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Eat well, stay well

Being organised is crucial to getting out the door on time and in the winter months it’s more important than ever for Kiwis to eat a healthy breakfast during their morning rush.

Vitamin-rich fruit such as kiwifruit, tamarillos, oranges and lemons will help support immunity in winter and make a great addition to any breakfast on-the-go. Herbs like mint can also be used to add more colour and flavour to your breakfast bowl.

5+ A Day is urging New Zealanders to do some simple prep the night before to make sure they don't miss out on a healthy start to their day.

“A lot of people lead incredibly busy lives and need to eat breakfast on their way to work or when they reach the office,” says 5+ A Day Charitable Trust General Manager Paula Dudley.

“We'd love to see more Kiwis starting their day with fresh fruit no matter how busy they are. It might be as simple as throwing a kiwifruit in your bag or peeling an orange and keeping it in the fridge overnight.”

The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation recommend people eat three or more servings of vegetables and at least two servings of fruit every day. But recent Ministry of Health data shows only 53 percent of New Zealanders are consuming the recommended daily intake of vegetables and 51.5 percent are eating enough fruit.

“There are a lot of different health benefits that fruit can deliver, especially at this time of year when we're surrounded by winter coughs and colds.”

Kiwifruit are popular, portable and packed with vitamin C. Gold kiwifruit actually contain more vitamin C (450 percent Recommended Daily Intake) than their green counterpart (315 percent RDI) but either variety will give your immune system a big boost. They're also a good source of folate and dietary fibre.

Tamarillos are in season right now and will add a vibrant splash of colour to any breakfast bowl. There are two varieties — red is a good source of vitamin A which is important for good vision, growth and helps us to fight off infection, while yellow contains lots of vitamin B6 for healthy brain development. Tamarillos also contain potassium and are a source of vitamin E which is an important antioxidant.

Citrus fruit such as Navel oranges and lemons are in plentiful supply during winter. Their juice and flesh can be used any number of ways and like kiwifruit, they'll provide a decent hit of vitamin C to fight off winter bugs. Navel oranges are also a source of folate, niacin (vitamin B3) and thiamine (vitamin B1) which help the body break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy.

“Eating in season is always best from both an economic and nutritional point of view,” Paula Dudley says.

“All of these fruits are inherently portable and can easily be prepared in advance so there really is no reason not to include fruit for breakfast this winter.”

— Courtesy of 5+ A Day

'There are a lot of different health benefits that fruit can deliver, especially at this time of year when we're surrounded by winter coughs and colds.' Picture by 5+ A Day