Are cereal bars or drinks a good breakfast?

A couple having breakfast

My children say they don’t have time to sit and eat a proper breakfast. I’ve seen breakfast bars and even cereal drinks in shops – are these a good solution?

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

On busy mornings, we sometimes skip breakfast, but it’s important to make time for this meal to keep us going until lunchtime and avoid the temptation of fatty or sugary mid-morning snacks.

Having anything for breakfast can be better than nothing and can help establish a pattern of breakfast-eating. Although breakfast bars, biscuits and milkshake drinks may have healthy ingredients like wholegrain cereals and milk, they often contain added sugar too, sometimes in large amounts. And although convenient, they can be an expensive option.

Planning your breakfast the day before means you can have something nutritious even when you’re on the run. Why not try making your own Bircher muesli by soaking porridge oats in apple juice overnight, then mixing in low-fat natural yoghurt and fresh seasonal berries? Or have a yoghurt and some fruit and nut muesli topped with banana slices.

An option that can be eaten ‘on the go’ might be a wholemeal bagel with a little peanut butter

An option that can be eaten ‘on the go’ might be a wholemeal bagel with a little peanut butter. You can prepare it the night before and leave it in the fridge to grab with a banana in the morning as you head out of the door.

You could also make the morning easier by laying the breakfast table the night before. Putting some cereal (preferably a variety without added sugar or salt) and milk in a bowl to eat before you head out, and then grabbing a banana to eat on the way, won’t take much time.

Many schools now have breakfast clubs, so if your children are school age and don’t want to eat before they go out, this is another option to help get them off to a good start and fuel their day.

Victoria Taylor Meet the expert

Victoria Taylor is a registered dietitian with more than ten years’ experience. Her work for the NHS focused on weight management and community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. At the BHF she advises on diet and nutrition.

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