It all starts at breakfast: 8 healthy, balanced meals to fuel your morning
They say that breakfast’s the most important meal of the day.
But is it, really? The world is torn. While some claim that it’s fine to fast the morning away or subsist on a black coffee and a banana, others consider breakfast an indispensable wellness ritual.
The way we see it? There’s no shortage of healthy breakfast ideas, and an early morning meal is an amazing opportunity to get your day off to the right start. When all is said and done, food is fuel. No point in skipping what we need to survive and thrive.
So get inspired by these healthy and balanced breakfast ideas and start to enjoy supercharged health, a sharper head and more energised working days!
1 – Eggs on sourdough
Who says you need to be out at a fancy hipster café to enjoy eggs on sourdough? With only two ingredients and a whole lot of health benefits, this meal isn’t only delicious – it’s good nutritional bang for your buck. Eggs are high in Omega 3s, protein and essential B vitamins, energising both the body and the mind for the day ahead.
And sourdough? As a fermented type of bread, it acts as a probiotic and fills our tummies with all the beneficial bacteria we need to thrive, making this yummy pair of ingredients one of the simplest yet most effective healthy breakfast ideas.
For extra brownie points in the nutrition stakes, add some wilted leafy greens like spinach or kale for a potent dose of antioxidants.
2 – Veggie omelette
Again, we’ve got eggs. They’re hard to ignore when they’re such nutritional powerhouses! Mix together with herbs and spices, your favourite quality oil and a ton of fresh veggies and you have yourself one big healthy and scrumptious breakfast.
Including vegetables in your brekky helps you get a head start on your 5-a-day requirement, while flooding your body with a rainbow of vitamins and minerals and a decent amount of fibre to kick-start your digestive system.
Vegetables that work well in omelettes include mushrooms, silverbeet, spinach, red capsicum, red onion and cherry tomatoes. Any fresh herbs you’ve got lying around could make a tasty, green garnish!
3 – Homemade baked beans
We all know the tinned variety…but with tons of sodium and various additives, it’s so much healthier to make your own baked beans from scratch. Luckily, the homemade version can taste even better!
You can also adapt it to you and your family’s taste buds and discover some awesome flavour combinations. Love spice? Add a ton of curry powder or hot sauce! Love Italian food? Add some sage, parsley and thyme to provide a wonderfully herbaceous flavour to your baked beans.
It’s a fantastic recipe for using up old pantry ingredients. And it’s easy to never feel short of healthy breakfast ideas when you’re inspired by what you already have in the house. Beans are an excellent source of dietary fibre, B vitamins and minerals. They’re also a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. Serve on it’s own or on top of your favourite seeded toast.
4 – Smashed avocado
‘Av’ a spare minute? ‘Av’ an avocado! The wonderful thing about avocado is that it’s so quick and easy to prepare. Just cut it open and smash it on toast! This magical fatty fruit provides an instant hit of healthy monounsaturated fats, nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, Omega 3s, magnesium, potassium and fibre.
Talk about a superfood! Better yet, it tastes heavenly with a bit of lemon, herbs and goat cheese. Nuts and seeds would make a healthy garnish. Don’t want to smash it on toast? Gluten-free or paleo dieters can still enjoy smashed avocado atop an egg, salad or brekky sausage instead. But avocado tastes so good, it pairs with almost anything – truly one of the most flexible healthy breakfast recipes.
5 – Granola with yogurt and fruit
Granola is delightfully adaptable, meaning you can enjoy a healthy version for you no matter what your dietary requirements are. You can even bake it from scratch at home with oats, cinnamon, almonds, seeds and honey. Stir through some Greek yogurt for a healthy dose of probiotics and calcium, and top with your favourite seasonal fruits.
Fresh berries, mango or apple slices taste delicious in a yogurt and granola parfait and even better with added healthy spices like cardamom, turmeric or cinnamon. Why is this light meal one of the more healthy breakfast ideas? Well, many varieties of granola are an excellent source of whole-grain fibre, healthy fats and iron – nutrients your body needs to function at its best. And fruits in the morning ensure you get your 2-a-day requirement ticked before you even head out the door. Just make sure if you buy your granola from the supermarket that it isn’t loaded with extra sugar.
6 – Oatmeal and milk
Don’t have time for a fancy granola and yogurt parfait with exotic fruits? No dramas! Simple steel cut oats and milk makes a suitable heart-healthy breakfast in the morning to keep you going long until lunch.
Oatmeal lowers your bad cholesterol, ups your fibre intake and ensures you’re getting enough selenium and zinc – nutrients that fight off infection. But best of all, oats keep you energised! This comforting breakfast food has a low GI index, meaning rather than getting that instant spike in energy (and blood sugar) that a slice of white toast might give you, you’re getting a nice slow release of energy over time instead.
But what about the milk? Well, amidst the current trend of anti-dairy vegan and paleo diets, cow’s milk can get a bad wrap these days. However, if you’re drinking a fresh or organic variety you trust, milk still remains one of the most nutrient-packed forms of dairy.
In fact, it provides 18 out of 22 essential nutrients and is high in calcium, potassium, magnesium and protein. But if you’re still not sold, a long list of dairy milk alternatives exist on the market today, including oat milk, coconut milk, rice milk and nut milks – all healthy too in their own right. Healthy breakfast ideas will happily remain on rotation if we can suit them to our family’s needs.
7 – Nut butter on whole grain toast
Another one of the quickest and easiest healthy breakfast ideas, it’s hard to ignore the health benefits of a simple peanut butter sandwich. Nuts are an amazing source of protein and good fats, while a healthy, wholegrain brand of toast can offer us plenty of fibre and minerals.
If you’re not sure what bread is best for you, simply visit your local health food store and enquire. Most specialist grocers these days offer a range of artisan, gluten-free or ancient grain-based breads with options to suit almost any dietary requirement or preference.
Just make sure the nut butter you buy is all natural, containing simple, whole ingredients. Some nut butters contain plenty of added salts, sugars or preservatives, turning this wonderful health food into a nutritionist’s worst nightmare.
8 – Green smoothie
It’s lean, it’s green, it’s a free radical-fighting machine. Need we say more? We all know the benefits of dark, leafy greens by now…but many of us still don’t know how exactly to get enough of them in our day. Take the guesswork out of it, and simply blend some up with your favourite fruits in the morning!
Enter the green smoothie – one of the trendiest healthy breakfast ideas. And for good reason, too. These filling breakfast beverages are packed full of wholesome ingredients and taste fresh and delicious. Not sure on the best green smoothie breakfast recipe? For a start, apple and pineapple (and other super sweet fruits) go well with spinach.
For a liquid to combine your fresh produce, you can choose coconut water, coconut milk, a cold-pressed juice or even just plain water. Mix and match until you find a flavour combination and consistency you love. This is the green smoothie supermodel and wellness advocate Miranda Kerr drinks every morning. Why not give it a go?