All ingredients can be bought in your local independent health food store.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and needs to be wholesome and filling. Breakfast sets you up for the entire day, and can really affect your mood and productivity. It’s vital for mental and physical health not just in times of stress but always.
Don’t skip: Most kids simply make up for a skipped breakfast by eating more at other meals and that can’t be good. Eating breakfast means you are more likely to get your recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Skipping breakfast means you are less likely to make up the lost nutrients at other meals of the day, plus you have a greater tendency to fill up on nutrient-poor sweet or savoury snacks, leaving fruit and vegetables out of the picture. If a child does not feel like breakfast in the morning or simply there is no time to pre pare breakfast – the recipes below are lunchbox safe and can provide for breakfast and lunch as nutrient and fibre dense to help prevent energy or mental slumps.
Taking some calming breaths before eating helps to digest a meal.
No refined sugar and less caffeine: Refined sugar and caffeine may make you feel better temporarily, but your body soon ‘crashes’ from the high, leaving you exhausted or irritable. When serotonin (the happy hormone) levels are low in the brain, cravings for carbohydrates such as cakes, sweets, chocolate and alcohol can result, as the body uses insulin to trigger serotonin release. Quick Breakfast: Sip on a homemade green smoothie throughout the morning or have your oat porridge with nuts, seeds, natural yoghurt and fresh fruit or a boiled egg first, then eat your fruit an hour or so later. A nutritious breakfast is important for everyone, no matter their age, but it is especially critical for children and teenagers to remain focused and fuelled. The breakfast of champions: The ideal breakfast should have lots of fibre and whole grains, some protein and healthy fat, and as little added sugar as possible – in other words, a good balance of healthy carbohydrates, protein and essential fats. Keep your breakfast choices simple so you don’t need to worry or stress about it. Egg It: Eggs contain important brain fats called phospholipids. Phospholipids enhance your mood, mind and mental performance. There’s no evidence that eating eggs promotes high blood-cholesterol levels or increases the risk of heart disease. Eggs can help to build muscles and they are rich in protein, cholesterol and vitamins A, D and E. Yolks are rich in vitamin D so eat the whole egg to get the whole nutritional package. Oat Up: Oats are economical, versatile and nutritious. I prefer preparing hot porridge with natural yoghurt and fresh berries. Or soaking oats overnight in apple juice and natural yoghurt to create a bircher muesli topped with flaxseed and banana. Or even baking oats in the oven the day before with nuts and seeds and maple syrup to make a scrumptious granola with chia seeds. Oats stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent sugar crashes, as they are full of slow-releasing carbohydrates that give you plenty of energy until lunchtime. They contain a lot of soluble fibre that is rich in beta-glucans. This particular type of fibre has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels and help prevent high blood pressure. Do yourself a favour; get up fifteen minutes earlier tomorrow to enjoy the whole early morning experience of the best meal of the day and you’ll be glad you did. In no time it will become a stress-free daily ritual, for which the benefits are tenfold. Recommended Independent Irish Health food breakfast products: Independent Irish Health foods Organic Jumbo Oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, figs, cranberries. True Natural Goodness
- Chia Seeds
- Chia Seeds milled
- Hemp seed milled
- Breakfast boost
- Organic raw coconut oil
- Goji berries
Oliver’s Recipes for Vitality Expo Weekend AM cookery slot
– cooking as a life skill – multi purpose simple back to school breakfasts that can be brought to school if kids are missing out on breakfast due to time or no appetite in the morning.
Fresh Bircher Muesli with Mixed Berries and hemp seed Serves 5
Vegetarian, no added sugar wheat free
Ingredients 450g IIHF organic oatflakes 280ml freshly juiced apple juice 280ml organic oat milk or dairy 2 teaspoons TNG Org ground Ceylon cinnamon 260g grated pear 260g grated apple 260g soya yoghurt Juice or cow’s yoghurt 1½ lemons 300g mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) 3 tablespoons honey 6 tablespoons topping : TNG Organic Hemp Seeds Shelled
Method: Place the oats in a large bowl or airtight container. Mix in the apple juice, milk and cinnamon. Add the grated pears, apples, yoghurt and lemon juice and mix well, until all the oats are saturated and there is no dryness left. Cover the bowl with cling film or seal the airtight container. Soak overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning, spoon into serving bowls. Top with mixed berries, drizzle with honey and add a scattering of shelled hemp seeds on top. This will keep for three days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. NAS/Vegetarian
No added Sugar Chia Seed Granola Serves 6 500ml
Wheat and dairy free Vegan
Ingredients 80ml maple syrup 2 tablespoons TNG Org virgin coconut oil 1½ tablespoons TNG Org ground Ceylon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon IIHF Himalayan fine rock salt 500g IIHF org oatflakes 65g IIHF pumpkin seeds 65g TNG chia seeds 65g IIHF hemp seeds 60g IIHF dried cranberries 50g IIHF sunflower seeds 30g IIHF dried goji berries 4 IIHF dried figs, chopped 1 tsp TNG Org turmeric
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Mix the oat flakes and all the seeds in a large bowl. Pour the oil mixture into the bowl and mix until uniform (you can use clean hands). Spread the granola onto a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, until golden. Check oven every 10 minutes to stir granola (make sure to use oven gloves) Remove and allow to cool before mixing in the remaining ingredients. Granola should be kept in an airtight container and can be kept in the fridge for you up to 10 days.
And Sinead’s Raspberry Chia Jam
Raspberry Chia Jam
1½ – 2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tbsp true chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup
- Place the raspberries in a food processor with the maple syrup
and blend until smooth. Add in the chia seeds and blitz again for
10-20 seconds to mix in the seeds. Place this mixture in a glass jar
with a lid and leave in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight,
to allow it to thicken.
Note: The jam will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
– Use on crackers, toast or pancakes, on its own, or with true
– Add a spoonful to porridge or overnight oats, along with fresh
fruit and seeds.
– Top off a natural yogurt or some dairy free ice cream with
a spoonful of jam, for a healthy, guilt-free snack.
– Try making the recipe using fresh blackberries
when they are in season – variety is the spice of life!