It’s 7:15 in the morning. School starts in 15 minutes and you need to get to work by 8:00 if you want to avoid another lecture from your never late boss. Hubby is in the car honking the horn. The kids are still upstairs fighting over the bathroom. All you want to do is finish your first cup of coffee. Easy breakfast ideas are the last thing on your mind. Trust me. Been there and done that.
I understand that in the mornings there are so many other tasks competing for your attention that you may decide you don’t have time to eat breakfast. But, when you skip or miss a meal, especially breakfast, this can cause a dip in your blood sugar and your metabolism begins to slow, leaving you cranky and lethargic.
To us, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Most mornings we like to fix healthy breakfasts that are quick and easy. This is why so many of our yummy breakfast recipes focus on quick and easy breakfast ideas like flavorful oatmeal, granola bars, tasty pancakes (reheated from the freezer), fruit, yogurt, toast, or veggie enriched scrambled eggs.
You can find all our tasty and healthy recipes in the Recipe Index Breakfast Category on Your Daily Food Choices blog.
Why Eat a Healthy Breakfast?
Breakfast gives you the boost of energy you need to take on your hectic day. Without this fuel providing meal, chances are you will overeat later in the day.
Another big mistake that people make at breakfast time, especially women, is not eating enough. In the morning after a good night sleep, your energy stores are depleted by as much as 80% from the night before. Without food, your body begins to conserve energy and burn fewer calories. This causes your metabolism to plunge down.
The best plan is to eat a healthy breakfast packed with fat-fighting nutrients like fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D. Eating this powerful combination will burn fat and keep blood sugar levels and energy steady, leading to fewer cravings and binges throughout the morning.
By maintaining blood sugar levels you can avoid:
- feeling fatigued or lethargic
- dizziness or light-headedness
- crankiness or irritability
- nagging hunger and food cravings
For us, eating a healthy breakfast is a given. However, I do admit that I prefer to start the day with a steaming hot cup of coffee, and then eat breakfast. This has always been my habitual pattern even when I was working for corporate America.
If you are not a breakfast eater, we urge you to give it a try.
How to Make Breakfast a Breeze
You want your work day and school day breakfast quick and easy, right? You can save the weekends for flipping pancakes, locating that waffle iron, or dipping French toast in an egg-rich batter.
Here are a few suggestions for making weekday breakfast easier so you and your family don’t have to skip breakfast.
Quick breakfast ideas:
- Keep whole grain English muffins and whole wheat bagels in the freezer. You can quickly toast these, top with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter or no sugar fruit preserves. Add a quick protein like string cheese or Greek yogurt and enjoy.
- Whip up a quick smoothie, either green or fruit, and enjoy while getting ready for work or take it with you. Add Greek yogurt or protein powder for added protein. Be sure to include omega-3 rich chia seeds for added fiber.
- Quickly scramble up a couple of eggs as they cook in almost no time. Serve with whole grain toast and berries.
Prepare for breakfast over the weekend:
- Over the weekend, make crust-less mini quiches in muffin pans and refrigerate or freeze for a quick weekday breakfast. You can load these protein rich babies with your favorite meat and veggies. Add a whole grain product and some fruit and you have a satisfying breakfast.
- Whip up a batch of homemade muffins, a quick bread, or granola bars to keep in the refrigerator or freezer for breakfast the following week. You can combine these with eggs or use as a grab and go item.
- Are you a fan of hard-boiled eggs? If so, boil a bunch over the weekend to have on hand to take with you for breakfast or lunch.
- Make a big batch of baked oatmeal and store in the refrigerator to eat the following week. Heat it up, add milk and you have a tasty warm breakfast in no time.
Plan for breakfast the night before:
- The night before, take a few minutes to mix up a quick overnight oatmeal or muesli to enjoy in the morning. Eat it cold or hot, either is delish.
- Make overnight chia seed pudding the night before. Come morning time, just garb and devour.
- To reduce morning chaos, set the table the night before. Lay out bowls, spoons, box whole grain cereal, and bananas so all is ready to eat except the milk.
- Make pretty parfaits the night before by layering Greek yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries, and homemade granola or crunchy cereal. Just imagine waking up to this beautiful tasty dish and all you need to add is a spoon.
Grab and go breakfast ideas for work:
- Grab one of those homemade muffins, sliced quick breads, or granola bars from the fridge or the freezer that you made last weekend. By the time you get to work, these will be totally yummy to enjoy with your morning coffee. Add a piece of fruit and a small Greek yogurt for a complete breakfast.
- Keep plenty of easy to grab fruit like apples, bananas, plums, pears, peaches, berries, and grapes on hand.
- Stock up on Greek yogurt, string cheese, and Mini Babybel cheese for a portable protein to take with you.
- Keep packed in their own juice containers of applesauce or other fruits in your pantry for an alternative fruity grab and go option.
- Don’t forget healthy nuts. Keep small amounts of nuts packed in zip bags to grab and eat on the way to work.
Creative breakfast ideas:
- Enjoy leftovers from last night’s dinner for breakfast. Have any leftover rice? Heat it up, add fruit and milk for a quick tasty rice pudding.
- Have any leftover baked potatoes or sweet potatoes? What about leftover pizza? Or that box of take home goodies from the local restaurant you ate at last night? All are great options for a quick breakfast.
- Make a quick and nutritious peanut butter and banana sandwich. It’s loaded with fiber and protein and best of all, besides tasting delicious, you can take it with you to work.
Is it Healthy to Eat Eggs for Breakfast?
Eating eggs for breakfast or using them in preparing foods for any other meal, like so many health topics, is highly debatable. Our nutritional team supports moderate consumption of eggs and egg whites. Please check with your nutritional team if you have any questions or concerns about how many eggs to eat on a weekly basis.
Cholesterol levels are important indicators of your overall risk of getting heart disease. I like this clear explanation in a Lifescript article on weight-loss food and eggs: “So it makes sense that if you eat foods high in cholesterol, your cholesterol levels should increase significantly. But it’s not that straightforward. We now know that eating cholesterol does not play a large role influencing your cholesterol levels – it’s the saturated fats and especially the trans fats that you have to think about. While eggs are high in cholesterol, their saturated fat content is actually tolerable. “
A large egg has 2 grams of saturated fat and no trans fat. You can cut the saturated fat substantially by using egg whites instead of whole eggs. We sometimes use packaged egg products like Egg Beaters, AllWhites, or Break-Free either by themselves or mixed with a whole egg.
5 Reasons to Eat Eggs for Breakfast
- Eggs are a very good source of protein. Whole eggs are one of the most complete sources of protein. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids that we need to get from what we eat.
- Eggs keep you feeling full. Because of their protein and fat content, eggs fill you up and help sustain your energy levels.
- Eggs and egg whites have a glycemic index rating of zero. Since eggs do not have carbohydrates or sugars they help keep your blood sugar stable.
- Eggs are a very good source of selenium. The trace element selenium plays a critical role in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from infection.
- Eggs are a good source of phosphorus. The mineral phosphorus makes up 1% of your total body weight and is the second most abundant mineral in the body. Phosphorus is important for forming bones and teeth.
How We Plan Our Daily Breakfast Meal:
Breakfast consists of three components plus a beverage. These three components are starch, protein, and fiber.
- The starch is usually a whole grain (more fiber and nutrients). Examples are a bowl of oatmeal, a slice of whole grain bread, a whole wheat or whole grain mini English muffin, or a bowl of high fiber, high protein cereal.
- The protein is low-fat protein. Examples are an egg or egg whites, cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, or 1% milk.
- The fiber is a small piece of fruit like an apple, orange, banana, or berries. This could also be a fruit or green smoothie. We also get fiber from the starch component.
- For beverages, we drink coffee, tea, or water. We do not drink fruit juices. Drinking a glass of orange juice is like injecting 3-4 oranges into your bloodstream in one shot, thus spiking your blood sugar and flooding your liver with a pile of sugar resulting in most of it getting converted to fat.
Healthy Breakfast Choices:
- Pancakes made with whole wheat flour, omega-3 enriched eggs, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed topped with fiber rich apple compote.
- Oatmeal made with calcium rich low-fat milk topped with omega-3 rich walnuts and dried cranberries. Serve with a poached egg or Greek yogurt for added protein.
- Whole wheat toast topped with mashed avocado and a poached omega-3 enriched egg.
- Leftover brown rice topped with calcium rich low-fat milk topped with Greek yogurt and fresh berries.
- Start the day with eggs to feel full longer and eat less later on. Scrambled, poached, or made into a tasty omelette, eggs are a smart strategy for a feel full breakfast. Add a toasted whole grain mini English muffin and a bowl of berries to complete the meal.
