Now that we are at Level 3, it is time to get both the economy and our bodies moving again. Let’s shift out of hibernation and kickstart our health, mood and energy levels for the day by focusing on our breakfast nutrition.

Autumn has taken hold across the country and as the mornings become cooler, it’s time to change up your breakfast routine with the new season’s fresh fruit. Greet each day with optimism and a healthy bowl of natural, New Zealand grown goodness.

Our health and well-being has never been more important and the team at 5+ A Day is urging Kiwis to incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into their daily routines to increase immunity and keep ourselves protected from the inside out, particularly through the cooler months to come. Small changes each day can deliver big health benefits.

5+ A Day Charitable Trust General Manager Paula Dudley says fresh fruit and vegetables are the best source of nutrition throughout the year but research shows Kiwis are just not getting enough for optimal nutrition.

Recent Ministry of Health data shows only 53 per cent of New Zealanders are consuming the recommended daily intake of vegetables and 51.5 per cent are eating enough fruit.

“Seasonal produce such as apples, pears, feijoas, mandarins and persimmons are at their absolute best during autumn. So, we’re encouraging people to look in their fruit bowl each morning and see what new breakfast ideas they can come up with in order to boost their overall daily intake.”

As our freedom of movement increases so too will the variety of fresh, nutritious produce available both in stores and online. Get creative and try a new approach to serving up autumn favourites.

Try some poached pears, delicious sliced or diced and eaten with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Two feijoas will provide almost two thirds of your daily vitamin C needs while a mandarin will help you check that particular box for the entire day and boost your immunity. The popular citrus fruit are also a good source of folate and thiamin (vitamin B1) which plays a key role in energy metabolism.

Apples, meanwhile, are full of heart-healthy nutrients. They have earned their health-boosting reputation because the peel contains polyphenols which have antioxidant effects – so it’s best to always leave the skin on.

“There are countless ways to incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables into your breakfast routine,” Dudley explains. “Eating in season will always provide the best value for money, and the best quality. One serving equates to a handful of any fruit or vegetable so will vary depending on the size of the individual.

“When you start at breakfast, it’s easy to get your recommended five or more servings by the end of the day. So look beyond your loaf of bread or cereal packet and give it a try!”