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Start your day the right way

Do you often find yourself leaving the house in the morning without having had any breakfast? For many people, this can become a regular occurrence.

Breakfast may be the last thing on your mind as you rush for your daily commute or get little ones ready for school. But by missing breakfast, you’re really missing out. We’ve all heard the saying ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ – here we tell you why.


  • Why is breakfast important? Why is breakfast important?

    A healthy breakfast is essential for kick-starting your energy levels, both physically and mentally. It will help you stay alert and concentrating through until lunchtime. Skipping breakfast has been linked to poor concentration and mental performance mid-morning, especially in school-aged children.

    A healthy, balanced breakfast provides essential nutrients that your body needs for good health. For example, fibre and vitamins such as iron and calcium (especially in fortified breakfast cereals).

    Further, researchers have found that people who regularly miss breakfast are more likely to be overweight than those who eat breakfast every day. In fact, eating breakfast can actually help to control your weight. So, if you want to help keep weight gain at bay, don’t bypass breakfast.

  • What makes a healthy breakfast? What makes a healthy breakfast?

    A healthy breakfast should provide a good variety and balance of foods and include vitamins and minerals you need for good health. Here are some of the best food groups to include in your daily breakfast.

    • Fruit and vegetables – all forms provide you with essential nutrients, no matter whether they are tinned, dried, frozen or fresh.
    • Starchy foods – wholemeal breads or cereals can provide you with energy, fibre and important vitamins and minerals especially if they are fortified with iron.
    • Dairy products – choose low-fat cheeses, yoghurts and milk. These are great sources of protein and calcium, which is important for healthy bones and teeth.
    • Non-dairy foods – the power of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans, help your body to grow and repair itself. Protein is also a great source of energy.

    An image showing the recommended balance of the five major food groups

  • Breakfast inspiration ideas Breakfast inspiration ideas

    • Why not add some slices of banana or dried fruit to your breakfast as an alternative to sugar or honey? That way you’ll be one step closer to getting your five-a-day. A great low-fat breakfast option to try is muesli with fresh fruit and low-fat yoghurt.
    • Keep yourself fuller for longer with boiled eggs, grilled mushrooms or tomatoes on wholemeal toast or a bagel.
    • If you fancy something a bit different, try toasted fruit bread instead of your usual toast or cereal.
    • Blend some of your favourite fruits and yoghurts to make a fun, colourful smoothie to brighten up your morning.
    • If only a full English fry-up will do, try poaching your eggs instead of frying them and grill your bacon or sausages. Add grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, and use reduced salt and sugar varieties of baked beans.
  • An overview of your health

    Find out how a Bupa health assessment can help you understand your health, identify future health risks, and offer practical advice for a healthier you.

  • Resources Resources

    Further information


    • Breakfast: food factsheet. The British Dietetic Association,, published February 2013
    • School-aged children and adolescents. Oxford handbook of nutrition and dietetics (2 ed.) (online). Oxford Medicine Online., published date January 2012
    • Purslow LR, Sandhu MS, Forouhi N, et al. Energy intake at breakfast and weight change: prospective study of 6,764 middle-aged men and women. Am. J Epidemiol 2008; 167(2): 188–192. doi:10.1093/aje/kwm309
    • Eat Well: 8 tips for making healthier choices. Food Standards Agency,, published October 2005
    • Dietary reference values and food-based dietary guidelines. Oxford handbook of nutrition and dietetics (2 ed.) (online). Oxford Medicine Online., published date January 2012
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    Reviewed by Kerry McKeagney, Bupa Health Information Team, January 2014.

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