Breakfast – the unloved meal?

Breakfast – the unloved meal?

  • Two thirds spend less than 8 minutes on breakfast during the week
  • Breakfast is the least planned meal of the day
  • 1 in 5 resort to leftover takeaways for breakfast

It may be the most important meal of the day, but when it comes to breakfast we really are creatures of habit. New research shows that three quarters of us repeat our breakfast at least once a week, compared with only four in ten (41%) who repeat lunch, and just one in five (19%) who eat the same dinner twice. Meanwhile a quarter of us eat the same thing for breakfast virtually every day. The majority of us (66%) allocate less than 10 minutes to preparing and eating breakfast.

A quarter of those questioned said they consider breakfast to be a necessity rather than something to enjoy, which might explain why we spend so little time on breakfast compared to other meals. The survey, carried out for Breakfast Week

(24th – 30th January), revealed that on average people only spend eight minutes preparing AND eating breakfast on a week day, and just two minutes more at the weekend. In total, only one hour is spent eating and preparing breakfast throughout an entire week – 45 minutes less than is spent on lunch, and 2½ hours less than we allow for dinner.

Breakfast is the least planned of all our daily meals with just 3% thinking about it when doing their shopping list. Only 6% of people plan the next day’s breakfast before bed, preferring to spend the time checking emails (50%), or seeing what friends are up to on social media (25%). As a result, many people end up eating the same thing every day or turning to whatever they can find in the cupboard or fridge, even if this is last night’s takeaway. The survey revealed that more people have eaten the remains of a takeaway pizza for breakfast (20%) than have had kedgeree (5%), crepes (11%), baked eggs (13%) or even a smoothie (15%).

Dietitian Nichola Whitehead, has developed a new Mission Breakfast Guide to explain the importance of eating the right breakfast.  The guide, available to download at, offers breakfast solutions suited to your lifestyle. Nichola said: “In today’s 24-hour, ‘always-on world’, people have very different morning routines but it’s important to make time to eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast, it shouldn’t be something to endure! Food should be a pleasure so I’d encourage everyone to rethink breakfast.”

Karen Levy, from Breakfast Week organisers AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds added: “Breakfast doesn’t need to be another chore.  With a little planning, everyone can look forward to a tasty breakfast each morning. Even if you are short of time many breakfasts can be made in advance. Eating breakfast has been shown to make you healthier and happier and, with so much choice, there is no reason you won’t be able to find a different breakfast to enjoy each day.”