Could the most important meal of the day be...reheated fish and chips?

Research from breakfast food giant Sanitarium has revealed Kiwis are snubbing healthy options and tucking into leftover takeaways for their morning lift.

Only a quarter of New Zealanders surveyed said they ate healthy food at breakfast time. That's despite 93 per cent of those surveyed understanding the importance of a good breakfast.

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Instead people have confessed chowing down on cold pizza, chocolate, icecream, leftover party food, reheated fish and chips, pavlova, beer and cornflakes.

Alarmingly many said they didn't even bother to eat breakfast with nearly a third of respondents admitting they went without at least twice a week.

Young millennials were the most likely to go without a healthy breakfast with almost half of those aged 18-24 saying they usually skipped it most days of the week.

Instead they were replacing it with a cup of tea, coffee or chocolate.

Sanitarium nutritionist Susan Buxton said it was disappointing to see how many of us were still not eating a nutritious breakfast.

"Most fast food breakfasts are not ideal as they are generally energy dense and nutrient poor meaning that they are high kilojoules and usually also high in fat and sugar and low in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals," said Buxton.

She said while many fast food outlets are trying to provide better options, those going to eat at these outlets might not necessarily choose the healthier choice.

The survey also found the age-old tradition of sitting down to eat breakfast with the family appeared to be going by the wayside.

Just over 10 per cent of those surveyed had breakfast every morning of the week with family but more than a third of adults aged under 25 said they never have breakfast at home.

Parents of preschool and school-aged children were more likely to spend time around the kitchen table with their children sitting down with the family for between two and six mornings each week to eat breakfast.

The study also revealed that Kiwis were creatures of habit with more than two thirds of us eating the same breakfast for at least half of the week.