- Make lighted-up French toast using whole-grain bread dipped in a batter made of egg whites or an egg substitute product. Don’t forget to add cinnamon and vanilla extract. Top with berries, thinly sliced fruit, or unsweetened applesauce for sweetness.
13 Quick and Easy Tips for Making Breakfast
- Add cinnamon to hot cereals like oatmeal, rice, Cream of Wheat, or quinoa to help curb post-meal insulin spikes. Cinnamon reduces blood glucose levels for up to two hours after eating. Cinnamon is also excellent on whole grain toast and in breakfast smoothies.
- Reach for the veggies. Add greens and carrots to your smoothies. Include plenty of chopped veggies like onions, mushrooms, peppers, and asparagus to your omelettes and scrambled eggs.
- Keep bread for toast, English muffins, and homemade muffins in the freezer to grab and quickly fix for breakfast. Store breads in gallon freezer bags. That way you can easily see what you are looking for.
- If serving pancakes, waffles, or French toast with syrup, make sure it is all-natural maple syrup. Besides being so tasty, several studies show that maple syrup may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- When cooking scrambled eggs, be sure to heat and coat the pan with oil before adding the eggs so they don’t stick. Cook the eggs over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Out of jelly or jam for that piece of toast or English muffin? No worry. Simply mash any soft fruit you have on hand like a banana or berries, sprinkle with a little cinnamon, add a splash of vanilla and start spreading. Not sweet enough? Stir in a little honey or maple syrup. This also works with thawed frozen fruit.
- When making egg frittatas, be sure to pre-cook the veggies like onions, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, or potatoes. You want firm veggies to soften and veggies with a high water content to release their moisture before adding the eggs.
- Eating a high fiber cereal, don’t forget to sprinkle on the antioxidant loaded blueberries that can enhance your memory and slow down brain aging.
- Hate traditional breakfast food? Try eating a combination of veggies, whole wheat crackers, hummus, cottage cheese, cheese, or olives for breakfast.
- Keep muffin sized frittatas in the freezer for a quick breakfast. Pull one or two out in the morning and heat. Spice them up a notch with salsa.
- Strawberries and other berries are outstanding nutrient additives to oatmeal, cereal, or smoothies. But don’t pre-slice the berries, storing them to consume over time, as this reduces the nutrient effectiveness of the berries.
- When looking at nutrition labels, especially for breakfast cereals and energy bars, focus on the first three ingredients. If any has a word ending in “ose” (like fructose) or lists any sugar product, put it back on the shelf as the item is a sugar bomb.
- When you open a container of Greek yogurt, if you see some watery liquid on top, don’t dump this down the sink. This liquid is whey and is packed with protein, vitamins, and calcium. Simply mix the whey back into yogurt and enjoy the fat-burning power of Greek yogurt.
Wrapping up on Easy Breakfast Ideas
We chatted about why eating breakfast is important and how to make breakfast a breeze. We reviewed why eggs are good for you. We showed you how we plan our breakfast meal and gave you a few tips for making breakfast preparation easier.
There is so much more we could discuss, but now the ball is in your court. You need to decide how to plan your day and if your want to eat breakfast every day or just on the weekends. Let us know if you have any questions.
Need more information for easy breakfast ideas and why eating breakfast is important? Below are a few articles for you to check out.
Sources and Enlightening Reading
Glorious Breakfast: How It Can Help You Lose Weight by Hungry Beastling
Debunk the Breakfast Myths by Kelly James-Enger from Body for Life
7 Reasons You Should Eat Eggs for Breakfast by Jules Clancy from Lifehack
Why Eating the Right Breakfast is so Important by Consumer Reports
Breakfast Basics by Kids Health
Steel-Cut Oats Versus Rolled Oats (Infographic) by Mandy Oaklander from Prevention
Breakfast: It’s a Breeze by Meal Makeover Moms
Diabetes Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid by Chris IIiades, MD from Everyday Health
Beware Of This Head Fake: Healthy Cereal That Isn’t By Vani Hari from Food Babe
The Case for Eating Breakfast by Healthy Children
Is It OK to Eat the Same Thing Every Day? By Fr. Mike Roussell from Shape
We Appreciate You!
Thanks for stopping by and letting us share a little about our healthy breakfast philosophy.
We are here for you as a guide and as a friend. Let us know how we can help you embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s to lower calorie, great tasting recipes, and living well! And remember, what you eat really matters!
Linda and Steve
P.S. Don’t miss a thing! Enter your email address below to get tasty recipes and health & wellness tips every week! We hope you will join us on our healthy living journey.