The essential breakfast

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

We can’t say it enough, you have to have breakfast every morning! However, many people go without it regularly, even children! Indeed, according to a CREDOC publication on food behavior and consumption in France, nearly one child in three “skips” at least one breakfast per week; we must react ! For many French people, skipping breakfast has become a habit for many reasons: lack of time, stress, desire to lose weight, or even little appetite in the morning when getting out of bed, etc. Excuses are good but it is not too late to remedy the situation.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

What is it used for ?

It should be considered as a meal in its own right because it provides the hydration, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates necessary after the fast during the night. Indeed, during sleep, the brain is still active and uses our carbohydrate reserves to function. So, when you wake up, they are almost empty and you have to “recharge the batteries” to promote concentration and intellectual abilities. In children, this is all the more important because the reserves are lower because they are also used for growth. Studies show that academic performance is poor when students go without breakfast. Good habits should therefore be adopted from an early age.

Likewise, if breakfast is skipped, we tend to eat a lunch that is too hearty, which leads to drowsiness in the afternoon: this is then the “pump”. Breakfast would therefore be a great ally in controlling your weight by reducing the feeling of hunger in the morning and thus limiting snacking. Daily food intake is thus regulated by breakfast: if we do not eat breakfast we will then tend to eat more at lunch and dinner. Finally, let’s not neglect the special and convivial moment that breakfast provides: what could be better than treating yourself to family before starting the day?

What is the ideal composition?

Breakfast should consist of 20 to 25% of the total energy intake for the day. To balance breakfast, nothing could be simpler, only 4 ingredients are essential:

A source of starchy foods (slow sugars) such as bread (wholemeal, Viking, bran, cereal, etc.), rusks/cracottas, cereals (oat flakes, wheat bran, puffed rice, etc.)

A dairy product such as a bowl of milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, 30 g of cheese or 2 small Swiss cheeses. Plant-based “milk” can also be consumed, but you should be aware that their calcium and protein content is lower than that of milk of animal origin.

A fresh fruit, cooked, in a smoothie, or even in a compote. Juice is also possible provided you consume 100% pure juice (i.e. without added sugars) and only take half a glass, i.e. the equivalent of a freshly squeezed orange. Juice extractors can also be your ally!


A drink: tea, coffee, herbal tea, make as you wish. This can also already be part of the other groups (e.g. milk, juice).

You can of course organize and enhance everything according to your desires; salty or sweet to each their own tastes: butter, jam, honey, muesli, dried fruits, oleaginous fruits, bowl cake, pancake, French toast, milkshake, etc. It is not necessary to have a hearty meal: the rule basic is to feel full and last until lunch.


To have breakfast in good conditions, a little organization is necessary. It seems obvious, but getting up at the last minute and having to prepare everything quickly already causes stress in the morning as well as an unbalanced breakfast. Prepare the cutlery and/or food in advance (the evening before), go to bed early enough (without sacrificing your sleep in front of the television). If you are hungry when you get out of bed, you can have breakfast after washing, otherwise, you can have a small snack in the morning without ruining your appetite for lunch: splitting breakfast is possible. Don’t hesitate to vary the colors, textures, flavors and smells to whet your appetite. In any case, avoid eating too much at dinner and/or snacking during the evening, which could reduce the feeling of hunger when you wake up. Once you get back into the habit of eating breakfast, your appetite will come back on its own. Hunger and satiety signals are often hampered by our own behaviors, so it is necessary to listen to ourselves again and agree to take time for… Yourself!

Traps to avoid

Caution is advised when it comes to cereals. Most aren’t as light as they look, so it’s best to think of them as “candy.” Indeed, not very filling, rich in sugars and fats, low in proteins and fibers, they are likely to promote diabetes and obesity in predisposed children. In addition, we often tend to consume much more than the recommended portion on the package, which is only 30g. Remember to compare labels to choose them better.

The message is identical for all biscuits and other industrial cakes sold as a so-called balanced breakfast. Beware of the sugars and hidden fats present in these foods.

Finally, who has never wanted a pastry for breakfast? These very high-calorie dishes that are so quickly ingested that 17% of adolescents consume? These products should be consumed in moderation as occasional treats and not as a regular breakfast.

Nothing will beat a breakfast prepared by you with raw and unprocessed foods to which you can add, without guilt, sugars and fats for your greatest pleasure and that of your family.

Ready, set, breakfast!