetings
Serve a fruit platter of fresh seasonal fruits in bite-sized pieces.
Put glasses half-filled with plain reduced, low or no fat yoghurt next to dishes
of fruit salad and muesli so guests can serve themselves.
Offer guests savoury or fruit mini muffins. Ask your caterer to make them using
olive or canola oil, or with margarine instead of butter, and 50% wholemeal flour
or added bran. Large muffins can be cut into halves or quarters.
Frittatas can be eaten at breakfast warm or cold. Choose one filled with
Make turkey stacks by putting a cube of lean turkey meat, a cherry tomato and
a cube of reduced fat cheese on a toothpick. Serve with a thick slice of rye bread
or wholegrain rolls.
Serve fresh rye bread or wholegrain rolls with a platter of lean roast meats
and slices of tomato and reduced fat cheddar cheese.
Offer guests individual containers of wholegrain cereals and reduced, low
or no fat milk.
Serve pikelets with 100% fruit spread and reduced, low or no fat yoghurt or ricotta.
For busy sit-down meetings, start the morning by serving everyone a fruit
smoothie in a tall glass with a straw.
Healthy breakfast tips
At breakfast meetings, avoid serving:
fatty sausages and bacon
deli meats, such as salami and devon
croissants and pasties
sweet biscuits
full fat milk for tea and coffee or cereal, or in egg dishes, such as scrambled eggs
or omelettes use reduced, low or no fat milk instead
butter and salt use margarine, and herbs and spices instead.
Fast and fresh recipes
These mouth-watering, yet heart-healthy, breakfast treats are from our cookbooks.
To order a cookbook, contact our Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87
or [email protected] You can also order them through our online
shop at
For more recipe ideas, visit our website at
Strawberry yoghurt cups
These tasty fruit and yoghurt cups make a filling breakfast.
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
1 cup reduced, low or no fat yoghurt*
1 cup Kellogg s® All-Bran® Wheat Flakes Honey Almond cereal*
375 g strawberries, hulled, sliced
375 g other seasonal fruits, sliced
1 tblsp honey
1. Spoon ¼ cup yoghurt and ¼ cup cereal into the base of the four serving glasses.
2. Top with strawberries and fruits.
3. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.
* Products available with the Heart Foundation Tick. Remember: all fresh fruit and vegetables
automatically qualify for the Tick.
Healthy breakfast tips
Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon
This delicious and easy-to-make breakfast will keep you full of energy all morning.
Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
2 eggs*
1 egg white
2 tblsp reduced, low or no fat milk*
2 tsp margarine*
2 slices wholegrain bread, toasted*
20 g spinach leaves
30 g smoked salmon, sliced
1 tblsp chives, chopped
1. Beat eggs, egg white and milk together with a fork until well combined.
2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan over low to medium heat. Add the margarine.
3. When the margarine is almost melted, add the egg mixture and cook for 40 50
4. When the egg starts to set around edges of the pan, gently push the set egg
into centre and tilt the pan to let uncooked egg to run to edges.
5. Cook 10 15 seconds, then remove from the heat and push the set egg into
centre again.
6. Season cooked egg with freshly ground black pepper.
7. Place toast on serving plates and top with spinach leaves and smoked salmon.
8. Spoon the scrambled eggs over the toast and sprinkle it with chives. Serve
* Products available with the Heart Foundation Tick. Remember: all fresh fruit and vegetables
automatically qualify for the Tick.
Healthy breakfast tips
Oven roasted mushrooms on toast
This delicious roasted mushroom breakfast is a great way to start your day with
a serve of vegetables.
Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 large flat mushrooms, stems trimmed
1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
1 tblsp olive oil*
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tblsp chives, chopped
2 slices wholegrain bread, toasted*
2 tsp margarine*
1. Preheat oven to 220°C (fan forced).
2. Place the mushrooms, stem side up, in a lightly greased roasting pan.
3. Combine 2 tblsp of the lemon juice and all of the oil in a small jug and whisk
to combine.
4. Drizzle lemon juice and oil mixture over the mushrooms and season them
with freshly ground pepper.
