By Kathleen Alleaume

As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. This is important to refuel your body and brain and replenish your energy stores.

Eating a balanced breakfast can also help stabilise blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn regulates appetite – meaning you are less likely to feel hunger pangs and cut down on unnecessary snacking later in the day.

For parents needing to get their family out the door in a flash, these breakfast hacks will simplify your morning and help kick start your day the right way.

1. Keep it simple

Healthy eating is more likely to be sustainable long-term if it doesn’t require a lot of effort, so pick dishes that are quick and easy to prepare, such as a bowl of whole grain cereal or toast with dairy, nut spreads and fruit.

This eliminates the short order cook scenario and wasting time preparing different options.  Starting the day with whole grains will dish up a healthy dose of fibre which is important for good digestive balance and quality carbohydrates for energy especially for school-aged kids.

As a mum-of-three, Kathleen is all too familiar with the breakfast rush on school mornings.

2. Prepare ahead

A nourishing breakfast can also be prepared the night before, such as overnight oats, boiling eggs, or chopped fruit.  These can be placed in containers in the fridge and then layered with other ingredients, such as milk, yoghurt or nuts, to be enjoyed without losing time in the morning. A little preparation for the first meal of the day can ensure you actually have one.

3. Make friends with your freezer

Set aside time on the weekends to cook in larger batches.  Whole grain pancakes, savoury muffins and oat-based slices can be frozen and defrosted the night before for really quick and nutritious breakfast options, and they also make great lunch box fillers.

Boiled eggs are a nutritious breakfast option.

4. Stock up

While certain food items actually require you to sit down and eat at the table, think portable pantry staples.  High-fibre options, such as UNCLE TOBYS Breakfast Bakes which contain the same amount of whole grain oats as a bowl of porridge (*equivalent to a 34g Original Quick Sachet) can be easily eaten with a piece of fruit or yoghurt and some water for a healthy kick start to your day.

5. Set the scene

Make a habit of laying out breakfast bowls, plates, cutlery, and a few choices of whole grain cereal options and toast spreads on the kitchen counter to serve as another visual reminder to fuel up before leaving the house.

Founder of The Right Balance Kathleen Alleaume is a nutrition and exercise scientist, and mum of three.