Rethinking On-the-Go Breakfast Products

For most of us, having the time to sit down and enjoy a nutritious bowl of porridge every morning is not even close to possible. Not everyone enjoys eating before the sun comes up but it is important to know that your first meal of the day plays an important role in the overall health of your diet.

Those who skip breakfast often miss out on important nutrients such as fibre, calcium and folate and struggle to maintain a healthy weight compared to those who eat a nutritious breakfast.  As seen on our recent breakfast cereal article here, having a high fibre breakfast gives you long lasting energy, prevent overeating and unnecessary snacking later on in the day. Yet some people find that when they do eat breakfast, they actually feel hungry pretty quickly. Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps that’s your body telling you that your breakfast is not substantial enough and you might need to reconsider your breakfast options.

 

Convenience is Key

For many of us convenience is the key and if it’s too much effort, then forget about it. Not so surprisingly, food manufacturers actually know our pain points pretty well and many of them have jumped on the bandwagon of selling convenience breakfast products. Our mission here at SDC is to help you look past the sneaky marketing claims to decipher the best choices available.

When trying to find convenient breakfast options, there are a few important factors you need to consider:

  1. Having a higher health star rating does not necessarily mean the product is healthy. Always read the nutrition information panel and ingredients list to make sure it suits your dietary needs.
  2. Added sugar and fat are often the main ingredients in convenience products e.g. Weet-Bix GO biscuits actually contain more added sugar and fats than the good ol’ Weet-Bix cereal.
  3. Products containing more wholegrains and fibre are pivotal to keeping you full and breakfast is the easiest meal to get these nutrients in.

 

Putting it to the Test

 Choose products containing less than 10g of fat and less than 15 g of sugar (< 5g is ideal) per 100g, plus more than 3 g fibre per serve (the more the better).

 

 

Kellogg’s Breakfast Biscuits Weet-Bix GO Breakfast Biscuits Nutrigrain TO GO Biscuits Belvita Breakfast Biscuits 247 Breakfast Biscuits

Per 100g

Sugar

17-22g 19g 20.8 g 21-28 g 31 g

Fat

13-17g 14g 18g 14-16g

16 g

Fibre

(per serve)

2g 4g 5g 2g

2g

 

As you can see, the amount of sugar in most of the store-bought breakfast biscuits are ridiculously high and it’s mainly from added sugars. Having a high sugar breakfast is going to cause a big spike in your blood sugar levels which will come crashing down pretty quickly, leaving you feeling hungry again soon after. Whilst they may look like a small morning snack, they actually contain the same amount of energy (calories/kilojoules), if not more than a nutritious breakfast…without creating the long-lasting fullness you need.

 

 

 

Up & Go Up & Go Blends Up & Go Reduced Sugar Nutrigrain TO GO Drink Rokeby Farms Whole Protein Breakfast Smoothie

Serve size

250mL 250mL 250mL 140mL 420mL
Sugar 16 g 16-39 g 10.5 g 9-15 g

27 g

Fat 5 g 8-13 g 3.5 g 4.2 g

5.5 g

Fibre 4 g 2.5 g 2.5 g 2 g

Unspecified

 

These popular products are often marketed as breakfast without a bowl, which is exactly what we want when grabbing food on the run. Sugar is found naturally in milk as lactose but yet, most of these products contain 2-4x the amount of sugar you would get from a bowl of Weet-bix and milk. Without the need to crunch and chew, these breakfast drinks tend to move through your digestive tract quickly, leaving you feeling hungry within a couple of hours.

 

The Verdict

As you may already have gathered, the products we reviewed didn’t tick the boxes despite their promising claims. A better approach to nailing a healthy on-the-go breakfast is to take 10 minutes out of your week to make a healthy breakfast bar, jars of overnight oats or prepare smoothie bags to freeze and blitz up in the morning. Perhaps you might also like to try Charlyn’s overnight oats.

If you don’t have time for breakfast prep at all, we suggest that you stock up on small tubs of low fat yoghurt or an Up&Go reduced sugar. And as you are running out the door, grab a piece of fruit, some nuts or oats to sprinkle on top and you’ll have yourself a healthy, nutritious on-the-go breakfast. Alternatively, top the yoghurt with a handful of Claudia’s homemade muesli recipe.

If you are looking for more convenient, nutritious breakfast options, stayed tuned for Claudia’s breakfast bar recipe coming soon!

 

 

Specialist Dietitian Consultancy is a premium nutrition clinic with clinic locations in Ardross, East Fremantle, Mount Lawley and Mount Pleasant. This blog post is written by Claudia Coombes (Dietitian in training) and reviewed by Charlyn Ooi (Accredited Practising Dietitian and Credentialled Diabetes Educator). All content written is based on our own opinions and not sponsored in any way. The information provided is general advice and not applicable if you have any specific dietary requirements. For further information or to book an appointment, please click on the Contact Us page.