Mornings are the busiest time of the day for most families. On any given morning, there may be one person flying out the door for work, kindy bags to be packed and children to be dressed, brushed and fed.
So it is no wonder that many mothers report to me that they just don’t have time for a proper breakfast in the morning. But skipping breakfast may cause you to feel foggy, low in energy and ultimately “hangry”. Let’s look at what comprises an ideal breakfast and some quick meal ideas to help you avoid a hunger induced mama meltdown.
To ensure you are getting a well-rounded breakfast, always include some protein, fat and a little complex carbohydrates. Good quality protein is a necessary part of every breakfast as it is the key to keeping you full and satisfied (at least until morning tea time). Healthy fats will also keep you feeling satisfied for longer and is required to absorb vitamins A,D,E and K. Complex carbohydrates slowly release energy over a long period of time and naturally stimulate the metabolism. I recommend slightly increasing your complex carbohydrate intake if you are hitting the gym or know you will have a physically demanding day. In addition to the above, try to add a nutritional boost to your breakfast as often as possible with some functional foods such as kefir (a probiotic rich drink), sauerkraut, leafy green veggies, or berries.
Here are some examples of healthy breakfasts, that with only a tiny bit of preparation can ensure that you are getting the best start to the day:
Eggs – Any Way
Eggs are without a doubt the number one food that you could eat at breakfast time. These nutrient dense goodies pack a nutritional punch as they are a great source of at least 11 different vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fat. Have them any way you can, if you have a little time then poach or lightly fry them up and serve with some sourdough, panfried greens and/or fermented veggies. If you know you are going to eat on the run or at the office, semi-hard boil a few at the start of the week (they will keep in the fridge for up to five days).
Oats are a mum’s best friend. They are so easy to prepare overnight, are full of great nutrients and are particularly fantastic for those who are breastfeeding. Oats are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fibre, antioxidants, B vitamins (for energy production) and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc.
I recommend giving your oats a rinse (1/4 cup per serving) and placing them in a large glass container with some grated apple, raisins, cinnamon desiccated coconut, a dollop of good quality yoghurt (this is important) and covering with water. Leave your bircher to soak overnight or keep in the fridge for up to five days. Soaking your oats with the yoghurt or apple cider vinegar is important because it helps to break down phytic acid (an anti-nutrient that can inhibit the absorption of some vitamins and minerals). Serve with more yoghurt, fresh fruit and some honey if you wish.
Let’s face it, being a mum means that more often than not you don’t have time to actually chew your food, let alone sit down to enjoy it. A smoothie is a super easy breakfast that you can sip on your way to kindy drop off, or even while you breastfeed. For those inevitable wild mornings, I recommend that you keep some chopped banana (and any other fruit your children have half eaten) in the freezer. For the ultimate 60 second breakfast; throw the frozen fruit into the blender, along with some milk (I recommend coconut for some healthy fat), kefir/yoghurt and a good quality grass-fed whey protein powder.
Jessica is an Australian Clinical Nutritionist & Herbalist with a passion for nourishing mothers and children. Her latest e-guide, The Nourished Toddler, is available now via her website. You can find more of Jess’s wisdom on her Instagram account @sageandfolk .