Termed “the most important meal of the day”, breakfast is often underestimated. When we break the overnight fast with the first meal of the day, our bodies are reloaded with essential nutrients bringing preparedness and lifting energy levels to start the day. Research shows that breakfast is a sure way of boosting one’s intake of the daily recommended nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals needed for wellbeing.
Here are some ways to make your first meal of the day more nutritious…
Alternating between veggies and fruits with your pancakes unravels another level in the pancake stakes. Sautéed spinach or kale with mushrooms in pancake batter is a must-try, or fold crunchy cold beetroot and grated carrot to the mix. When it comes to fruit, berries, bananas and citrus are delicious to sprinkle on top.
Let leftover veggies spark your creativity using a bread canvas to make a focaccia garden or a veggie patch on focaccia. This is a nice one to try for a summer weekend brunch. Otherwise, use wholegrain bread and top it with your choice of veggies. Radishes go well with an avocado spread, and spinach or kale topped with mushrooms or juicy organic tomatoes tastes better than anything you have ever tried.
Adding veggies to your eggs – whether scrambled, poached or just sunny side up – can provide a tasty nutrient-dense meal. Try adding mixed vegetables (and not the frozen kind) – bits of your favourite fresh veggies like broccoli, peppers, mushrooms and leafy greens. Be creative on this one and you’ll be surprised by the flavours, textures and yumminess.
“The average intake of vegetables and fruit in South Africa is just under 3 servings a day, which is considerably less than the recommended minimum 5 servings a day recommended by our department of Health”.Jane Badham, RD (SA)
Turn your favourite salad into a breakfast meal by adding bacon and eggs into the mix. Think baby spinach, sweet rocket, tomatoes and red onions with bits of bacon and eggs. Sprinkle in sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a dollop of your healthy fat choice – avocado, olive oil, etc. and you’re set for the day!
Smoothies and juicing
The trusted veggie-packed breakfast. With vegetable smoothies and juices you can’t go wrong if you mix the ingredients correctly for a well-balanced meal. This convenient healthy meal is best had with whole foods, meaning unprocessed ingredients like vegetables, fruits and healthy fats to improve your fibre intake.
While it’s sometimes tempting and easier to reach for the cereal box – which is packed with more sugar than we need in a day – or to skip breakfast entirely, we encourage you to use the first meal of the day to add to your vegetable and fruit quota. Your body and brain will thank you for it.