Happy Portion | Nutella


Nutella® happy portion

Happy Portion | Nutella

Making time for family breakfast can help to get the most out of your morning! We've got top tips from celebrity mum Myleene Klass, family psychologist Linda Blair and nutritionist Helen Bond on breakfast bonding. We've found just 15 minutes of family time is enough to start your day off positively.

Happy Portion Psycologist | Nutella
Happy Portion Dietitian | Nutella
Happy Portion Psycologist | Nutella

Linda Blair

Linda is a leading psychologist specialising in families and parenting. She trained at Harvard and the Institute of Psychiatry in London and has worked in the NHS and private practice for over 35 years. She has published five books on the importance of spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones.


Eating together regularly is a fantastic way to encourage bonding, however finding the time for family meals can be challenging for busy households. Breakfast is the ideal opportunity for a quick portion of quality family time over a shared meal – just 15 minutes is enough to boost happiness by 57% [nutella consumer research] Make sure every family member feels equally included by varying who gets to speak first each day – perhaps you could run from youngest to oldest, or tallest to shortest! Avoid asking children to make quick decisions about food with open-ended questions, such as “what would you like for breakfast?”. If they feel rushed, they're likely to make an emotional decision rather than thinking about the best fuel for their day. Instead, offer them what is known as a 'forced choice decision', such as porridge OR toast with a teaspoon of nutella. They still have a sense of ownership in their own decision-making, and you know they're making a considered choice.
That means putting down smartphones and devices! Studies have shown that using smartphones actually disrupts our short-term attention span, so we're more engaged and present with the people around us when we turn them off, plus we feel happier as well. Henry Wilmer and colleagues at Temple University in Philadelphia, 2017
MRI scans of the brain have shown that recalling pleasant memories has the same effect on brain activity as being given free money! Megan Speer and colleagues, Rutgers University in New Jersey, 2014
For example 'I will practice my times tables for ten minutes today' rather than more general goals such as 'I will do better at school'. It's easier to know when you've accomplished a specific challenge. Setting a positive intention lifts our mood, and we try harder and have greater feelings of success when we meet these goals. Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, University of Maryland and University of Toronto, 2006
Formula for a “Happy Portion” of family time
Preparation: 5 mins
Serving time: 15 mins
  • x As many of the family you can get together (heights may vary)
  • x Delicious balanced and varied breakfast to motivate everyone out of bed
  • x 0 servings of phones or devices during breakfast
  • x 1 reflection each on a positive memory from yesterday
  • x 1 goal per person set for the day ahead
  • x
Happy Portion Dietitian | Nutella

Helen Bond


Helen is one of the UK's leading dietitians with 23 years' experience in food, diet and its relationship to health. She is a passionate foodie, who firmly believes a balanced, nutritious diet, in appropriate portions, is central to good health and wellbeing, and vitality.

Helen focusses on making nutrition accessible to all, through her clear, accurate and straightforward recommendations that are realistic and simple for today's busy lifestyles.

Helen is fully registered with and an active spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and is also fully registered with the Freelance Dietitians Group and the Health and Care Professions Council.





Balance your breakfast right and keep your portion control in check, and you can be sure that you're giving yourself and your family an excellent start to the day. Take guidance from the UK government's Eatwell Guide which illustrates what a good balance of food looks like, and the proportions of each of the five food groups (fruits and vegetables; wholegrain and other starchy carbohydrates; protein rich foods, like beans, nuts and seeds, fish, eggs and lean meat; dairy foods and plant-based alternatives and unsaturated oils and spreads) you should be eating at your morning meal, and across the day.
A balanced and varied breakfast can ensure we get the nutrients our bodies need to work well and provides fuel after the overnight fast to get us through the mental stresses and physical demands of the morning ahead.
Research* reveals you'll be better able to focus, and will feel more energised for your morning activities when you don't skip breakfast completely. So, if you can't stomach a big brekkie, always try to eat within two hours of getting up.
Fibre is important to keep our digestive systems and gut microbes happy, and will help keep us feeling fuller for longer, too. Most of us don't get enough fibre in our diets, and breakfast is a great opportunity to fit some in. A good way to boost your fibre intake is by including a starchy carb that's high in fibre, such as a slice of wholegrain toast or a bowl of porridge. You can add one heaped teaspoon of nutella® and some fruit, for a touch of sweetness.
Breakfast is a perfect time to help you reach your 5-a-day, so look for ways to add more fruit and veggies to your brekkie – for example, you could: Have a small glass (150ml) of orange juice with your morning muesli; Throw frozen berries into a blender along with your favourite smoothie ingredients; Top your porridge with stewed apple; Slice a banana onto your heaped teaspoon of nutella® on wholegrain bread; Chuck in some baby tomatoes to your scrambled eggs; Or even add button mushrooms or baked beans to your weekend cooked breakfast
Larger helpings can quickly increase the calorie content of our breakfast, so stick to manufacturers' portion size recommendations, like (30g) of breakfast cereal (a handful), a 150ml of fruit juice (a small glass) or 15g of Nutella® spread (one heaped teaspoon).
It takes 15 to 20 minutes after food is first eaten for our brain to register that we're starting to feel full. So, encourage your children, as well as yourself, to eat slowly and chew food well, paying attention to the satiety cues that you've eaten enough. Setting aside just 15 minutes to enjoy quality family time around the breakfast table will help you and your family remember the breakfast occasion, and be less prone to mindless snacking in the hours ahead. So sit down for breakfast, turn off the TV, put away the smartphones and computers, and take time to appreciate the company at the table, and the taste, smell and texture of every mouthful of food.
Think about changing your breakfast meal as a chance to try something new, increase variety into your family's diet, and a range of great tastes and textures. So, vary your family breakfasts from day to day, and always be open to trying new foods.
Remember, all foods have a place in a balanced and varied breakfast - it's about how much and how often we're eating them, so stick to the recommended portion sizes.
Asking your children to help with breakfast preparation is a great way to build kids interest in food, learn cookery skills, and even encourage them to embrace more variety in their breakfast choices.

* References:
Hoyland A., Dye L., Lawton C. L. (2009). A systematic review of the effect of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents. Nutr. Res. Rev. 22, 220–243
Adolphus K., Lawton C.L, Dye L. (2013) The effects of breakfast on behavior and academic performance in children and adolescents. Front Hum Neurosci. 7:425
BDA Fact Sheet Healthy Breakfast. Available at https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/healthy_breakfast. Accessed 4/09/2019

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