Resources - Nutrition

Breakfast at your local cafe

Breakfast from a local café is now a commonly seen trend rather than a luxury of yester year. Many of you may visit your local café for a quick egg and bacon roll and skinny latte to go; meet a colleague for a breakfast meeting; or even enjoy a lazy weekend brunch with your friends and partner. Whatever your reason for purchasing breakfast however, it’s important that you start your day the best way you can.

While there are often quite a few good choices on a brekky menu, many options available are larger than you would normally serve yourself at home, which means they contain more kilojoules too.The table below investigates some of the popular breakfast options available in cafes and provides you with healthy ordering tips. Whatever item you choose when eating brekky out, aim for a dish that contains between 2000 and 2500kJ – less than 2000kJ if you’re trying to lose weight. As for the higher kilojoule meals such as the big breakfast: save these for special occasions.



Ordering tips for a healthy brekky at your local café

The kilojoule content of your favourite breakfast meal, may take you by surprise, but most meals eaten at your local café are bigger than they need to be. Remember, these kilojoule contents do not take into account any coffees, juices, hot chocolates and tea you consume with your breakfast. Still enjoy a beverage with your breakfast (how can you not have a morning coffee), but bear in mind all these beverages add additional kilojoules to an already kilojoule-dense meal. The more food and drink in front of you, the more you’ll eat - even if you’re not hungry - so order less. Listen to your hunger to decide how much to eat.

Menu item


Ordering Tips For a Healthy Brekky

Big breakfast consisting of poached eggs (2), bacon, toast, butter, spinach, tomato, mushrooms, sausage & hash browns


Almost equivalent to half your daily intake, this meal should be eaten only on special occasions i.e. enjoy it on your birthday. You can make it healthier by getting your eggs with a couple of vegetables such as mushrooms and spinach, and asking that they be cooked without butter. Skip the bacon and sausage.

Scrambled eggs (2) and bacon on toast with butter


Chefs can make scrambled eggs with butter or even cream – so check with your waiter. If butter and/or cream are used, order poached eggs and save scrambled eggs for home where you get to choose how they’re made. Order toast without butter and swap the bacon for a vegetable side such as tomato.

Eggs Benedict – 2 eggs, English muffin, ham, spinach and hollandaise sauce


This dish is not only high in kilojoules, but also contains large amounts of fat and sodium. The kilojoule-laden hollandaise sauce contains egg yolks, butter and lemon juice with a bit of salt and pepper. When choosing eggs Benedict, ask for the hollandaise on the side and enjoy sparingly.

Eggs Florentine – 2 eggs, English muffins, smoked salmon, spinach and hollandaise sauce


This breakfast is packed with protein and omega-3, but it’s also loaded with fat. Ask for the hollandaise sauce on the side and your spinach to be cooked without butter or oil. Some varieties of eggs Florentine will come on English muffins, others on toast. If it’s on English muffins, share it with a friend. On toast, ask for one egg instead of two and half the hollandaise.

Omelette (3 eggs) with ham, mushroom and cheese


The number of eggs used to make an omelette will vary depending on café – some will use two, others may use four or more. Too many eggs and too much cheese and ham or bacon will make the omelette very high in total and saturated fat, as well as sodium. Ask for your omelette to be made with two eggs and enjoy a side of spinach or tomatoes instead of a massive omelette.

Egg, bacon and cheese roll


This quick option is high in protein, total fat, saturated fat and sodium. Choose high fibre bread such as wholegrain or wholemeal instead of white and make a choice to have either bacon or cheese instead of both. Enjoy occasionally.

BLT – bacon, lettuce and tomato on sourdough with butter


The bacon, bread and butter make this meal high in sodium. Ask for no butter on the bread and enjoy this option occasionally.

Vego brekky – toast, butter, 2 poached eggs, spinach, tomato, mushroom and oven-baked feta


All the vegetable options are cooked in oil or butter. Ask for minimal oil to be used in the cooking. Ask no butter on the bread. To reduce the kilojoule content, you could skip the feta. A good breakfast when you’re hungry.

Thick crust toast (2 slices)


The kilojoule content will vary depending on the topping. A slice of thick crust toast, which is seen in many cafes today, is the equivalent of two thin slices. Order wholegrain or wholemeal bread, as it’s higher in fibre than white varieties. For variety enjoy sourdough as it has a low GI.

Thick fruit toast (2 slices) with butter


Fruit toast is a high-fibre, low-GI breakfast choice, but today one slice of café-style toast is actually equal to two ordinary slices. When choosing this option, ask for one thick slice or two thin slices.

Muffin – mega muffins of course


Today, most muffins are huge – they’re two and a half times the size of a standard size muffin. As a general rule, if the muffin is heavy, it contains a lot of butter or oil. If the muffin is sticky, it’s high in sugar. If you buy a mega muffin, just eat the muffin top – it’s the best bit anyway.

Banana bread without topping


Most commercial banana breads are laden with either butter or oil. This is because banana bread is not bread - it’s a cake! If you have banana bread as snack, share it with someone else. Or bake a lower fat version of your own.

Porridge with rhubarb and milk


Excellent source of fibre and contains B vitamins. This recipe of porridge was made with cream, but it can be made with milk or water. Therefore, the kilojoule content of porridge will vary with the method used to make it. You only need to eat about 1 cup of cooked porridge topped with fruit, so take into account the potion size when eating.

Toasted muesli with low-fat milk and fruit


Toasted muesli is likely to contain more kilojoules than natural muesli. Topping your muesli with fresh fruit and milk or yoghurt will make this breakfast high in fibre, protein and calcium. Remember to consider your portion size.

Fruit salad with plain yoghurt


A high fibre option that can also be a good source of calcium if yoghurt is added. Asking for your fruit salad and yoghurt to be topped with nuts or seeds will provide extra protein and fibre.

Bircher muesli


This muesli is high in fibre and deliciously tasty. The recipe of Bircher muesli changes at every café, with some chefs making it with cream and others with yoghurt. Normally served in huge amounts, the good news is you don’t have to eat it all. Bircher muesli is filling so listen to your stomach.

French toast – 2 slices with banana and maple syrup


French toast can come with a range of toppings, all of which vary in kilojoule content. French toast is made with eggs, butter and milk, so it is also a source of fat and protein. You have to be able to enjoy this occasionally.

Pancakes – 3 x 50g pancakes, maple syrup, 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream and berries


The kilojoule content of pancakes varies considerably; some pancakes take up the whole plate in diameter, others are a lot smaller. Toppings and ingredients vary. Pancakes are generally lower in fat than other breakfast options, but contain high amounts of sugar. Use your own judgement here - consider the size you would eat at home.



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