9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas To Try

Jun 24, 2022 , Healthy Eating

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas To Try

Quick Health Scoop

  • Starting your day with an easy healthy breakfast, packed with nutrients, will help energize your morning.
  • Focus on eating nutritious foods with high fiber, vitamin and mineral content, protein, antioxidants, and healthy fats, from a whole foods diet including fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
  • Incorporate planning and prep hacks into your daily routine to make eating a healthy breakfast on the go quick and easy.
  • Try these nine healthy breakfast ideas that will be easy to transport and easy to eat.

Do you fuel up your mornings with donuts, sugar-laden breakfast cereal, bacon, or (gasp) even skip breakfast altogether? Starting your day off with an easy healthy breakfast will help energize your morning. Remember, after your body fasts at night while you sleep, your blood sugar levels also drop and will be lower when you wake up. By eating a healthy breakfast with protein and healthy fat, it will help increase (and maintain) your blood sugar levels, which can help you stay energized throughout the day and balance your mood. [1]

But exactly what is a healthy breakfast? What foods and food groups and key nutrients should be incorporated into a healthy breakfast? And, if your mornings are busy, what are some easy, healthy breakfast recipes for your on-the-go lifestyle?

Learn more about ideas for a healthy breakfast that you can start incorporating into your morning routine.

What Makes Up A Healthy Breakfast?

Let’s start with what not to eat: foods that contain added sugar and refined grains (think bagels, pancakes, pastries, and sugary cereals) along with high-fat, processed meats (like bacon and sausage).

Why? Because these foods can cause a rapid blood sugar spike (making you hungry mid-morning) and others may contain too much sodium (potentially affecting blood pressure), and preservatives. [2] In addition to increasing blood sugar levels, processed carbohydrates, and sugars can cause insulin levels to rise. Insulin then moves sugar into your fat cells for use as stored energy (a.k.a. body fat). [3]

So, what foods should you eat to have a healthy breakfast? Research shows that a healthy breakfast should focus on eating nutrient dense foods  with high fiber such as fruit and vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats — all of which contribute to better overall health. [2] For a healthy breakfast, focus on these primary food groups: [4]

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Lean protein 
  • Whole grains

For easy healthy breakfast proteins, focus less on meat and more on yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes, and know that whole grains (like oatmeal) provide fiber that will help to keep you feeling full longer. [5]

Healthy Fats for a Healthy Meal

When incorporating healthy fats into your breakfast, that means choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (which include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids) and avoid trans fats and saturated fats.[6] It is best to focus on eating more Omega 3 fats (from seafood, walnuts, flax and chia) and less Omega 6 fats (soy, canola and corn) to help balance levels of inflammation in the body. Which foods have these healthy fats? [7]

  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Seafood (especially fatty fish like albacore tuna, herring, salmon, sardines, and tuna)
  • Seeds (flax, chia, and sunflower seeds)
  • Tofu
  • Tree nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts, walnuts)
  • Vegetable and seed oils (canola, flaxseed, olive, safflower oils)

Kitchen Hacks For A Healthy Breakfast

Now that you know the key ingredients to include on your breakfast plate, you might need some help pulling together easy ideas for a healthy breakfast on the go. Before getting to specific food combos or healthy breakfast recipes (below), incorporate these planning and prep hacks into your routine to make eating a healthy, to-go breakfast quick and easy.

  • Plan. Aim for a balanced breakfast, which means planning a meal that includes foods from two to three groups such as dairy and protein or fruit and protein. [8] Mix up your options to avoid falling into a breakfast rut. If you get bored eating the same thing every morning, you’re more likely to skip breakfast or fall back into eating less healthy foods because you enjoy them.
  • Buy: Once you’ve mapped out different breakfast options, stock up on healthy ingredients to keep on hand so you can quickly whip up a variety of nutritious meals. For your fridge, buy lower-fat yogurt (Greek yogurt has higher protein) or cheese cheese, whole grain or sprouted bread, and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. For your freezer, purchase a variety of frozen fruits and vegetables that you can use for smoothies. For your pantry, stock your shelves with nuts, nut butters (such as peanut, almond), seeds, seed butters (sunflower seed), canned beans, shelf-stable non-dairy milk alternatives (like almond, coconut or soy milk), fortified high-fiber cereal, and a variety of whole grains (such as barley, rolled oats, quinoa and brown rice).
  • Prep: On the weekends (when you have more time to cook), plan for breakfast leftovers (think whole-grain muffins or vegetable frittata made with leftover veggies) that you can eat during the coming week or freeze and quickly defrost on busy mornings. Clean, peel, cut, and slice fruits and veggies so they’re ready to eat as-is or add to a healthy breakfast recipe. Portion out ready-to-grab breakfasts (like small bags of nuts) to eat on the go, or as a late afternoon snack for a quick pick me up.

Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas For On The Go

Whether you’re commuting to work or driving your kids to school, you’ll want to prepare healthy breakfast recipes that will be easy to transport and easy to eat. For many of these, you can make them the night before to simply grab on your way out the door. [1,2,3,5]

  1. Yogurt parfait. Choose plain Greek yogurt (for the extra protein), add some berries fruit and top with crushed walnuts or granola.
  2. Nut or seed butter sandwich. Spread your nut or seed butter of choice (try pecan butter or sunflower seed butter) and mashed banana on whole wheat or rye bread.
  3. Fresh fruit. Apples, bananas, and grapes are the perfect additions to any grab-and-go breakfast. For other fruits that requires a little prep (like grapefruit, kiwi), just peel and cut the night before, portion into individual containers, and take them with you. Also consider an apple with nut butter as a snack full of fiber, protein and healthy fat.
  4. Smoothie. Blend a healthy liquid (lower-fat yogurt plus a regular or non-dairy low-fat milk) with fresh or frozen fruit. Consider adding in some chia seeds for a healthy Omega 3 fat nutrient boost. For a green smoothie, add a handful of fresh baby spinach to the blender. Consider adding whey or pea protein for a higher protein smoothie.
  5. Oatmeal. Make oatmeal with lower-fat milk (instead of water) and top with fresh or dried fruit. For a protein boost, add some nut butter or ground flax seed.
  6. Grits. Add in chopped spinach or tomatoes and top with low-fat cheddar cheese. Add a hard-boiled egg for a protein boost.
  7. Fortified cereal or granola. Choose whole-grain breakfast cereals or granola high in fiber, low in added sugar and with added nuts or chia seeds for an additional nutrient boost. Eat the cereal dry (like a snack!).
  8. Breakfast burrito. Fill corn or whole wheat tortillas with scrambled eggs, tofu, or black beans and diced veggies (try onions, peppers, and tomatoes). Tip: Make the night before and wrap in foil for quick on-the-go eating.
  9. Whole wheat bagel. Spread hummus, nut butter or mashed avocado for a tasty to-go breakfast.

To help fill in any nutritional gaps, you might consider taking a multivitamin, or Omega 3 fish oil at breakfast. Helpful tip: it is always best to take Fish Oil with a meal. Many people take their daily vitamins and minerals at breakfast because it’s easy to remember and easy to make part of your morning routine.†

Bottom Line

A healthy breakfast will kickstart your day, giving you energy that will last into the day. Aim to eat nutrient-dense foods high in fiber, with lean protein, and healthy fats. This means choosing foods from these food groups: fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains. Use some planning and prep hacks that make eating a healthy breakfast on the go quick and easy. Try the above ideas for a healthy breakfast so you’ll options that will be easy to transport and easy to eat.

Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information. 


† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References 

  1. University of Colorado Boulder. “Better breakfasts for your nutrition goals.” 2022. Accessed on: May 25, 2022. https://www.colorado.edu/health/2019/09/04/better-breakfasts-your-nutrition-goals
  2. UC Davis Health. “Why is breakfast important? Our dietitian gives healthy breakfast ideas.” April 5, 2022. Accessed on: May 26, 2022. https://health.ucdavis.edu/blog/good-food/why-is-breakfast-important-our-dietitian-gives-healthy-breakfast-ideas/2022/04
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. “A doctor’s recipe for a healthy breakfast.” October 6, 2017. Accessed on: May 25, 2022. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/a-doctors-recipe-for-a-healthy-breakfast-2017100612479
  4. Washington State Department of Health. “Fuel-Up & Eat Breakfast Washington.” 2022. Accessed on: May 26, 2022. https://doh.wa.gov/you-and-your-family/nutrition-and-physical-activity/healthy-eating/healthy-breakfast
  5. University of Washington. “What Does a Healthy Breakfast Look Like?” 2022. Accessed on: May 26, 2022. https://thewholeu.uw.edu/2021/12/20/what-does-a-healthy-breakfast-look-like/
  6. American Heart Association. “The Facts on Fats Infographic.” May 2017. Accessed on: June 15, 2022. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/the-facts-on-fats
  7. American Diabetes Association. “Fats.” 2022. Accessed on: June 15, 2022. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well/fats
  8. South Dakota State University Extension. “Grab N’ Go Breakfasts.” January 24, 2020. Accessed on: May 26, 2022. https://extension.sdstate.edu/grab-n-go-breakfasts

Authors

Lisa Beach

NatureMade Contributor

Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.

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