I sound like such a dietitian saying this, but breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. It doesn’t have to be a large and complicated meal, but you do want to get a balance of nutrients from some simple and healthy ingredients (no toaster pastries, please!).
Here are some quick and easy ideas to start your day with.
“I Don’t Have Time…” “I’m not hungry in the morning…”
Beginning your day with something to eat revs up your metabolism and gives you energy. Eating breakfast also helps you spread out your calories through the day, which helps avoid overeating in the afternoon and evening. If you don’t consider yourself a breakfast person, start out with something small — a piece of fruit or a non-fat yogurt. Within a few days, you’ll wonder how you ever made it through the morning without it. Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy. You DO have time for something!
Grab & Go
Look no further than your pantry and kitchen counter for a quick and easy breakfast. Here are four simple ideas that don’t require refrigeration so you can pack them in advance:
- Granola bar and an apple
- 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- A handful of almonds and a banana
- Dried fruit and 5 or 6 whole wheat crackers
No Cooking Required
Whip up a smoothie; my favorite lately is frozen blueberries, 1/2 a banana, orange juice and some low-fat vanilla yogurt. Build an easy and delicious parfaits with yogurt or ricotta cheese and some fresh seasonal fruit. You can never go wrong with a bowl of whole grain cereal; some good brands are Barbara’s, Kashi and Nature’s Path — add some fresh or dried fruit for some extra vitamins and fiber.
Warm & Satisfying
Cook up a healthy breakfast in less than 10 minutes. Try preparing oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave. Go for the unsweetened kinds (flavored varieties have tons of sugar) and cook in water or skim milk. Make your own oatmeal flavors by adding fruit, nuts, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey, maple syrup or one of these other natural sweeteners. Eggs are another healthy and fast option. Scramble up one or two, grab some whole grain toast and make a handy egg sandwich or breakfast burrito. Plan ahead and bake a batch of muffins. You can store them in the freezer and transfer to the microwave when you’re in the mood for something freshly baked.