The Little Mill Blog
Back to Basics in 2017! Make a new year’s resolution to cut your breakfast sugars

Bear toast

by Kathy Purcell,

Back to Basics in 2017! Make a new year’s resolution to cut your breakfast sugars

It’s a bit of a cliché but with the new year does come the opportunity of a fresh start, a blank canvas with which you can fill with new resolutions. For many people, health and fitness features high on the agenda. But what about making small changes that can have a big impact?

One big area you can make a significant change in is in reducing your child’s sugar intake, particularly at breakfast time. Sugary cereals, juices and spreads are packing in so much sugar at breakfast time that half of our children’s daily allowance for sugar has already been eaten before school. While these are UK statistics, Ireland can take the plaudit of being the fourth highest consumer of sugar in the world, so it would be fair to say we are probably on a par with the UK when it comes to sugar intake at breakfast. That’s according to Euromonitor research which has us coming in right behind the US, Germany and the Netherlands.

Sugar is the prime culprit of tooth decay, childhood obesity and diabetes, with the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (Public Health England) showing four- to ten-year-olds consuming twice as much sugar as they should be. The survey which covered 200 parents of children aged four to ten revealed that children were eating on average three sugar cubes at breakfast alone, in most cases nearly using up the entire or half of their allocation of recommended sugar intake per day at breakfast alone. See below here how much sugar should children eat:

~ age 2 - less than 13 grams or 3 cubes per day

~ age 3 - less than 15 grams or 4 cubes per day

~ age 4 to 6 - less than 19 grams or 5 cubes per day

~ age 7 to 10 years - less than 24 grams or 6 cubes per day

A small bowel of sugary breakfast cereal contains around two cubes of sugar, spreading chocolate spread on toast racks up three sugar cubes and a glass of fruit juice has a whopping five cubes in it.

For many parents who are rushing in the morning and who are juggling many tasks, how easy is it to give children a healthy start? As well as researching some apps that might help with identifying hidden sugars through bar code scanning, an easy way is to replace sugary cereals with wholemeal toast.

The philosophy for The Little Mill is simple: nothing added, nothing taken away. The grain is sourced locally and our milling process which uses a series of mill stones, means that the entire wholegrain is used. So unlike refined flours it retains all of its nutritional goodness, B & E vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, protein, minerals and healthy oils.

Try some of these ideas:

  • Peanut butter & banana toast
  • Poached eggs on toast
  • Peanut butter with apple slices on toast
  • Cream cheese, pomegranites on toast

In any case, make wholemeal the star of the show, here is a recipe that you can use for a wholemeal soda bread using The Little Mill flours.

Wholemeal Brown Soda Bread with Honey and Sea Salt


~ Plain Wholemeal Flour 250g

~ Plain White Flour 250g

~ Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda) 9g (2/3 tsp)

~ Sea Salt (can use normal salt) 9g (1 1/4 tsp)

~ Honey (optional) 10g (2 tsp)

~ Buttermilk 440 ml

~ One 2lb Loaf Tin


  1. Place flour in a mixing bowl, sieve the baking soda onto the flours and add the sea salt. Mix all the powders together to make sure the soda is fully dispersed.

  2. Add the honey and the buttermilk.

  3. Mix using a spatula or by hand until a smooth lump free soft dough is made.

  4. Place the dough in your greased 2lb baking tin and pat down.

  5. Cut the dough down the centre length of the tin with a knife.

  6. Place the tin in a preheated oven to 175 C. Bake for 52-55 minutes or as required.

  7. Turn onto cooling wire after baking to allow to cool.

*Consider sprinkling some wheat or porridge flakes on top of the dough prior to baking for decoration but this is optional.

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