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Are breakfast biscuits a good start to the day?

Breakfast biscuits

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).

Breakfast biscuits

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?

Comments
Member

Shefalee is right saying that we should not kid ourselves about breakfast biscuits being a healthy option. The same applies to many products we buy in the supermarket.

I am increasingly eating home-made soup for breakfast. It is easy to make, not full of fat and sugar, and contains less salt than what is on sale in the local supermarket.

Member

Well it’s all about trying to do ones best in a busy schedule.
I remember when Belvita first hit the shelves and a few people encouraged me to try them, saying they were very nice, but more importantly very filling, and slow release. I don’t know how they came to that conclusion.

The problem for me with regular cereal is that it doesn’t fill me up, so within an hour I’m hungry again. To be honest, the breakfast biscuits don’t really fill me up any more than cereal, so I’ve given up on them.

Nowadays I tend to go for a small bowl of cereal, then later on, a Banana. This seems to almost do the trick until lunchtime. However, the problem with Bananas is that they go off too quickly. So forget buying a bunch to last you a week, they’ll be rough long before the the week’s out.

So there’s the next problem, I don’t have time to go shopping more than once a week in order to buy stuff which goes off quickly.

So what’s needed then… A breakfast which is healthy, can be eaten on the go with little-no prep, and fills you up for a decent period of time. Not gonna happen me thinks….

Member

If you eat cereals containing unrefined carbohydrate they will go some way to delay feeling hungry, but probably not entirely solve the problem. The problem, I believe, is that many of us have become accustomed to eating between meals. Sweet food such as biscuits and bananas are easy to eat and it is well known that sweet food is rather addictive.

A healthy person does not need to eat between meals but can easily become conditioned to doing this. At home I tend to eat between meals. If I am out, I think much less about food and often the snacks come home untouched. I’ve just realised that I have eaten three bananas in between meals today, thanks to staying at home. 🙁

Member

Once your bananas are ripe, put them in the fridge. It may make the skin go brown but the flesh will be fine.

You can also whizz bananas up with just cold milk to make a delicious drink. (And if you are worried about using too much of your fresh milk you can get away with using UHT no-one will know. UHT is also brilliant for cocoa and custard.) I think that this is the easiest and quickest way to manage bananas which you might not otherwise eat because they are too ripe.

Member
Carole says:
20 December 2013

There is some sort of bag you can put bananas in that keeps them ok when they’re in the fridge. Friends of mine use one – I’ll ask them where they bought it

Member

I remember Lakeland do these, from an earlier Conversation. I eat too many bananas to want to keep them but would like to know if these bags really work.

Member
James says:
21 December 2013

You can buy the Banana Bags in LAKELAND, they are coloured yellow

Member
Tim C says:
4 August 2015

You should try frozen bananas. You can leave the banana to ripen to the perfect point (for me that’s nicely speckled!) and then just break them up and put them in freezer for sometime in the future. Frozen banana on it’s own makes a great snack or blend them with milk to make a healthy milkshake. Alternatively add frozen bananas and some honey to a blender and blend into a healthy, guilt-free ice cream. Very tasty