Mornings can be frantic, getting kids up and dressed or just your self can be hard! We all rush around like maniacs to get out of the door on time as we tend to leave it until the last possible moment until we force ourselves out of bed. For many, breakfast isn’t a priority, it’s easy to opt for sugary cereal or toast because they’re quick or to skip it completely.

There’s loads of evidence that people perform better when they’ve eaten, hence breakfast clubs in schools. So many kids were nodding off and lethargic; the proof is in the pudding (or breakfast!) so-to-speak. Teachers have noticed that they are more receptive and alert, have better memory and concentration levels and are better equipped to learn.

We wanted to see if this was the same for our staff…..

We did a questionnaire before we started the project, some people didn’t eat anything at all, others had a slice of toast, others had a sugary cereal which was also smothered in chocolate but there were a few who ate a nutritious meal.

Breakfast envy!

Growing up I always had breakfast envy. My friends had all the cereals that I wanted; the chocolate ones, the ones with brightly coloured cartoons on the box, the ones with the best toys in them. Yes, we used to get plastic toys in the cereal box which caused fights amongst siblings or as in my house the cereal to be tipped out to find the toy which resulted in our Mum having an early morning rant before school. The best bit about my breakfast I have to say was the free gift. We had boring cornflakes or shredded wheat, not exactly inspiring when you’re a kid. For a special treat now and again we had the Kellogg’s Variety pack. I can still remember the excitement of looking at all the forbidden cereals wishing they were all mine but having to share with my sister. I somehow always ended up with the cornflakes !!!!!!!

I love breakfast; I wake up looking forward to eating it. I don’t find eating first thing difficult, in fact writing this I’m looking forward to tomorrows!

This is especially the case when I stay at a hotel where breakfast is included. The choice is amazing. I always end up eating a three course meal when at home I’d never dream of it! Fruit to start, granola with yoghurt, scrambled egg on toast and a selection of bread, maybe squeeze in a Danish pastry as well. I then can’t move for four hours…

Healthy breakfast ideas

My colleague Chris and I met with our wonderful Chefs and together decided on a menu of breakfasts for the week and sent out invitations to a selection of staff. We didn’t expect too much resistance to this invitation!

Most of the feedback from people who don’t normally eat breakfast was that they don’t have time so every day they were given a smoothie. These can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. Choose the ingredients properly and you’ve got yourself a glass of nutritional dynamite! One of the smoothies our chefs created contained banana, spinach, almond milk, whey protein powder and chia seeds, packed with antioxidants, vitamins; energy and protein, brilliant start to the day!

The tasters also got to tuck in to home- made granola, mixed berries and plain yoghurt, easy to make and even easier to eat. You can prepare the granola and store it and it takes no time at all to add some fruit and a dollop of yoghurt on top. ! I was pleased to see our MD who’s a northern lad and not known for his adventurous choice in food, trying the mixed berries, he didn’t even put gravy on it!!

Eggs traditionally have been eaten at for breakfast, there used to be an advert campaign “Go to work on an egg” These don’t have to be fried; there’s so much you can do instead! Our chefs dished up a spinach and smoked salmon omelette, you can use whatever you like if you don’t like the added ingredients; mushrooms, pepper tomatoes whatever you prefer. My attempt at an omelette looks like I’ve dropped it and scrapped it off the floor but it tastes OK! They also cooked poached egg on whole meal toast with a sprinkle of chia seeds, scrumptious!

We also were treated to protein pancakes made with banana and protein. The mixture can be made the night before and added to a hot pan the next day. Put some yoghurt, fruit or low fat/sugar peanut butter on them, yum!

Good for weight loss!

We asked our tasters if they felt the need to nibble on sugary snacks mid-morning after eating their breakfast, they all reported that they felt full and several of them didn’t eat their lunch until later than usual.

So, if you are organised and have time in the morning try these simple nutritious meals that you can make or, if you really can’t face eating and don’t have time, whizz up a smoothie the night before and drink it as you get ready. It’s a great way of getting the kids to eat fruit too. Try it for one week, as our staff did, see for you self if it makes a difference to how you feel in the morning.

So, after all those childhood years of resentment I need to thank my Mum for not getting me hooked on non-sugary breakfasts after all!

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