One in five Australians eat their morning meal outside of the home, either on their daily commute or at work, according to a new survey examining Australian breakfast habits.

Carried out by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) alongside the University of Wollongong, the survey found 80% of respondents made time for breakfast every day, and despite juggling busy lifestyles, most reported choosing nutritious staple foods*.

Whole grain toast, fruit, cooked hot breakfasts, yoghurt, and fruit emerged as the most common breakfast food choices, with avocado and peanut butter the clear favourite toast toppings.

Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume avoids the morning rush by defaulting to quick and easy whole grain toast topped with avocado, or prepares breakfast in advance, such as overnight oats or a make-ahead Quinoa Parfait.

“As I assemble my lunch, I’m also prepping for tomorrow’s breakfast, combining cooked quinoa, chia and pepita seeds and milk, storing in the fridge so it’s ready to go the next morning.”

Interestingly, the survey showed that we’re creatures of habit, with ‘favourite’ breakfasts not varying much from everyday choices, with toast, avocado, porridge, muesli, and eggs featuring in the respondents’ top five.

GLNC Nutrition Manager Felicity Curtain says these healthy options explain why research backs breakfast as a healthy start to the day.

“Our go-to breakfast foods are nutrient and fibre-packed, and global research tells us breakfast is a meal high in minerals like thiamine, riboflavin, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and low in sodium.1” Intake of these nutrients predominantly comes from our preference for breakfast cereals across Australia.

Ms Curtain says it appears on-the-go eating habits are encouraging food innovation, with GLNCs recent breakfast cereal audit capturing 47 convenience breakfast products like biscuits, snacks, and single-serve, portable porridges and muesli to suit demand, many of which are also whole grain.

“Our lives are busier than ever, but most Australians are still making time for breakfast – which is made easier by the range of convenience products available on-shelf.”

Wherever you eat breakfast, including a range of foods from the different food groups will ensure you’re setting yourself up for a busy day!

After a healthy on-the-go breakfast? Try Kathleen’s fail-safe options:

For something a little different, try my make-ahead Quinoa Parfait with fruit

  • Overnight oats made by soaking . cup rolled oats in milk of your choice and yoghurt, topped with fruit, nuts and seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Make a smoothie to drink on your commute by whizzing up fresh or frozen fruit, a whole grain breakfast biscuit, 1 cup milk of your choice and 3 tablespoons of yoghurt
  • Keep a stash of breakfast essentials in the work kitchen – whole grain bread, spreads like nut butter, whole grain and/or high fibre cereals, milk, yoghurt, and fruit – so you can easily whip something up in the office.


1. Gibney, M. et al. (2018). Towards an Evidence-Based Recommendation for a Balanced Breakfast—A Proposal from the International Breakfast Research Initiative. Nutrients, 10, 10: 1540. doi:10.3390/nu10101540

*Survey based on convenience sample of 377 responses.