How to Make a Healthy Breakfast

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers several tips for making every breakfast a healthy breakfast along with ideas to make it easy for busy families.

Some mornings, a healthy breakfast can seem like a tall order for a busy family.  With teeth to brush, shoes to find, bags to pack and lunches to grab, a healthy breakfast can get lost in the shuffle or replaced with not-so-healthy options.  According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breakfast isn’t just a nice part of the routine; it can impact your family’s whole day:

“Eating breakfast can help improve behavior and school performance, as well as foster a healthy weight. On the other hand, skipping breakfast is a no-brainer, quite literally. When children skip breakfast, their brains and bodies suffer all day long.”

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers several tips for making every breakfast a healthy breakfast along with ideas to make it easy for busy families:

Start With Some Powerful Protein
Go lean with protein choices: a slice or two of Canadian bacon, an egg, a slice of deli meat or cheese, a container of low-fat yogurt or peanut butter on toast. Think outside of the breakfast box: microwave a quesadilla on a wheat tortilla with black beans or enjoy a tofu scramble with chopped vegetables and grated mozzarella cheese.

Add in Nutrient-Rich Whole Grains
Whole grains provide an extra nutrition punch. They have more fiber and nutrients, plus they tend to digest more slowly for longer lasting energy.  Serve kids whole-grain cereals like oatmeal. Or try whole-grain breads, muffins, waffles, pancakes or rolls to help the family rise, shine and get ready for a busy day.

Get Fresh with Fruits (and Vegetables)
Go with fresh fruit: bananas, kiwi, pears, apples, mangoes, melon, grapefruit or whatever’s in season. Canned options (pineapple or mandarin oranges) and frozen fruits (blueberries and strawberries) are great in yogurt parfaits. How about chopped vegetables in an omelet or a refreshing glass of vegetable juice?

Make It Routine
Here are three ways to help fit a breakfast bonanza into your family’s morning routine.

  • Get organized the night before. Make a breakfast plan as you clean up from dinner. Set the table with bowls and spoons for cereal. Get out a pan for pancakes or a blender for smoothies. Prepare muffin or waffle mix so it’s all ready to cook in the morning.
  • Keep breakfast simple. On busy days, get the family going with something as quick as a bowl of whole-grain cereal with a banana.
  • Pack your breakfast to go. If there’s no time to eat at home, pack a nutritious option to eat in the car or bus. Busy teens can grab a banana, granola bar or a bag of trail mix and a carton of milk. Also, check out the breakfast options available at your children’s school.

Don’t be afraid to rely on restaurants for a healthy breakfast on the run or when a special treat is on the schedule.  Participating Healthy Dining restaurants serve dietitian-recommended menu choices that the whole family can love.