Healthy breakfast ideas

Forget sugary cereal and bacon sarnies – here’s what you should really be eating for your first meal of the day

fruit acai bowl on pink background

by Lucy Blackwell |
Updated on

We need a healthy breakfast to set us up for the day – breakfast can provide long-lasting energy and keep our blood sugar steady so we don’t find ourselves reaching for unhealthy snacks to get us through to lunchtime.

So, what exactly should you be eating for a healthy breakfast, we hear you ask. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a list of healthy breakfast foods, a bit about why they’re so good for you, and some simple, healthy breakfast ideas to get you started…


Assortment overnight oats, bircher muesli with fresh berries and fruits. Copy space.
Assortment overnight oats, bircher muesli with fresh berries and fruits in a glass jars ©Getty Images

Why are oats good for me?

Oats are a whole food (pretty sure everyone knows how good for us those are by now) and a source of soluble fibre, which means they help to slow digestion down. This means our body can squeeze as much goodness as possible from the digested food. Trust us, your gut will thank you. Another bonus is they’re cheap as chips (maybe even cheaper – sorry, we haven’t actually done the maths).

What can I do with oats for breakfast?

Oats are a great base for loads of dishes, such as trendy baked oats or Instagram fave overnight oats. Try making your own granola, so you can control the sugar content or look for low-sugar varieties when shopping. You can even grind oats up in a food processor to make flour for pancake or waffle batters.

Be careful what you’re adding to your oat-filled breakfast though. Sugar, syrup and sweeteners are all empty calories, so try chopped dried or fresh fruit for sweetness instead. When making porridge, try replacing half the milk with water for a lighter version, or use your fave plant milk if you’re vegan and go wild experimenting with toppings and flavourings.


Glasses of four different smoothies and fruits on wood
fruit smoothies ©Getty Images

Why is fruit good for me?

An apple a day, and all that jazz. Fresh fruit is packed with nutrients as well as being a source of that dietary fibre our gut loves so much.

What can I do with fruit for breakfast?

Try topping plain Greek yoghurt or Skyr (both a great source of protein and probiotics by the way), with a handful of fresh berries, sandwiching apple slices with some nut butter or adding chopped banana to a bowl of your fave wholegrain low-sugar cereal (think “go green” when checking those little nutritional traffic lights on the front of the box). You could also blend fresh fruit with yoghurt or milk to make a healthy breakfast smoothie. The on-the-go way to start the day. We've even rounded up some great smoothie flavour combos for you to try out.

Last but certainly not least, is there anyone left in the world who doesn’t know smashed avocado is an absolute treat on toast? Speaking of toast, you want wholegrain bread for max goodness please – not squishy white sliced (obvs).


Opened boiled blue duck egg with soft yolk with toast
boiled duck egg for breakfast, with toast soldiers ©Getty Images

Why are eggs good for me?

A cracking (sorry) source of protein as well as containing vitamins A & B12, eggs are a cheap and nutritious way to start the day. Egg yolks are relatively high in cholesterol, but eggs also contain something called lecithin which naturally breaks down cholesterol. Handy, eh?

What can I do with eggs for breakfast?

Keep things simple for your healthy egg breakfast and go for poached or boiled eggs. Cooking methods using oil – such as fried or scrambled eggs – destroy the lecithin that’s needed to break down the cholesterol in the yolks. If you’re trying to keep cholesterol down, you could also ditch the yolks altogether and make an egg white omelette.


Healthy Vegan breakfast
Homemade scrambled tofu served with English muffin, spinach and cherry tomato and sauté mushroom for breakfast ©Getty Images

Why is veg good for me?

Erm, hopefully this one is obvious…vegetables pack serious nutritional punch. The more you can eat, the better. Variety is key too, to make sure you get a good range of the different vitamins and minerals on offer.

What can I do with veg for breakfast?

Mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and beans are all good friends with breakfast staples like eggs and toast. Go for lighter cooking methods if poss – grill mushrooms and tomatoes instead of frying, and wilt spinach as the perfect partner for poached eggs.


Peanut butter in an open jar and peanuts in the skin are scattered on the blue table
Peanut butter in an open jar ©Getty Images

Why are nuts & seeds good for me?

Seeds and nuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein – a great plant-based option for vegans looking to boost protein intake. They also contain vitamin E, magnesium and calcium.

What can I do with nuts & seeds for breakfast?

One of the easiest healthy breakfasts using nuts is a big slathering of nut butter on wholegrain toast. Choose one that’s made from 100 per cent nuts with no added oils, sugar or salt, and choose a wholegrain bread containing seeds for added goodness. Nuts and seeds are also great sprinkled on porridge, yoghurt and cereal, or in homemade granola. You could even try a bit of nut butter in your fave smoothie.

To sum up, the key things to remember when thinking of healthy breakfast ideas – keep sugar and salt intake down, go for whole foods and healthy fats wherever possible and make sure you include plenty of protein (choose a healthy protein like eggs over bacon or sausage). Also, take any chance you can to pack in the fruit and veg.

Once you’ve got your healthy breakfast recipes in the bag, why not try out a healthy mid-morning snacks or our easy dinner recipes for beginners.

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