Are breakfast biscuits a good option for your morning meal? Or are you kidding yourself if you think they are? We compared them to breakfast cereals and even everyday Digestive biscuits…
Breakfast biscuits are big business – for a niche market that began in 2010, it is now worth around £76m. Belvita was the original but now Kellogg’s, Weetabix, Oats So Simple, supermarkets and biscuit brands like McVitie’s have jumped on the bandwagon and brought out their own breakfast biscuits.
But what has driven this demand? Is a breakfast biscuit any better than a standard biscuit? Or is it that we always wanted to eat biscuits for breakfast but felt too guilty until someone created a biscuit especially for this occasion?
How healthy are breakfast biscuits?
I’m not sold – you have a long way to go before I’m convinced that a biscuit is a healthy breakfast. The breakfast biscuits we looked at (from leading brands Belvita, Weetabix, Oats So Simple, Kellogg’s and McVities) contain between 14.5% and 28% sugar.
While there are some cereals that contain more sugar than this (Cocopops and Frosties for example), Weetabix, porridge and Cornflakes contain 4.4%, 1% and 8% respectively.
And per pack they all contain more calories than a bowl of the above three cereals with milk, which also have the added benefit of providing around a third of your daily calcium needs. The best the breakfast biscuits could offer was 16% of your daily calcium needs, and some only contain around 2% of your daily calcium needs – Belvita Milk & Cereals biscuits (despite having milk in their name).
Could you just eat a standard biscuit?
I get that the biscuits are more convenient than a bowl of cereal if you’re on the go, but a banana is just as convenient or even a couple of Digestive biscuits.
Per pack Belvita Milk and Cereal breakfast biscuits contain 224 calories, 7.6g sugar, 7.6g fat and 2g sat fat. Three digestive biscuits (around the same weight) contain 213 calories, 7.5g sugar, 9.2g fat and 0.9g sat fat.
There isn’t enough in it to convince me that they are that different. While breakfast biscuits have added vitamins and/or minerals (mainly B-vitamins and iron) that you might not find in a Digestive, these are readily available in your diet via green, leafy veg and wholegrains.
In my opinion if you want a biscuit for breakfast then eat one, but don’t kid yourself it’s a healthy option. What’s next? Breakfast cake? Or breakfast crisps?