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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Nutritious Breakfast Advice from Nestle

We recently took part in a campaign with Nestle, keeping a breakfast diary then discussing the findings with a nutritionist.

When it comes to breakfast, I usually sit down after the school run to eat a bowl of porridge or have a bowl of cereals both made using almond milk. The nutritionist said that porridge was a good source of slow release energy and is a great breakfast as long as it isn't served with too many sweet toppings.  She recommended topping with fresh fruit to get one of my five a day, although I usually have it plain.  Cereals should preferably be wholegrain and fortified with vitamins and minerals to maximize their health benefits.

I prefer using vegan milks rather than dairy, whereas the nutritionist was very much a pro-dairy advocate. Plant based milks tend to be fortified with calcium and vitamins and the one I use Alpro Almond Original is low in fat and just 48 calories per 100ml.  So I have no qualms about using non-dairy alternatives, which I personally think are a better source of nutrition and a healthier alternative.  Plus I really like it!

Ian likes toast for breakfast and as we tend to buy 50/50 wholegrain bread, which the kids prefer, so he's getting his fibre and also getting the fortification that goes into it.  He will also sometimes have cereals served with unsweetened soya milk, another good source of fibre and as the cereals and milk are both fortified, he is getting vitamins and minerals too.  He usually eats fruit on his commute into work, adding to his 5 a day tally.

The nutritionist reminded me of the importance of getting calcium in our diet.  By our late teens most of our future bone strength is pre-determined so it is vital to ensure our children get their RDA.  The kids do still eat some dairy products: cheese, yogurt and milk, plus they have have fortified non-dairy milks too.  Leafy green vegetables and pulses are great sources of calcium (as vegetarians we get plenty of both). So hopefully they will have plenty of calcium in reserve for when they get older and age causes them to lose bone strength. They don't need a high dairy diet to do this.

Milk and wholegrain fortified cereals make up the breakfasts of both Freddy and Kizzy. They tend to choose Cheerios or Shreddies, both fortified and not too high on the added sugars.  Wholegrain cereals are really important to our diets and the Nestle cereals are an easy way of getting one of our daily portions of wholegrains.

When it comes to 17 year old Ella, it's usually a case of breakfast on the bus on her way to college.  A cereal bar and a bottle of water usually does the job, giving her the hydration and the energy she needs.  Not the most nutritious start to the day, but she has a good healthy lunch and access to healthy food at college so I don't worry too much.  Anything is better than nothing when it comes to getting something to eat on a rushed morning.

We could improve our mornings by adding fruit such as bananas, grapes or berries with breakfast.  Fruit juices are also good but only in moderation.  Using our juicer to make juices that contain not only regular fruits but which also contain foods such as spinach, kale, fresh ginger and wheatgrass will provide a healthy plant-based boost to our breakfast.  But as vegetarians we generally always get our five a day anyway, and so any extra will be an added bonus.

Nestle

Nestle kindly sent us a box of their cereals that will keep us in healthy wholegrain breakfasts for a good few weeks!  The kids absolutely love a bowl of dry Curiously Cinnamon cereals as an alternative to eating biscuits.  It's a healthier wholegrain snack for them to enjoy after school.


1 comment:

  1. Jill Stan Jones8 March 2014 at 12:08

    Out of all of the cereals on offer at Supermarkets my all time favourite is Nestle Whole Grain Cheeros. I really enjoy that crunchy taste and feel that I am having a nutricious breakfast which is important to young and old alike. xxxx

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