Back-to-school time can be stressful. Fitting in a balanced breakfast may be the last thing on your mind… but it shouldn’t be! Alissa Palladino, Registered Dietitian with Good Measure Meals, is here to share some nutritious, prep-ahead recipes to take the stress out of your morning and help make breakfast a part of your daily routine.
You’ve probably heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with good reason. Breakfast literally breaks your overnight fast, giving you (and your family) the energy boost you need to start your day.
Research shows that regular breakfast eaters are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than chronic breakfast skippers. Eating a balanced breakfast sets a positive tone for the day, and ensures you’re not ravenous by the time lunch rolls around. It’s far easier to make a healthy choice at lunchtime when you’re not “hangry!”
What you choose to eat in the morning also matters. Many common breakfast foods (such as donuts, muffins, bagels, juice, and cereal) are high in refined carbs and sugar, setting you up for an energy crash. Instead, opt for a balance of protein, fiber, and a little bit of healthy fat in your morning meal to stay energized and satisfied until lunch.
Planning ahead is key to making breakfast part of your daily routine. Time can be a major barrier on busy weekday mornings, so having some go-to recipes that you can prep ahead is key.
These quick, nutritionally-balanced breakfast recipes will keep you satisfied all morning. For AM runners, they’re also the perfect way to refuel those hard-worked muscles!
Almond Berry Overnight Oats
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup nonfat milk (or milk alternative)
- ¼ cup nonfat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds (or your favorite nut)
- ¼ cup raspberries (or your favorite fruit)
Add ingredients to a Mason jar or Tupperware in the order listed above, through honey, and stir to combine. Place container into the refrigerator and allow to sit overnight (at least 8 hours). Before eating, top with raspberries and almonds (or your toppings of choice). This recipe will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator, so you can make several containers on Sunday and enjoy a grab-and-go breakfast all week.
370 calories, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 53g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 23g protein
Maple Pecan Breakfast Bites
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
- ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
Combine nut butter, oats and sweetener. Add mix-ins and stir to thoroughly combine. Press into a bowl, cover and chill at least one hour. Adding water as needed, roll mixture into bites, or spread onto a sheet pan and cut into bars.
Customize this recipe by subbing in your favorite nut butter, such as almond or sunflower seed butter. Experiment with different mix-ins, such as raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, almonds or even chocolate chips! You can also use honey instead of maple syrup for a slightly different flavor profile.
(1/8 recipe) 220 calories, 16 g fat, 4g sat fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein
Berry Banana Power Smoothie
- 1/2 cup berries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 large banana
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup non-fat milk (or milk alternative)
- 1 cup spinach (or your favorite green)
Combine all ingredients and blend.
280 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 44 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 22 g protein
Have a Plan B
When you’re on-the-go, choose an egg sandwich on a whole grain English muffin or wrap instead of a pastry for greater satiety and more stable energy levels. A fruit and yogurt parfait is also a better choice, offering a balance of protein and fiber-rich carbs to keep you satisfied and energized.
Finally, don’t let lack of prep be your excuse for skipping breakfast (or grabbing a donut!) When all else fails, a piece of fruit plus a string cheese or spoonful of peanut butter will provide the fiber, protein and healthy fat you need to power through your morning.
For more healthy recipes, nutrition tips, and inspiration be sure to check out other Good Measure Meals blogs.