Boost breakfast with oatmeal

Some people see September as the start of a new year.

Maybe it's a life-long student mentality, or it could be getting back to the grind after the laidback nature of summer.

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Whatever the case may be, why not start the "year" off right by having the first meal of the day be your best meal of the day?

Oatmeal is a great way to start your day. Homemade quick rolled oats with melted brown sugar and a tad of cream makes a delicious meal.

However, you might find yourself hungry again soon after. How can this be? Doesn't oatmeal have tons of fibre?

Oatmeal does have fibre but probably not as much as you think. Any breakfast cereal (hot or cold) should ideally contain at least four grams of fibre and less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. But oatmeal (quick rolled oats) only contains three grams of fibre per serving, which is equivalent to one piece of whole wheat bread. It's no wonder you are hungry again a couple of hours later. So, how can you make oatmeal more filling?

Try adding nuts, such as almonds, and fresh fruit, or frozen berries. You can also add flax seeds, or make the switch to steel-cut oats.

Rolled and steel-cut oats are both toasted, but rolled oats are pulverized into flakes when they're run through rollers (hence the name), which reduces their nutritional value as a lot of the fibre is lost during processing.

Steel-cut oats are only chopped, which means they maintain more of their nutritional content. Steel-cut oats contain five grams of fibre and seven grams of protein, which should keep your tummy happy longer. The one downside about steel-cut oats is they take a bit longer to cook

Here's a tip: Try eating breakfast within about two hours after waking up. Don't wait any longer as you could inadvertently change your metabolism for the rest of the day.

And for those breakfast-haters out there, you don't actually have to eat breakfast food. You can eat left-over pizza or even a sandwich for breakfast. The important thing is to get something in your body so you have enough energy for the day. Also try incorporating three food groups into your morning meal. For example: cereal (grain) with milk (dairy) and a banana (fruit), or toast (grain) with peanut butter (meat alternative) and a glass of juice (fruit).

Jess Pirnak is a registered dietitian who lives on the North Shore. Her personal food blog is at

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