Building A Better Breakfast

Building A Better Breakfast

Leigh-Anne Wooten MS, RDN/LDN, FAND, LSS BB

Registered Dietitian

September is National Breakfast Month and we’re celebrating by sharing our top tips for making a healthy breakfast. 

Finding time to make “the most important meal of the day” can often feel like a task, but there are a few things you can do to get organized and hopefully ease some of that early morning stress.

  • Include breakfast in your meal planning. For those of us that do meal plan we tend to focus on dinners, but try to include breakfast in the planning process. This will take a lot of the mental stress out of having to figure out what to make and if you have all of the ingredients.
  • Pick fast and easy recipes.We’ll give you plenty of ideas below!
  • Do some night-before meal prepping, allowing you to buy back a few precious morning minutes.

Now you might be thinking, sure I can try all of that, but how do I actually build a healthy breakfast?  Well, read on!

 

7 Tips to Build a Better Breakfast

  • Do you have protein? This is found in nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, eggs, dairy (regular and some plant-based), and lean meats.  In fact, one serving of chia seeds (2 Tbsp) contains more than 5 grams of protein. 
  • What about fiber? Fruits, veggies, seeds, beans, and whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, or whole wheat bread are loaded with fiber.  There’s actually a whopping 9 grams of fiber in a serving of chia seeds.  Remember, the goal for the day is 21-25 grams for women and 30-38 grams for men.
  • And don’t forget healthy fatsthat come from avocado, nuts, nut butters, and seeds. There are almost 5 grams of plant-based omega-3 fats per serving of chia.  That’s all you need for the day!

 These first three recommendations are what’s going to keep you feeling full until that next meal, and of course are loaded with nutrients to fuel and support the body. 

  • Aim for variety. This will ensure that you’re maxing out on the wide array of nutrients your body needs all while keeping breakfast time fun and enjoyable. Variety is the spice of life, right?
  • Eat your veggies, even at breakfast! Add them to smoothies, include them in a breakfast scramble, or even as a spread on a whole grain English muffin. Remember, breakfast can be savory.
  • And don’t forget a glass of…
  • For kids – milk and/or water are the best choices. When it comes to milk, choose an age-appropriate option (full fat for kids under two, low-fat for the older ones).  And of course, you can go with a cow or a plant-based option.  Chia milk is a great choice, as it’s loaded with all the goodness, you’d expect from chia including plant-based omega-3 fat, aka the healthy fat.   
  • For adults - opt for water, tea, or coffee. Whichever you choose, just make sure it doesn’t have a lot of added sugar or fat (ie – sugar, flavorings, or heavy cream).  You can, however, add some chia milk to your morning tea or coffee; It's basically a low calorie shot of your omega-3's for the day! How's that?

And of course, anyone can get their hydration through a delicious smoothie; no need to have a separate drink!

  • Things to keep to a minimum:
  • Saturated fat - which is commonly found in: sausage, bacon, and whole cows’ milk (the exception is for children under 2 as mentioned above).
  • Added sugar – which is hidden in A LOT of breakfast foods from doughnuts and flavored yogurts, to sugary cereals, premade breakfast bars, and syrup or honey toppings.
  • Salt – which can be found in many breakfast meats, cheeses, and added during cooking or at the table.

Breakfast Recipe Inspiration

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Chocolate chia pudding with Greek yogurt (find the lowest sugar option) and fresh berries
  • Loaded (whole grain) English muffin topped with nut butter, sliced banana, and chia seed sprinkles.
  • Homemade chia bread with avocado, tomato, and “everything” bagel seasoning
  • Farmer’s Market egg scramble with veggies (whatever’s in season or in your fridge) and topped with pumpkin seeds
  • Smoothie – You can pack a smoothie with all kinds of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains. The options here are limitless! 
  • Breakfast burrito with eggs-your-way, black beans, smashed avocado, cilantro, and cotija cheese
  • Overnight oats or quinoa topped with fruit and nuts.
  • Breakfast bowl – yogurt, nuts, homemade granola, and fresh fruit.

 

As my dad used to say every morning over breakfast, “Rise and Shine and Challenge the Day!”


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