QPR Trust Health Stars have kindly agreed to provide some healthy advice for readers of this column and will be contributing regularly some intriguing recipes.
We are grateful to Moa Elvermark-Nilsson, Community Nutritionist from Phoenix High School - Community Engagement Team and Adam McLachlan from QPR Health Stars for this week’s first contribution with Breakfast Mexicana .
Have you ever skipped breakfast and found yourself feeling lethargic mid-morning? Breakfast is frequently quoted as being the most important meal of the day and it really is, after fasting during your night’s sleep your body needs energy to put you on the right track for your working day. Breakfast should provide you with up to 25% of your daily nutrient energy intake, so by skipping this meal your brain and body won’t be able to perform at their best.
Do you find that even if you have breakfast you feel hungry by the time you get in to work?
Walking down the cereal aisle can be a daunting task let alone if you have your children in tow. Hundreds of products are available, all with differing ways of displaying their nutritional value and it is no wonder that often you are left feeling confused. You may walk away from the store feeling that you have made a healthy ‘wholegrain’ choice for you and your family but really just one bowl of this cereal could contain more than four teaspoons of sugar! Although sugar provides our bodies with energy it is not the long-lasting kind. Eating sugary cereals can cause you to feel full of beans one minute and then be falling asleep the next, what more you are likely to feel hungry again soon after and rot your teeth in the process.
So how can you make sure your family are in shape for the day ahead? Always read the labels on the packet per 100g and not per serving! If this number is less than 5g you know that you have found a really good product. Whereas if it is over 15g it is a very high sugar product and should only be consumed as an occasional substitute for your healthy breakfast! Porridge is a fantastic option but be careful of the pre-made flavours on offer as these also have lots of added sugar! Better to add your own flavours in the form of a handful of dried, fresh or tinned fruit in fruit juice.
This rule of thumb also is applicable to all other food products you may decide to purchase for your families breakfast, here are a five healthy and filling suggestions:
1. Boiled or poached egg with wholemeal toast and low-fat soft cheese- this breakfast is packed full of protein, fibre and vitamins.
2. Banana and low-sugar peanut butter on a wholemeal bagel- Peanut butter contains protein and healthy fats, whereas the banana counts as 1 of your five a day!
3. Chopped fruit of your choice and plain yoghurt- Packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals.
4. Power smoothie- Oats, strawberries, banana, milk, natural yoghurt and peanut butter can make a healthy breakfast for all those on the go!
5. For our healthy Mexican alternative to a cooked breakfast please see the recipe below!
1 x Chopped tomatoes
½ Pepper (a colour of your choice).
½ Onion (any colur).
½ tsp. smoked paprika powder.
1 tsp. Olive Oil
A Handful of chopped herbs (such as coriander or parsley).
4 slices of wholemeal bread.
1. Put your oven on at 200c.
2. Chop the onions and peppers into small pieces.
3. Heat up a deep pan to medium temperature and add your olive oil, peppers and onions. Sautee on a medium heat until the onions and peppers are soft.
4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the paprika powder and cook on a high temperature until slightly thickened (approximately 5 mins).
5. Pour into an oven-proof dish and break in your four eggs. Depending on how you like your eggs cook for 5-8 mins.
6. Remove from oven and add chopped herbs before serving with bread.