5. Roast the mushrooms for 10 15 minutes, or until tender.
6. While the mushrooms are roasting, mix the lemon rind and herbs together
in a small bowl.
7. Spread each slice of toast with 1 tsp margarine and put it onto a serving plate.
8. Top each slice of toast with two mushrooms and sprinkle over lemon rind and
herb mixture.
9. Season with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.
* Products available with the Heart Foundation Tick. Remember: all fresh fruit and vegetables
automatically qualify for the Tick.
Healthy breakfast tips
Healthier food choices for breakfast
Breakfast food
Healthier choices
Nutritional value
Handy tips
Bread and
bread rolls
Wholegrain, wholemeal
multigrain, added fibre, soy
and linseed, high-fibre white,
focaccia, Lebanese, pita, pocket,
mountain and fruit or raisin loaf,
bagels, baps, wholemeal
crumpets, hot cross buns
Contains dietary fibre,
carbohydrate, minerals
and B vitamins
Wholegrain or wholemeal
breads are more nutritious
because they contain all
of the natural parts of the
cereal grain, including the
bran and germ
High-fibre, wholegrain,
wholemeal flake or puffed
cereals, porridge (rolled oats),
wholewheat breakfast biscuits,
untoasted muesli
Contains dietary fibre,
carbohydrate, minerals
and B vitamins
Avoid toasted muesli
because it is usually
higher in energy
Margarine spreads made from
canola, sunflower or olive oil,
or dairy blends that have earned
the Heart Foundation Tick
Source of vitamins A,
D and E, and essential
fatty acids
Use margarine or
margarine spreads
instead of butter
English-style, wholegrain or
spicy fruit
Contains dietary fibre,
carbohydrate, minerals
and B vitamins
Commercial cake-style
muffins may be higher in
energy and contain little
dietary fibre
Wholemeal varieties of
crispbreads, crackerbread,
rice crackers and rice cakes
Contains dietary fibre,
carbohydrate, minerals
and B vitamins
Choose no added salt
and wholegrain varieties
Pikelets and
Wholemeal, savoury or fruit
pikelets and fruit scones
Contains carbohydrate
and dietary fibre
Try making your own
using wholemeal flour
Any fresh fruit is a great choice.
Canned or tubs of fruit in natural
or unsweetened juice is also
a good option. Dried fruit and
100% fruit juice (with no added
sugar and served in small
glasses) is another alternative
Contains water, dietary
fibre, carbohydrate,
vitamins and minerals
Dried fruit contains dietary
fibre, but be careful how
much you eat because it
can also be high in natural
sugars that contribute to
energy intake
Tap water, plain mineral water,
diet soft drinks, tea (black or
green) and coffee (filtered,
instant or café style)
Water is essential for life
and needed for sustained
Reduced, low or no fat milk or
added calcium soy beverages
Reduced, low or no fat milk
is lower in saturated fat
and often contains more
calcium than full fat milk
Reduced, low or no fat yoghurt
(plain or fruit flavoured)
Contains protein,
riboflavin and calcium
Reduced, low or no fat
yoghurt often contains
more calcium than full
fat yoghurt
Healthy breakfast tips
Want to know more?
For more information on healthy eating and drinking, call our Health Information Service on
1300 36 27 87 (for the cost of a local call) or email [email protected]
© 2011 National Heart Foundation of Australia ABN 98 008 419 761
Terms of use: This material has been developed for general information and educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. Please
consult your healthcare provider if you have, or suspect you have, a health problem. The information contained in this material has been independently
researched and developed by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and is based on the available scientific evidence at the time of writing. It is not an
endorsement of any organisation, product or service. While care has been taken in preparing the content of this material, the National Heart Foundation of
Australia and its employees cannot accept any liability, including for any loss or damage, resulting from the reliance on the content, or for its accuracy,
currency and completeness. This material may be found in third parties programs or materials (including but not limited to show bags or advertising kits).
This does not imply an endorsement or recommendation by the National Heart Foundation of Australia for such third parties organisations, products or
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done so at the user s own risk.
Healthy breakfast tips