If your kids are tired of the same old breakfast cereal, try giving them some home-made muesli. Muesli is a tasty cereal which is made up of oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Muesli is easy and cheap to make, and super-healthy.
It’s important that our kids get a good breakfast every day. Eating breakfast helps children to concentrate at school, maintain a healthy weight and makes them less likely to snack on junk food.
Muesli as a Superfood
Oats are usually the main ingredient of muesli. Oats are packed full of:
- Soluble fibre – which lowers cholesterol levels
- Insoluble fibre – which prevents constipation
- Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – helping to keep the your body healthy
Oats also stabilise blood sugars and release their energy slowly, which will keep your children feeling full up for longer.
Muesli is also a good way to get your kids eating more nuts and seeds. These foods are full of omega 3 and 6 and they also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin E – good for the heart and blood vessels
- Magnesium – helps the body produce energy
- Copper – keeps the immune system healthy
- Potassium – needed for muscle growth and brain function
- Iron – needed to prevent anemia
The dried fruit in muesli is also full of fibre and adds natural sweetness – which means you don’t have to add sugar to your breakfast.
Make Your Own
It’s really easy to make your own muesli and if you make enough for the week you can store it in an airtight container – instant healthy breakfast for those busy mornings.
- Get the kids involved in choosing the ingredients – it might encourage them to try different things
- If your kids aren’t keen on seeds try hiding them in the muesli by grinding them up in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle
- Muesli is so versatile it’s impossible to get bored with it – try lightly toasting the seeds, experiment with different dried fruits or add some dried coconut
- For an extra health boost, put some fresh fruit on top of your muesli - sliced bananas, blueberries or grapes are delicious
If you buy muesli ready made (e.g. Alpen etc) have a close look at the ingredients – it may not be as healthy as you think. Watch out for added ingredients such as salt, sugar and milk powders. Some manufacturers add skimmed milk powder to their muesli as a cheap bulking agent. These milk powders add weight to the product and means there will be less “good ingredients” like fruit and nuts. Do you really want to pay top price for milk powder?
If you find a shop bought muesli that you like, bulk it up and customise it with jumbo porridge oats, extra nuts and seeds – as suggested by one of our readers – thanks Brigitte!
Muesli can also be a healthy, filling snack. When the kids get in from school ravenous, instead of letting them snack on biscuits and crisps give them a bowl of muesli with ice cold milk instead. Guaranteed to satisfy their hunger pangs till dinner time and full of natural goodness!
The Bottom Line
Next time you’re in the supermarket think muesli – stock up on fruit, nuts and seeds for a healthy, versatile breakfast. Shop around to get the best deals on fruit and nuts - keep your eyes open for offers in the health food stores. Fruit, nuts and seeds tend to have long sell by dates so don’t be afraid to stock up when you find a bargain.
Get your family into muesli – a super healthy breakfast!
Let us know your muesli recipes – leave a comment below.