Hello again! A while ago, I brought you some tips on breakfast. Today you’re getting a whole bunch more!
I think lesson number one when it comes to breakfast is to be creative. We were all taught what a “good breakfast” is by listening to marketing when we were kids. A good breakfast is not a giant bowl of cereal and a huge glass of juice, contrary to popular belief (too much carbohydrates and zero protein or fat).
A good breakfast is not different from any other meal, really. We need a good amount of protein-rich food(s), some vegetables when possible (creativity counts!), some fat, and a small bit of carbohydrate-rich food. More on creating a healthy plate here. More on doing it inexpensively here.
I’m about to share with you some of my favorite healthy breakfasts. These also happen to be approved by my littles. Here goes:
These little guys are the coolest thing ever. You’ll especially love them if you hate doing food prep. All you need is a mason jar and, well, the ingredients of course. There are possibly thousands of ways to make them. I keep mine simple by using recipes like this as a template. This site gives a bunch of cool options as well. At minimum, you’ll need old-fashioned rolled oats, milk (dairy or non-dairy), vanilla, salt, real maple syrup or honey, and either nut butter or chopped nuts. I also add chia seeds, ground flax, and wheat germ to mine for a little extra nutritional zing. However you want to do it, you add all your little dashes of this and that (the dry ingredients), then you fill the jar with milk level with the dry ingredients. Then you put it in the fridge and have breakfast ready in the morning! Google overnight oats and you’ll find all sorts of concoctions. Protein (nuts, seeds, nut butter, milk, Greek yogurt, etc.), fiber-rich carbs (oats and stuff), and fat (nuts, seeds, nut butter, milk, Greek yogurt, etc.).
Yeah, funny name; I know. But this is one of my absolute favorites because a) it is easy; b) I can make a big batch and use during the week and/or freeze the rest; and c) my littles LOVE them; and d) no baking required. Like overnight oats, there are thousands of ways to make these no-bake balls of joy. My current favorite is this one. You’ll have to peruse the recipes out there and see what strikes your fancy. Recipes like this contain protein (peanut butter), fat (peanut butter) vegetables (pureed pumpkin), and fiber-rich carbs (oats and seeds). They are not super pumpkin-ey either, just in case you’re wondering. Seriously they are so amazing. Good for snacks or breakfast or dessert! If you don’t like the pumpkin idea, there are a zillion other versions of energy balls that are probably just as tasty.
Yeah, yeah, you’re thinking “big surprise.” These little fellas do not deserve the bad rep they have gotten. Eggs are incredible sources of nutrients, and you should eat the yolk. Although the yolk is rich in cholesterol, most people don’t absorb that much dietary cholesterol. If your cholesterol is high, it’s partly because your body is producing too much (read more here). Egg yolks also contain vitamin D, vitamin A, and choline, to name a few of their awesome contributions to health. Anyway, eggs can be your best buddy. A creation that has blown my mind recently is a couple eggs fried in butter on top of some fresh arugula, sliced tomatoes, and avocado. Yep, for breakfast. Protein (eggs), fat (butter, avocado), vegetables (greens, tomatoes). Flavor perfection. Think outside the box with your eggs. Try an egg sandwich on whole grain toast with a schmear of avocado and a slice of tomato. YUM. If you’re feeling adventurous, do a little batch-assembly of some breakfast burritos using eggs, peppers and/or greens, maybe a little bacon, and a bit of cheese. Wrap those little guys up, place in individual freezer bags, and keep them in the freezer for some variety whenever you feel like it.
Cottage Cheese and Fruit.
Lest we forget the oldies but goodies. So long as you tolerate dairy, this is a classic breakfast. Buy the full-fat (4%) cottage cheese, and top it with some freshly cut peaches or pears. For less fuss if you’d prefer not to have to cut anything, use raspberries or blueberries…or both. Protein (cottage cheese), fat (cottage cheese), fiber-rich carbs (fruit). If you prefer more savory cottage cheese, try it mixed with some greens (you may be surprised how tasty this is – I was).
Homemade Toaster Waffles.
Please leggo of your Eggos and get some nutrients in your body instead. I’ve spoken before about my favorite nutrient-rich pancake and waffle mix here. The reason I love Kodiak mixes so much is that they are made with wholesome, real ingredients and are rich in fiber and protein as a result. The way you mix up a batch can increase the protein and nutrients as well. I like to use whole milk and eggs combined with the mix. I also add wheat germ, chia, and flax usually. I often mix up a gargantuan batch of batter on a weekend morning, and make fresh waffles or pancakes for my family. They eat their share, and the remaining pile is placed in freezer baggies and tucked away for busy weekday mornings. Place the frozen pre-cooked waffles in the toaster, turn the heat to the lowest setting, and perfection awaits you. Protein (waffle mix, milk, eggs), fat (2% or whole milk), fiber-rich carbs (waffle mix, added seeds, etc.).
Writing this, albeit in the middle of the afternoon, is making me hungry! That reminds me to mention that the rules with breakfast are that there are no rules. Have some leftover chicken and a banana for breakfast; who cares! Have breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast; who cares! When you can embrace creativity with your food selections, you win.
Let me know how it goes in the comments!