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.
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.
- 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.
- Breakfast: food factsheet. The British Dietetic Association, www.bda.uk.com, published February 2013
- School-aged children and adolescents. Oxford handbook of nutrition and dietetics (2 ed.) (online). Oxford Medicine Online. www.oxfordmedicine.com, 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, www.food.gov.uk, published October 2005
- Dietary reference values and food-based dietary guidelines. Oxford handbook of nutrition and dietetics (2 ed.) (online). Oxford Medicine Online. www.oxfordmedicine.com, published date January 2012
We’d love to know what you think about what you’ve just been reading and looking at – we’ll use it to improve our information. If you’d like to give us some feedback, our short form below will take just a few minutes to complete. And if there's a question you want to ask that hasn't been answered here, please submit it to us. Although we can't respond to specific questions directly, we’ll aim to include the answer to it when we next review this topic.
Let us know what you think using our short feedback form Ask us a question
Reviewed by Kerry McKeagney, Bupa Health Information Team, January 2014.
Let us know what you think using our short feedback form Ask us a question
About our health information
At Bupa we produce a wealth of free health information for you and your family. We believe that trustworthy information is essential in helping you make better decisions about your health and care. Here are just a few of the ways in which our core editorial principles have been recognised.
Information StandardWe are certified by the Information Standard. This quality mark identifies reliable, trustworthy producers and sources of health information.
What our readers say about us
But don't just take our word for it; here's some feedback from our readers.
“Simple and easy to use website - not alarming, just helpful.”
“It’s informative but not too detailed. I like that it’s factual and realistic about the conditions and the procedures involved. It’s also easy to navigate to areas that you specifically want without having to read all the information.”
“Good information, easy to find, trustworthy.”
Meet the team
Head of health content and clinical engagement
- Dylan Merkett – Lead Editor – UK Customer
- Nick Ridgman – Lead Editor – UK Health and Care Services
- Natalie Heaton – Specialist Editor – User Experience
- Pippa Coulter – Specialist Editor – Content Library
- Alice Rossiter – Specialist Editor – Insights
- Laura Blanks – Specialist Editor – Quality
- Michelle Harrison – Editorial Assistant
Our core principles
All our health content is produced in line with our core editorial principles – readable, reliable, relevant – which are represented by our diagram.
In a nutshell, our information is jargon-free, concise and accessible. We know our audience and we meet their health information needs, helping them to take the next step in their health and wellbeing journey.
We use the best quality and most up-to-date evidence to produce our information. Our process is transparent and validated by experts – both our users and medical specialists.
We know that our users want the right information at the right time, in the way that suits them. So we review our content at least every three years to keep it fresh. And we’re embracing new technology and social media so they can get it whenever and wherever they choose.
Here are just a few of the ways in which the quality of our information has been recognised.
The Information Standard certification scheme
You will see the Information Standard quality mark on our content. This is a certification programme, supported by NHS England, that was developed to ensure that public-facing health and care information is created to a set of best practice principles.
It uses only recognised evidence sources and presents the information in a clear and balanced way. The Information Standard quality mark is a quick and easy way for you to identify reliable and trustworthy producers and sources of information.
Certified by the Information Standard as a quality provider of health and social care information. Bupa shall hold responsibility for the accuracy of the information they publish and neither the Scheme Operator nor the Scheme Owner shall have any responsibility whatsoever for costs, losses or direct or indirect damages or costs arising from inaccuracy of information or omissions in information published on the website on behalf of Bupa.
British Medical Association (BMA) patient information awards
We have received a number of BMA awards for different assets over the years. Most recently, in 2013, we received a 'commended' award for our online shared decision making hub.
If you have any feedback on our health information, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us via email: email@example.com. Or you can write to us:
Health Content Team
15-19 Bloomsbury Way