With breakfast being a big talking point currently following the Conservative manifesto move to scrap the free school lunch for a free breakfast, Anglia Crown shares its thoughts on breakfasts in a healthcare setting.
Paul Howell, head of commercial at Anglia Crown, says: “Patients need a sense of normality when they are in hospital and mealtimes such as breakfast, lunch and dinner help provide that.
“A cooked breakfast has been part of the British way of life for centuries and it continues to be popular today.
“It is enjoyed by all kinds of people and is served everywhere from cafés and restaurants to traditional country B&Bs and luxury hotels.
“And it can even be enjoyed at any time of the day, as the rise of all-day breakfast menu options demonstrates. This is something we have witnessed within the hospital environment, which is why our cooked breakfast is available to patients throughout the day’s mealtimes.”
He adds: “Breakfast is something to look forward to after an overnight stay in hospital and it sets patients up for the day ahead. A cooked breakfast can boost the metabolism and prevent hunger attacks, which may lead to people turning to more unhealthy snacks during the day.
“Our cooked breakfast includes typical items such as bacon, sausages and eggs with sides of baked beans, hashed browns and plum tomatoes. We also provide breakfasts suitable for vegetarians.”
Ruth Smith, registered dietitian at Anglia Crown, adds: “Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, yet up to one-third of us regularly miss it.
“While it may not be strictly true to label it the most important meal of the day, as no meal should be categorised as more important than another, eating breakfast certainly offers several benefits.
“Breakfast helps top up the energy stores used during the night while the body repairs and renews itself. At Anglia Crown, we are fully aware just how important a nutritious breakfast can be in supporting hospital patients with their recovery.”
She continues: “Breakfast should provide about 20-25% of daily nutritional requirements and should be built from the main food groups.
“Starchy foods such as bread and cereals provide energy, B vitamins, some iron and fibre, while milk and dairy foods give protein, calcium and B vitamins. Calcium is essential to keep bones strong and healthy for all ages and a serving of milk on cereal can provide up to one third of daily calcium needs.
“Breakfast can also be the perfect time to boost fruit and vegetable intake to ensure patients are getting the vitamins and fibre they need to start their day.
“Meat, fish and eggs, give protein, iron and vitamins. These types of food, although not always essential for breakfast, can add variety to a morning meal, which is also important for patients.
“Establishing a regular eating pattern has been shown to improve glycaemic control, reduce the likelihood of weight gain and curb hunger pangs. Breakfast gives energy for morning activities and can help improve mental performance, concentration and mood.
“Research has shown that people who eat breakfast have more balanced diets than those who skip it, are less likely to be overweight, lose weight more successfully if overweight, and have a reduced risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
“Breakfast is also good for hydration as vital fluids can be provided to a patient through hot beverages such as tea and coffee, water, milk or pure fruit juice.”