Cook Once, Please Everyone: Breakfast Burrito by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, March 3, 2011
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Breakfast burritos are the perfect family breakfast: They’re nutritious, easy and totally customizable for both picky junior eaters and adults. When I tried this at home, my kids went gaga! Here’s how to make a breakfast burrito spread to please the whole family.
Start the wrap by offering 6-inch corn or flour soft tortilla. For some extra fiber, whole-wheat varieties are available at most markets or try a whole-wheat pita for a change of pace. Warm them in the oven wrapped in foil, or wrap them in a damp towel and microwave for a few seconds.
I love eggs in the morning — each large one contains only 75 calories, along with plenty of vitamin A and lutein. Play up the prep method and try over easy, scrambled, poached or whatever is the house favorite. If you’re looking to go meatless, go for beans like pinto or black. They’re packed with fiber and protein and are a good source of iron, calcium and zinc. Choose cooked dry or canned beans instead of higher-fat refried varieties.
Turkey or Canadian bacon or soy, chicken or turkey sausages are other good protein additions. Beware of sodium and calories, especially if you’re planning on using some other toppings like cheese or guacamole.
Most folks overdose on calories with the toppers. They’re a fun part of this breakfast, but decide on only a one or two to set out on the table. Salsa’s a very low-calorie topper with 35 calories per 1/2 cup with tons of lycopene from the tomatoes, so don’t skimp on that. It’s the guacamole, shredded cheese, sliced olives and sour cream that are calorie-heavy. Limit portions of these condiments to two tablespoons per person. Although the fat in guacamole comes from the healthier unsaturated kind, it still contains about 45 calories per 2 tablespoons (78 percent of which comes from fat.) To seal your burrito, use a the guacamole or sour cream as “glue.”
If you’re looking to cut calories from the full fat versions, here are a few ideas to try:
- Cheese: Part-skim or reduced fat
- Sour cream: Reduced-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt
There are other lower calories veggies that you can pile on like diced fresh tomatoes, onions or bell peppers, shredded lettuce, baby spinach or a touch of spicy jalapenos for the bigger kids and adults.
TELL US: What’s your favorite way to make a breakfast burrito?
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »