Odds are you’ve heard the phrase “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” countless times. But for many of us this is merely an old adage, not advice that we actually follow. Too bad, because research shows that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day, and more likely to have a healthier overall diet. Eating breakfast is also one of the six secrets to maintaining weight loss, according to the National Weight Control Registry.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to fit in a morning meal, regardless of how chaotic your household is as it prepares for a busy day. Breakfast doesn’t have to be a big sit-down meal, involve traditional breakfast foods, or require that you give up your morning routine. Rather, it’s just important to get something into your body within an hour or so of waking up. This will help to jump start your metabolism after fasting all night (that’s why breakfast is called break-fast!) and will give you the energy to tackle whatever you’ve got going on in the first part of the day.
Eating a combination of carbohydrate, protein, and fat is a good idea at every meal or snack, but especially at breakfast. If you need to eat something on-the-go and don’t already have a favorite portable feast, here are some easy ideas:
- Single-serving container of low-fat Greek yogurt with 2 Tbsp each of nuts and dried cranberries
- 1 hard boiled egg smashed onto 1 piece of whole grain bread drizzled with olive oil
- 15 whole grain crackers with a string cheese
- 8-10 strawberries dipped in chocolate peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread
- whole grain granola bar + a low-fat latte
- 1/4 cup mixed nuts + a large peach
- 1/2 an avocado with a few spoonfuls of salsa in the middle
- A sliced apple dipped into a 4-oz container of low-fat pudding
- 2 pieces of smoked salmon + 1 Tbsp cream cheese on whole wheat toast
- 6 oz applesauce + 10 walnut halves
- 1 cup whole grain cereal + a 6-oz container yogurt (choose plain or a flavor that has less than 20g sugar)
- 8 oz chocolate milk + 15 almonds
- 2 whole grain frozen waffles with 1 Tbsp almond butter and banana slices
- Quick eggs-in-a-pita: beat 2 eggs with 2 Tbsp salsa and microwave 2 minutes or until fluffy and cooked through. Stuff into a whole wheat pita pocket with shredded cheese and more salsa.
- 1 cup low-fat kefir with 1/4 cup granola
- Half a whole wheat bagel with 1 Tbsp pesto, tomato slices, and melted cheese
- Whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter and sliced fruit, rolled up into a burrito
- Good ol’ cold cereal with milk!
The Big Question:
What are your own favorite breakfasts, either at home or on-the-go? We’d love to see your ideas in the comment section!
Eating Well – Healthy Breakfast Recipes in 15 Minutes
National Weight Control Registry – Research findings
Mayo Clinic – Quick, Flexible Breakfast Options to Grab at Home