Five healthy breakfast ideas to help you 'eat cleaner'
When children eat breakfast regularly, research shows they perform better in school, have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and less chance of getting tooth decay - yes please to all three!
Meanwhile, women who regularly eat a healthy breakfast that's packed full of protein feel satisfied for longer and so avoid overeating later in the day.
Nonetheless, studies show half of us skip breakfast, and nearly a third of us grab something on the way to work. While a buttery pastry and a frothy coffee might be quick and easy, doing it regularly could cost you a small fortune and add plenty of extra calories to your day.
These tasty, nutritious and speedy breakfast recipes, on the other hand, are easy to prepare, boost energy, nourish skin, and keep you full up until lunch.
They uphold the 'clean eating' rules of only including 'real' foods without unnecessary additives, preservatives, salt and sugar. Not only that, the kids will love them, you can knock them up in minutes and - with the power of Fairy - you'll be able to clean up the whole mess with just one drop of washing up liquid.
Almond butter rye toast with banana and blueberries
How to make it: lightly toast rye bread, top with almond butter, sliced banana and blueberries.
Why it's great: rye bread is less likely to make you feel bloated than white or wholemeal bread, plus it's full of filling fibre to boost your digestion and keep you satisfied all morning.
Almond butter has a low glycaemic index, which means it won't cause your blood sugar to spike then drop later - which is a big cause of hunger pangs. Plus, almonds boast beneficial fats for hair and skin, while the fruits provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Why not use the fruit slices to make a silly face on the toast - then challenge the kids to gobble it all up!
Overnight oats with berries
How to make it: before bed, stir together 25g oats, six tablespoons of apple juice, a dollop of Greek yoghurt, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, half a grated apple, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dessert spoon of chia seeds and a handful of fresh or frozen berries (makes one serving). Refrigerate overnight.
Why it's great: besides the fact it'll be ready and waiting as soon as you wake up - result! - this dish provides good fats and protein from the chia seeds and yoghurt. Add to that calcium, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plus fibre to keep the whole family full, and it's an ideal way to start the day.
Sunshine smoothie bowl
How to make it: blend a banana, two tablespoons of oats, 150g fat-free Greek yoghurt, a handful of pineapple chunks and handful of spinach (yes, really!). Serve straight from the blender into a bowl. Top with one teaspoon of coconut flakes, one teaspoon of goji berries and five satsuma segments (makes one serving).
Why it's great: this smoothie bowl is packed with antioxidants, thanks to all the fruit and veg, plus there's the all-important protein from yoghurt and healthy fats courtesy of the coconut. Spooning it from a bowl rather than slurping through a straw means you'll eat it slowly, so your brain actually registers the fullness. Finally, you won't need added sugar because the fruit provides lots of healthy sweetness - and children will love it.
Hard boiled egg and smashed avocado on sourdough
How to make it: lightly toast a slice of sourdough bread and top with up to half an avocado, mashed with a fork, a sprinkle of pepper and/or chilli flakes (if you like a kick) and two hard boiled eggs.
Why it's great: sourdough is incredibly easy for the body to digest compared to other types of bread, and the eggs provide a helping of filling protein. In fact, we suggest making a big batch of hard-boiled eggs on Sunday night, and then they can be eaten throughout the whole school and work week.
Avocado adds those good fats, and if you add chilli your metabolism will benefit from a little lift. If you're feeling really virtuous, add nutrient-dense wilted spinach for extra vitamins A, K and iron.
Dippy egg and asparagus soldiers
How to make it: soft boil two eggs by adding them to a pan of already boiling water for five minutes. Meanwhile, grill six asparagus tips (snap them where they naturally break) in a griddle pan, until they have charred lines.
Pop the eggs in cups, slice off the top and dip in the asparagus tips. Add a slice of wholegrain, lightly buttered bread soldiers - growing children need carbohydrates.
Why it's great: Asparagus is rich in vitamin K for healthy blood, while eggs offer feel-full protein and vitamin D for strong healthy bones, not to mention omega 3s for healthy skin, hair, brains and hearts. And who doesn't love a dippy egg?
It can be even harder to think of school lunches that are healthy, tasty - and portable! For some great ideas, see our article Packed lunches with pizzazz (and not a sandwich in sight!).
What's your favourite healthy breakfast? Register or log in to share your recipe ideas in the comments section below.