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Shake-up your Wake-up for Healthy Eating Week

We are kicking off Healthy Eating Week 2018 with our first challenge – to have a healthy breakfast every day!

If you want to feel smarter, more energetic and healthier all round then start your day with a good breakfast. This isn’t just common sense; it’s actually advice from medical experts who say a healthy breakfast can improve you cognitive abilities. It can also make you feel fuller for longer and provide a slow release of energy to keep you going – so it’ll stave off those mid-morning unhealthy snacks!.

So, what’s in a healthy breakfast? Ideally your healthy breakfast will be made up of wholegrain or higher fibre foods, a drink and at least one of your 5 A DAY.

This can be low sugar breakfast cereals or starchy foods, such as wholemeal bread or wholegrain combined with chopped banana, a handful of berries, grilled tomatoes or mushrooms. It's also helpful to include a source of protein such as milk, eggs, yogurt, nuts and lean meat such as bacon and fish such as kippers or salmon.

As well as going without food overnight, your body has also gone without liquids, so to avoid dehydration it's important to include a drink with your breakfast - water, unsweetened tea and coffee, and low fat milk are good choices.

Now we know what makes a healthy breakfast, why is it that over 40% of us are skipping brekkie? If you’re guilty as charged, now’s the time to commit to a healthy change. Read on to find your excuse for skipping breakfast’ and get solutions that will help you fuel up to seize the day from now on.

I’m too busy for breakfast

Many of us do not have time to prepare a lavish breakfast in the morning so it's worth thinking about what you can get ready in advance. Putting a fruit salad in the fridge, preparing overnight soaked oats, or hard-boiled eggs are easy options. And don't forget to include on your shopping list to stock up on breakfast basics at home.

I really don’t have time!

If you struggle to eat first thing, as many people do, then you can take your breakfast with you and eat it on-the-go or when you get to work - just as long as you eat it within the first couple of hours of your day, you will still be getting the breakfast benefits….. If you do buy breakfast out, check nutrition information on labels or menus and go for the options low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.

I’ve got no appetite

If you don’t eat breakfast because nothing appeals or you’re just not into breakfast, then you could try something less breakfast-y? Try a liquid breakfast by whipping up a homemade smoothie. Blend low-fat yogurt, a banana and berries with low-fat milk, soy milk or juice. Or think small; a juice-glass-sized ‘shot’ of vegetable cocktail and a handful of almonds can get your metabolism humming until your appetite picks up.

I’m on a diet

If you’re dieting and think breakfast is the easiest meal to skip, and skipped meals equals calories avoided - wrong! Studies have actually shown eating breakfast helps, not hinders, weight loss. Eating breakfast keeps your metabolism chugging along, gives you the energy you need to live an active lifestyle, and helps to prevent cravings and overeating throughout the day.

To help you with your breakfast challenge, the BBC Good Food Guide has come up with over 30 recipes to help you wake up to a tasty, nutritious breakfast