24th June 2014: Research reveals 93 per cent of breakfast cereal eaters love their cereal because they can make it just the way their like it.1 But there’s more to the art of customising your cereal than just how much milk to add to the bowl. Dietitian and Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF) Director Leigh Reeve has some great ideas on how to pimp your breakfast cereal to excite your taste buds and suit your lifestyle needs:

Food Porn

This is a café style breakfast trifle that’s quick, easy and looks so good, it’s worthy of an instagram. It’s as simple as topping your favourite muesli with yoghurt, grated apple, and toasted nuts. You can even experiment by adding your favourite spices or seeds. Not only is it a truly delicious start to the day, it’s a low GI brekkie that will provide you with slow-release, sustained energy to get you through the morning.2-4

Hunger Buster

If you are peckish in the mornings, it’s time to up the fibre. Increasing the fibre in your brekkie bowl will keep you feeling fuller on fewer kilojoules. For more fibre, top your favourite cereal with a spoon of bran cereal or psyllium husks or look for a wholegrain or high-fibre breakfast cereals. Dried fruit also provides a great fibre boost and flavour punch, so try sprinkling your cereal with chopped apricots, dates or prunes.5

Pump Up The Protein

If you are looking for a higher protein breakfast, cereal is a quick and easy option. Look for breakfast cereals with around 10g protein per serve (check the Nutrition Information Panel on the packaging for details). You can also make your own high-protein milk to use on your cereal. Just add a cup of skim milk powder (72g) to a litre of reduced fat milk. It’s a dietitian’s trick that increases protein in a litre of reduced fat milk by 26g5 – it’s also a much cheaper than protein shakes and powders.

Hot Stuff

Nothing beats a warm breakfast, especially in the cooler months, so try switching to hot milk or hot breakfast cereals like porridge – both are super quick in the microwave. To take this winter warmer up a notch, add some stewed rhubarb and spice it up with a hit of cinnamon. As well as being nutrient rich, just a small amount of this super spice has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels.6

Immunity Booster

Breakfast cereals are a great nutrient rich choice for brekkie, boasting a dose of essential nutrients including folate, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, zinc, and magnesium.5,7-9 For extra immunity, top your cereal with fruits that contain vitamin C like scrumptious strawberries, raspberries (even frozen ones), mandarin slices, or kiwi fruit.6 Not only a delicious addition, the extra Vitamin C from these fruits may help you to resist infections and makes it easier for your body to absorb the iron cereal provides.10


  1. McCrindle Research 2012, Cereal Social Trends Report for ABCMF
  2. Brand Miller et al. The New Glucose Revolution; Diabetes and pre-diabetes handbook. Hachette Australia 2007.
  3. Jenkins DJ, et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. J Nutr. 2006; 136(12):2987–92.22.
  4. Sujatha R, et al. Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr. 2006; 96(S2):S79–86
  5. NUTTAB 2010. Commonwealth of Australia and Food Standards Australia New Zealand 2011.
  6. accessed 14.06.2014
  7. Williams PG. (2005) Breakfast and the diets of Australian adults. An analysis of data from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 56 65-79.
  8. Barton BA, Eldridge AL, Thompson D, Affenito SG, Striegel-Moore RH, Franko DL, Albertson AM and Crockett SJ. (2005) The Relationship of Breakfast and cereal consumption to nutrient intake and Body Mass Index; The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 105: 1383-1389.
  9. Grieger JA, Chan L, Moss C, Miller M, Celander M, Cobiac L. Diet and physical activity differences in Australian adolescent male consumers and non consumers of ready-to-eat cereals. Nutrition Society of Australia. Perth, 2010.
  10. Saxelby C. Catherine Saxelby’s Complete Guide to Food and Nutrition Companion. Hardie Grant Books 2012.


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