Our top tips on how to have a healthy start to your day
January 12, 2017
We know that keeping an eye on your children’s sugar levels can be tricky, especially on a hectic morning before school. But breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, it sets us up for the day ahead and as such, it should set us up in the right way.
Gov.co.uk recently revealed that a 100g portion of breakfast cereal contains 50% of a child’s daily recommended allowance of sugar! This means that a number of children are consuming up to a half their daily allowance of sugar within the first hour of waking up! This could mean that children are consuming as much as three times the recommended amount of sugar by the end of the day!
Bacteria in your mouth feeds off the sugars in food and drink and produces acid, which erodes the teeth. Having too much sugar in your diet can therefore lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and cavities, and can also lead to general health problems such as adolescent diabetes.
Sugars can hide in a lot of the foods we deem to be ‘healthy’.
Fruit, fruit juices, white breads and starchy foods all contain high levels of natural sugars, which means even fruit juices with ‘no added sugar’ will still contain large quantities of sugar.
So, while we can’t offer you a totally sugar free alternative, we can provide you with a few ideas that are tasty, fun and lower in sugar than sugary breakfast cereals and spreads.
1. Breakfast Popsicles
Combine chopped fruit and some yoghurt and pour into a popsicle mould and freeze for a cool way to start the day.
You can find the full recipe here: http://www.caramelpotatoes.com/2013/07/12/breakfast-popsicles/
2. Baked Tomatoes on Toast
Roast tomatoes with herbs and pepper on a baking tray for 10 minutes and lie on top of a piece of wholemeal toast. Or swap things up by stuffing the baked tomatoes in wholemeal pitta breads!
3. Potato Hash with Poached Egg
This takes slightly more time and may be a rush on a school morning, but it is super tasty and only has 4g of sugar per portion (that’s nearly half the amount in certain breakfast cereals).
For these and more breakfast recipes take a look at the Meal Mixer and Recipe finder set up by the Change4Life campaign at http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/meal-planner-recipe-finder.aspx.
With Public Health England, the Change4Life campaign have also developed a Be Food Smart App which you can find here: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/be-food-smart