Eating breakfast comes with big benefits. Whether you are eating at home, or on-the-go, these healthy breakfast ideas make eating like a champion, easy.
I’m a morning person. For years, I would wake up early, run, shower and have a cup of coffee, all before my kids were even out of bed. Recently, however, I’ve had to make shifts to my routine. A work project has me working late, and I’ve had to move my run to later in the day. Not my ideal.
There is one thing that hasn’t changed, though. I’m still sure to get a healthy, wholesome breakfast every morning. I make sure my kids get one, too.
The Benefits Of Breakfast
Starting each day with a nutritious breakfast has big benefits. Studies show that breakfast eaters have better concentration, attention span and memory. People that eat breakfast also have a better overall fiber and carbohydrate intake, greater physical activity levels and lower overall BMI’s than those that skipped their morning meal. Teens that eat breakfast are more likely to have diets adequate in iron, too. That’s an important nutrient for teens, since it helps transport oxygen in the body, preventing fatigue so they can focus better in school and sports. Iron also plays a role in supporting the immune system.
Your morning meal sets the standard for your day. It’s the fuel that your mind and body will use to be focused, productive and energized.
What Is A Breakfast Of Champions?
Breakfast can be any food you eat first thing in the morning, but a breakfast of champions incorporates foods that contribute the right nutrients to support health and performance. Ideally, it should be limited in foods loaded with simple sugars, such as donuts and pastries. These foods contribute calories, but do not contribute much in terms of your daily nutritional needs, especially when consumed alone. Instead, make sure to eat a balance of nutrients.
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats all have important roles in the body, but each macronutrient contributes different vitamins and minerals. That’s why, it’s important to build a breakfast that supplies foods from each group. Choose carbohydrates rich foods that are higher in fiber and full of vitamins and minerals. Examples include whole grain breads and/or cereals, oats, fruits, vegetables and milk.
Breakfast should also include at least one food that is rich in protein. Protein helps to promote feelings of satiety, helping to hold you over until your next meal. That helps to prevent hunger between meals, which can lead to snacking on whatever you see in your kitchen. Examples of protein packed foods that can easily be incorporated into your morning meal are eggs, yogurt, ham, beans, cottage cheese, or regular cheese. In addition to helping you feel full and satisfied, protein rich foods contribute a variety of nutrients different then those found in carbohydrates rich foods. The combination provides both energy, and the amino acids needed to build and repair body and muscle tissues.
Dietary fat is the third macronutrient to include in your breakfast. While fats don’t contribute as many vitamins and minerals to your diet, they do provide some, and they add flavor to your breakfast. Fats are found naturally in some foods, like eggs and cheese. You can also incorporate healthy fats into your breakfast by adding butter or peanut butter to your toast or topping your yogurt with crushed nuts or seeds.
Healthy Breakfast Options For Home Or On-The-Go
A healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be big or time intensive. If you are running short on time, take your breakfast to go. As long as you remain flexible and plan ahead, you’ll be prepared took eat a healthy breakfast any day of the week. . The following are a few ideas.
Healthy Breakfast #1:
Whole grain cereal with low-fat or skim milk and 1/2 c blueberries.
Need it on the go? Put dry cereal, 2 Tbsp. dried fruit and 1 Tbsp. nuts in a plastic bag, and pack a shelf-stable portable milk. Be sure to pack a bowl and a spoon so that you are ready to eat it wherever you are.
Healthy Breakfast #2:
Scrambled eggs, 2 slices whole grain toast, bacon and veggies. For extra protein and fiber, add a side of beans.
Need it to go? Make a bagel with Lox and low-fat cream cheese, then wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and head out the door. To minimize waste, you can put your breakfast in a reusable container for the next morning.
Healthy Breakfast #3:
Make an omelet stuffed with one slice cheese, ham and vegetables such as peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms with 2 slices whole grain toast.
Need it to go? Put 6 ounces of Greek Yogurt in a bowl. In a separate container, put some granola and diced fruit pieces. When you’re ready to eat, put the granola and fruit on the yogurt. Make sure to pack a spoon and transport it in a small lunch box and an ice pack.
Healthy Breakfast #4:
Cook oatmeal and top with diced fruit and crushed walnuts. For added protein, stir in some protein powder, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
Need it to go? Pack 1 ounce of cheddar cheese cubes, 1/2 cup grapes and some crackers. For extra protein, add a hard-boiled egg.
Need more breakfast ideas? Check out these healthy breakfast options that you eat on the fly.