Great Breakfast Choices: Five Healthy and Easy to Prepare Choices
Over and over we hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if you're like most people, the morning can also be the busiest time of the day, trying to get kids to school, the dog walked, lunches made and getting yourself ready for work. Then, add in a grumpy teenager to the mix and breakfast is the last thing on your mind.
Juggling everything that you have on your plate already, trying to find healthy, quick foods for breakfast can be challenging and overwhelming. But with a little planning ahead and a little organization, everyone in your family can enjoy breakfast.
Tips for planning ahead:
- prep foods the night before
- make leftovers for the next morning
- go shopping on the weekend when you have more time
- write down breakfast success recipes and foods so you know what works and what you can use in the future
What Makes a Healthy Choice?
Since breakfast comes at a time when you're body has been in fasting mode for the past eight to ten hours, it is important to jump start your metabolism with protein, carbohydrates and a little bit of fat. For most healthy adults your meal would be between 300 and 400 calories.
Unprocessed and whole foods are the healthiest choices. When buying breads, cereals or other quick breakfast items, make sure the first ingredient has the word "whole" in it. Another good thing to look for is the amount of sugar in it. You want sugar to be less than 15 grams per serving. Eating too much sugar for breakfast causes a quick rise in your blood glucose (sugar) levels then a drop, leaving you drained and lethargic.
Find healthy choices that you like. If you are used to eating pop tarts, donuts, or even bacon for breakfast, making the change to a healthy breakfast will take time. Slowly integrate whole grains and natural foods into your breakfast to get your taste buds used to different tastes and textures.
Peanut Butter and Banana on Toast
PB is a great option for breakfast because it is already prepared, has protein in it and natural peanut butters have healthy fats in it. Combine with banana and toast and you have the perfect combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates. It takes about three minutes to prepare and you can even eat it on-the-go.
The three ingredients are:
- Peanut butter
- A small banana
- Piece of whole wheat bread
The simple steps are:
- Toast the bread
- Spread the PB on the toast
- Slice the banana onto the PB
Based off a piece of bread that has 100 calories, this recipe has 380 calories, 17 g of fat, 13 g of protein, and 10 g of sugar.
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with Almonds
Making your own instant oatmeal decreases the amount of sugar in each serving and is a lot cheaper. Adding almonds to the oatmeal gives you a healthy amount of fat and have magnesium, potassium and other nutrients that help lower your cholesterol.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 2 tbs brown sugar (optional)
- 15 almonds
Cook the quick oats with the salt added to the water. Stir and add in the brown sugar and almonds. If you want thicker oatmeal, use less water. Using milk is a great way to add more calcium and also gives the oatmeal a thicker texture and brings out some of the almond flavor.
Using water, this recipe has 289 calories, 12 g fat, 9 g protein and 13 g of sugar.
Unlike frozen burritos, this recipe provides you with the right amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates. If you plan ahead, cut up fresh vegetables, such as onion, bell pepper and tomato. If you didn't plan ahead, use salsa.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 ounces canadian bacon, chopped
- 1 whole wheat tortilla
- salsa or cut up vegetables (up to a cup)
To make the burrito:
- Cook the eggs.
- Add the canadian bacon and salsa.
- Cook for another 30 seconds
- Take off the heat and add to the tortilla. Add the cottage cheese.
Based off a half cup of pre-made salsa, this recipe has 480 calories, 18 g of fat, 40 g of protein, and 5 g of sugar.
One of my favorite meals is french toast and this recipe is healthy and takes about 10 minutes to prepare. I like to use Granny's Delight Whole Wheat Bread. It is 100% whole wheat, no preservatives, 80 calories per slice and is very soft and fluffy.
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half or fat-free milk
- 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat your skillet
- Whisk egg, vanilla and cinnamon together
- Dip bread into egg mixture
- Cook each side until golden brown
- Peanut butter and banana
- Peanut butter and apples
- Nutella and banana
- low fat cream cheese
Based off no toppings, with the bread mentioned above and fat free milk, this recipe has 260 calories, 5 g of fat, 10 g of protein, and 5 g of sugar.
I love cereal but with so many preservatives, it's hard to find healthy choices. I like the Kashi choices. They keep their crunch and are high in protein.
- 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch
- 8 oz plain yogurt
- a squeeze of lemon or a dash of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup fresh fruit
- 10 almonds
- Squeeze a bit of lemon into yogurt.
- Mix in cereal, fruit and almonds.
Using Kashi Go lean crunch, this recipe has 400 calories, 10 g of fat, 23 g of protein and 14 g of sugar.
What will you come up with?
There are hundreds of quick, healthy breakfast ideas and if you spend some time prepping the night before or on the weekend, you can enjoy even more quick recipes. Eat breakfast every day to stay energized, maintain a healthy weight and be more productive throughout your day.
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