by Alison McAleese, LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager and Dietitian

An assortment of egg dishes

Breakfast has long been hailed as the most important meal, but is it really that necessary? We explore the evidence to see how it stacks up.

We often hear that the top reason to eat breakfast is to ‘boost your metabolism’. However the evidence about this is not convincing.

Many things affect our metabolism, such as age, genetics and physical activity – whether or not you eat breakfast doesn’t appear to be one of them.

But before you ditch your morning muesli, wait – this is not a reason to skip breakfast.

Breakfast is a key time in the day to eat many valuable nutrients. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating foods from a wide variety of food groups and a healthy breakfast can provide us with much needed fibre, calcium and protein.

We also know that people who regularly eat breakfast tend to eat an overall healthier diet for the rest of the day.

Whether you’re a breakfast lover or hater, here are some tips for a nutritious start to your morning:

  • A healthy breakfast should contain foods from two or more food groups – think of it as an opportunity to eat nutrients you may otherwise miss
  • If you struggle to eat enough calcium, try milk or yoghurt with your breakfast
  • If wholegrains don’t usually make it on your plate, choose some grainy toast, rolled oats or a wholegrain cereal (with at least 10 per cent fibre)

For those who love a weekend breakfast try:

For those who struggle with breakfast try:

  • Something dry such as a wholegrain roll with avocado or cheese
  • Something to drink such as a smoothie
  • Something for the run such as a handful of almonds and a banana or a breakfast toastie

If you need some new breakfast inspiration why not mix and match? Choose one from each of the columns below:

breakfast tables

What are your best healthy breakfast tips?