Do you believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
Even just a little bit of internet searching reveals that the answer is more complicated than it seems. Some researchers only focus on breakfast’s relationship to weight (not always a great indicator of health) and some claim it’s actually dinner that’s more important because of the way our bodies control blood sugar.
Something nutritionists can all seem to agree on, however, is that breakfasts should be well-rounded and can help you keep up energy levels and focus throughout the day. Next time you roll out of bed and reach for the coffee pot, remember that a breakfast full of fiber and vitamins might actually do you better than the caffeinated concoction that gives only a momentary boost.
Making time for breakfast can be good for your health, but it can also be part of a healthy routine. It allows you time to focus on yourself and what you need for the day! Think of it as a quick self-care session. Preparing a meal and nourishing your body can even be meditative, and planning your next breakfast can be a creative act. It just takes a little willpower.
These breakfast options are healthy, simple and anything but boring since you can make endless versions of them.
Healthy breakfast idea #1: oats
The benefits of eating oats for breakfast are plenty and there are endless possibilities on how to prepare them, so they’re a great nutritious option. Because oats are a grain, they are a healthy source of fiber, protein and carbohydrates, which when eaten in the morning can help control blood sugar and help you feel full. If you want to avoid mid-morning snacking or have a packed day, oats may be the way to go!
Oats are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, like magnesium and B vitamins. That’s even before you add fruit, nut butters or other extras to your morning meal. You get to tailor them just to your liking!
You can make traditional oatmeal or prepare them the night before. Overnight oats make a perfect grab-and-go breakfast because you can put all the ingredients in a jar, let it sit and grab it in the morning on your way out the door. The best part is that you could make a different variation every day of the week. Add apples and cinnamon one morning and chocolate chips, coconut and almond butter the next.
This recipe is only five ingredients, takes about five minutes to make and ends up having 15 grams of protein.
Healthy breakfast idea #2: smoothies
Busy morning? That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on a healthy breakfast. You can sip a variety of nutrients while you sit in traffic or log into your first virtual meeting of the day.
Smoothies aren’t anything new or groundbreaking, but it does always feel like there’s some new trend or ingredient that can really give a blended breakfast a boost. Whether you like a creamy milkshake or something a little fresher, there are endless options.
Pick a base like almond milk, coconut water or juice. Then, add protein powder to help you feel full until lunch, add frozen fruits to give a little sweetness (a bonus here is that frozen fruits preserve all the nutrients from when they are ripe, so you aren’t losing any of the health value) and sneak in a handful of greens to round it all out. It can be difficult to achieve a well-rounded breakfast, but smoothies make it pretty easy.
Chia seeds, nut butters and other additions can elevate a smoothie.
If you need a little creative encouragement, the internet is packed with recipes, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Find a way to add fiber. Chances are you don’t have enough of it in your diet and it’ll help you feel fuller.
- Go light on the liquid base. If you’re adding lots of fruit, try to avoid sugar with the milk or juice here.
- If it’s too runny, add frozen bananas. If it’s too thick, add a bit more liquid.
Healthy breakfast idea #3: scrambles
Few things beat eggs for breakfast. They’re quick to make but feel like a luxury since you have to take a little bit of time to heat up a pan and cook them.
Adding vegetables like peppers, onions and mushrooms or meats like ham or sausage can take eggs, which are a great source of protein, from a boring breakfast staple to a filling meal, and they can add a lot of vitamins, protein and healthy fats to your daily diet!
Not only are scrambles a healthy option, you can make them work with whatever you have on hand. Make it a Southwestern scramble with add-ins like peppers, onion and cheese, a country skillet with potatoes and bacon, or tomatoes and spinach for a lighter option.
Healthy breakfast idea #4: toast
There was maybe a time when toast for breakfast was predictable and even a little boring, but avocados changed the game. A toasted slice of bread is now a canvas for a healthy breakfast.
Toast can either be savory (think: avocados, eggs or greens) or sweet (fruit with cream cheese or nut butter) and it really just depends on what kind of mood you’re in. To make the most out of your morning toast, pack it with protein, so add peanut butter or a meat (like salmon), toss on some fresh veggies or fruit, then add some nuts or seeds for texture and healthy fats.
For a bit of a healthier version, try a whole wheat or multigrain bread. They’re usually packed with more nutrients and fewer calories.
Toast can be as simple or as creative as you want to get, so don’t hold yourself back! Experiment with different combinations. You may even surprise yourself and look forward to creating something new each morning!