3 Simple Tips for a Healthy Brekkie Bowl
I've always been a breakfast cereal eater. It used to be my go-to snack when I would come home from school. My bowel works slower than a sloth so I need to keep my fibre up to help keep me regular.
Cereal fibre works some serious magic to keep us regular.
But I feel like a lot of people are confused about brekkie cereal. Is it really healthy? Which is best?
If you're interested, a few weeks ago, I wrote a handy guide to picking a healthy breakfast cereal and I also shared my tips for finding one that works for your body. It isn't hard to do!
And for the record, you don't need to be scared to chow down on a healthy bowl of brekkie cereal. Australian Bureau of Statistics data that tells us people who ate breakfast cereal, over other breakfasts, were more likely to be a healthy weight, plus they had significantly greater nutrient intakes.
When I have my brekkie bowl, I do love to supercharge it with my favourite ingredients along with 41% of Australian's. Not only does it boost nutrients, but it's totally photographable! #foodporn
Here are some of my favourite tips to make an epic brekkie bowl...
How to supercharge your brekkie bowl
1. Add your favourite fruit
From recent research, it seems the most common addition to the breakfast bowl is fruit! Go figure. I sometimes struggle to get my two serves so this is my easy fix.
My favourite? Slice a banana in your bowl, throw in some anti-oxidant rich (and yummy) blueberries, maybe a strawberry or two. And Viola! - You have a nutrient rich brekkie bowl in minutes.
In case you're wondering - which fruit is healthiest?
The healthiest fruit to use is the one that is in season and that you enjoy. Ultimately, you must always love the food you eat.
Forget anyone who tells you fruit is fattening or harmful. They are cray-cray and have NO idea.
2. Make it look pretty
We like to eat healthy foods that look good.
Adding extra, yummy ingredients to your breakfast is a simple way to make any bowl more nutritious AND make it insta-grammable!
If you're like me (and half a million others) then you also photograph your brekkie for social media. I am totally for that!
I think sharing pics of your healthy meals helps inspire others to eat well too (which is why my husband hasn't eaten a hot meal in years... Sorry, not sorry).
BTW - Did you know that apparently men are three times more likely to post a pic of their brekkie bowl to social media!? That's crazy but awesome.
Food Photography Tips
Arrange ingredients in a spiral or along the rim of your bowl.
Try using frozen fruit for a different chilled, 'fresh' look. You can also add fresh herbs like mint. Perfect for spring!
Always shoot in natural light (but not direct). A bright but shady spot is best.
You can use your phone to take shots - I do most of mine on my phone!
Play with seeds and nuts too. Nutritious and crunchy.
Don't be afraid to make a mess! Create a 'scatter' of ingredients next to the plate for a natural, home style feel.
Mason jars are MUCH harder to style than you think.
3. Add yummy spreads
If you're like myself, and half a million other Aussies, then you like to add spreads like peanut butter into your breakfast cereal bowl.
Yep - It tastes amazing to have rich peanut butter dollop with it's healthy fats, protein and crunch, I add peanut butter to my brekkie bowl for another reason.
When I was binge eating, peanut butter used to be one of my weaknesses. Peanut butter was always a binge foods. I had always considered them 'bad' due to their calorie content so I never, ever allowed myself to eat peanut butter.
So of course, when I had a binge, what did I reach for? Peanut butter!
I would literally eat it by the spoon, whilst standing up, in the kitchen - mindlessly.
Tip: How to stop binge eating on peanut butter
But since quitting diets, healing my relationship with food and learning to end emotional eating, I've worked out a trick with my peanut butter to help me stop binge eating.
You see, I don't believe in taking any foods 'off limits' because it only makes me crave them more. So, instead I give myself permission to have peanut butter.
I only have one rule.
I can't eat the peanut butter off a spoon straight from the container. It has to be part of a meal. That means I often add peanut butter to my oats or cereal.
This helps me avoid eating the whole jar (Yep, that once happened!) but teaches me that I can still eat everything in moderation.
I also tend to keep the peanut butter jar away from the other 'snacks' in my pantry. There is a shelf with my snack foods like dates, nuts, seeds etc and then I keep my peanut butter with my sauces and spices as a condiment.
If you binge on breakfast cereal, then try the same trick. Except, make sure you're eating your breakfast at a table. No TV. No phone to distract you. Don't eat standing up. Really take the time to acknowledge your food.
Want to know another thing that really works for me? If I finish a bowl, and want to eat more (not because I'm hungry but because I just wanted to keep eating). I tell myself that is ok - however, I need to wait another hour. I set an alarm on my phone and if after an hour, I still want another bowl - then I go for it.
You shouldn't forbid yourself from having nourishing foods like cereal and peanut butter because you binge. Taking them 'off limits' won't work. You simply need to create a healthier relationship with how you eat and relate to these foods.
What works for you?
Portion tip: Serving your brekkie in a smaller bowl can trick your brain into thinking you're eating more. I always eat my breakfast cereal in a teacup or a specifically small bowl I bought (pictured). Then I eat it with a teaspoon.
This post is proudly sponsored by Australian Breakfast Cereals Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF). And I promise, I only collaborate with companies where the science stacks up and who share my food philosophy.
This blog post originally appeared on my old website (www.thenudenutritionist.com.au) dated from 2016. It's been republished here, on my new website.