Diet therapy

Kick start your day the breakfast way

branAdding breakfast to your daily eating pattern is a major step towards a healthier lifestyle.

The benefits of breakfast eating

How can breakfast help you to be healthier this year?

Breakfast helps to prevent chronic illnesses

such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, skin problems, bowel cancer, iron deficiency and fatigue.

Breakfast is for everyone

Breaking what for many can be a 7-8hours fast provides growing children and the elderly with up to one-third of their required needs of energy and essential vitamins and minerals for tissue repair and growth.

Breakfast improves brain function and mood

Children that go to school hungry are more likely to be apathetic, inattentive and disruptive. They also suffer reduced levels of concentration, memory and learning processes. Children who are calorie deprived in this way are more likely to withdraw from play, exploration and social interaction.

Breakfast provides fuel for the day

The carbohydrate present in high fibre cereals, fruit and toast can provide energy for ½ to 2hrs.
Adding protein and margarine in the form of an egg, cheese or baked beans on toast, or a pottle of yoghurt to fruit and cereal can help to stabilize your energy and blood sugar levels for up to 4-5 hours. If you are serious about sport then breakfast is an essential ingredient to improve performance.

Common reasons sited for skipping breakfast:

  • “I ran out of time”
  • “I wasn’t hungry”
  • “I might gain weight”
  • “I forgot”
  • “If I eat too early I can’t stop eating all day”
  • “I feel sick in the morning”

While these all seem like valid reasons research has found that feeling sick or nauseous can be made worse when we stop eating. People who skip breakfast are more likely to snack on high fat, high energy snacks later in the day and gain weight than breakfast eaters.

Tips for those who are slow to warm up to breakfast

  • Start with small amounts of fruit and cereal with yoghurt.
  • Then add a mid morning snack such as a muffin or piece of fruit or bread.
  • Remember to have a drink such as a cup of tea, glass of milk or water.
  • Parents need to lead by example It is impossible to change the habits of a child if you don’t lead by example. So try toprioritise breakfast eating for the whole family and feel the benefit of better health and a brighter day. 

    If you would like specific quantities and advice for you or your child to ensure a balanced intake of energy, protein and nutrients then contact us today

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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