Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day – it gives you that kick-start so you have enough energy to keep going. With our lives becoming increasingly busy, making sure we have the right foods to fuel our bodies can be challenging. Using the Health Star Rating system correctly by comparing similar packaged products, can help make this step easier.

The key to a good breakfast that fills you up and delivers important nutrients is including as many of the food groups as possible – wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, a protein source, and dairy foods or alternatives. These ingredients are used in calculating the Health Star Rating.

Here are five easy steps to help you achieve a nutritional breakfast:

  • Incorporate wholegrain foods. Wholegrain cereals take longer to digest and create a feeling of fullness, which discourages overeating. Wholegrain and wholemeal varieties provide more fibre, vitamins and minerals than refined cereal foods and help protect from certain diseases including heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and diverticular disease.
  • Combine carbohydrates with protein. Protein can be found in many breakfast foods including, nuts, seeds, beans/legumes, dairy, eggs and salmon.
  • Kick start your five and two. Bananas, berries or chopped apple with your cereal or porridge is a good way to include some fruit. For a healthy dose of vegetables, try baked beans, tinned or fresh tomatoes or mushrooms on your toast, or a side of spinach.
  • Hydrate. If you get the recommended number of hours sleep, your body has gone quite a while without fluids. It’s important to rehydrate and help your body function normally. Water is your best friend!
  • Build breakfast into your routine. Like everything, repetition is key. If you are short on time, prepare your breakfast beforehand. That way you can just pick it up and head out the door. Visit the Health Star Rating Pinterest account for breakfast ideas.  

Meal planning and shopping tips

Before heading to the shops:

  • Plan what your breakfast will look like each day that week.
  • Make a shopping list and stick to it so you avoid any unnecessary purchases.
  • If you’re buying packaged products, make sure you look for Health Stars and only compare similar products – one yoghurt with another yoghurt. The more stars, the healthier.

Remember, variety is key to help you stick to this morning ritual and provide your body with the important nutrients it needs. More information about healthy eating is available on the Eat for Health website.