Don’t Ignore Breakfast

Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. After the enforced fast of the night-time feast it’s the chance for us to fuel the body and brain ready for the day ahead. But how many of us actually bother to eat breakfast? Isn’t it much easier just to grab a cup of coffee on the go? But the truth is that we should be eating some kind of complex slow-release carbohydrate at breakfast which will fuel us through the day and get our brains working well again. This is even more the case for children.

So, some kind of multi-grain cereal is good, as is multi-grain bread or baked goods or even traditional porridge. Eating a proper breakfast will even help stave-off hunger cravings and means that you do not over-compensate by eating too much at later meals. There is more truth in the old adage of: ‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper’ than we would care to admit.

Below are three classic breakfast dishes that are also good for you. We start with traditional muesli:

Seven-part Muesli


420g oats

200g mixed nuts (include macadamia, if available)

80g sesame seeds

80g sunflower seeds

75g raisins

75g dried cranberries

150g ready to eat apricots or dates, chopped


Put the oats in an air-tight container and stir-in the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly to combine.

This is excellent served ‘Swedish style’. Spoon your muesli into a bowl, make a 50:50 mix of milk and yoghurt (any yoghurt will do) then pour over the muesli (but just milk is fine, too). Top with fresh fruit and serve.

Next comes a healthy breakfast muffin from New Zealand:

Morning Glory Muffins


400g flour

180g sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

380g grated carrot

80g sultanas

80g chopped nuts

60g grated coconut

160g grated apple

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs, beaten

180ml oil


Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt then stir-in the carrot, sultanas, nuts, apple and vanilla. Mix the eggs and oil together and fold into the dry ingredients. Spoon into a greased muffin tin, making sure you fill the wells no more than 3/4 full. Then place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for 20 minutes, or until coloured and springy to the touch.

And you can’t have a list of breakfast recipes without including traditional Scottish porridge.

Scottish Porridge


8 rounded tbsp medium oatmeal

1.2l water

salt, to taste


Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan then reduce the heat to a low simmer and sprinkle the oatmeal slowly over the top, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Raise the heat a little and cook slowly until the mixture returns to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer once more and allow the porridge to cook very slowly for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. About half-way through cooking you should add salt, to taste. Pour into four soup bowls and eat hot.

Traditionally, porridge would be served with a separate bowl of milk and each spoonful of porridge would be dipped in the milk before eating. If may not be traditional, but a spoonful of currants or raisins stirred into the porridge works well and gives you some of the extra complex carbohydrates you need at breakfast.

Essentially any mix of grains, nuts, seeds and fruit works well for a good and balanced breakfast and the recipes above are just a small selection of the various breakfast dishes you can make. Just remember that most of these recipes take little time to prepare and many can be prepared well in advance and just need to be served on the day.

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