It’s not hard to believe that nutrition plays a big part in how we feel every day. Ask anyone about French fries and they can tell you how good food makes them feel. Our choices around food and meals can considerably affect the directions of our day and for breakfast, this is especially true. Research suggests that those who eat breakfast have greater long term cognition and tend to overeat less throughout the day.

As we start our day breakfast can be many things. It can be a filling meal for weight loss, it can be energizing before a workout, or it can even be quick for our busiest days. Whatever your needs, with a little planning, you can make a breakfast that suits you and that you feel good about.

Considering you and your Family’s Health Goals/Needs
Are you feeding Children, Teens, Adults or Seniors?

For all age groups, breakfast is the perfect time to get in your fruit servings. Fruits will offer carbohydrates for quick energy and fiber for a sustained feeling of fullness.

Across all age groups protein is also important. Protein helps keep you full for longer periods of time and also helps maintain/build lean muscle mass. Scrambled eggs, tofu scrambles, and omelets are great high protein breakfast choices. These suggestions can also be made into wraps by adding spinach and salsa for added fiber.

Lastly, in considering everyone’s health needs, fats can round off a balanced breakfast. Consider avocados or nut butter. These can both be served on toast, or as ingredients in breakfast smoothies.

Eating a combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein will provide a longer-lasting feeling of satiety suitable for the whole family.

The Morning Rush: Quick Meals and Meal Prepping

Time is so precious in the morning. Less time spent cooking can mean more time spent sleeping… or working out; it’s a personal choice. The daily struggle of finding time to cook breakfast can be accomplished by preparing parts of the meal in advance, also known as meal prepping.

  • Consider pre-slicing a variety of fruit and having it ready-to-go in plastic storage containers. Add fruit to Greek Yogurt or low fat cottage cheese for added protein.
  • Overnight Oats can be meal prepped by combining dry oats, a milk of choice, berries, nuts, and seeds in a leak proof container and left to sit in a refrigerator overnight.
  • Protein Pancakes can be meal prepped by purchasing a boxed protein pancake mix of choice (many stores also sell a gluten-free version). Prepare the pancake mix according to package directions and store in the freezer until needed. These can be reheated in the microwave or on a stovetop.
  • Scrambled eggs can be cooked any morning in about 5 minutes. Add vegetables and desired spice combinations for a more exciting breakfast.
  • A smoothie can be made in around 5 minutes. Try combining a frozen berry blend, baby spinach, ½ banana + your choice of milk product. For added protein, add protein powder, Greek yogurt or nuts/seeds.

Food Allergies & Intolerances 

Breakfast modifications and substitutions can easily be made to avoid major food allergens. Substitutions listed below can be purchased from regular non-specialty grocery stores.  Always be sure to read food labels and check ingredients when planning around food allergies.

Dairy: instead of cow’s milk try plant-based milk and yogurt. Plant-based dairy like rice milk, oat milk, almond milk and coconut milk are easy to digest and environmentally sustainable. 

Wheat: instead of conventional wheat bread, try gluten-free bread. Many popular gluten-free breads are made from familiar foods like rice, coconut, and almond. Please be advised that many breakfast cereals also contain wheat and/or gluten.

Nuts: Avoid nuts, nut spreads, nut-based milk, and nut-based yogurts. Conventional dairy would be an appropriate substitution.

Soy: Soy is frequently found in processed and pre-packaged breakfast foods. Choosing foods that are not packaged or processed will reduce the likeliness of items containing soy. Also avoid soy milk, and meat substitutes like tofu, tempeh.

Eggs: Eggs can be avoided during breakfast by substituting other lean protein sources like tofu or turkey sausage.

Breakfast Wrap Up
Our diets and decisions towards food may differ from person to person, but our expectation to feel good about what we eat is universal. Eating a balanced breakfast of fats, protein, and carbs can give us a sustained feeling of fullness and improve our mental performance throughout the day. By investing time in meal planning we help our future selves not miss the opportunity for a better day.

By Christopher Boss with Stephanie Wood, Deanne Diorio and Jordan Anthony

References:

All Images Via Pixabay Photo
https://pixabay.com/service/license/

https://pixabay.com/photos/mixed-fruit-fruit-healthy-food-3188335/

https://pixabay.com/photos/tea-omelet-breakfast-yellow-egg-2973171/

https://pixabay.com/photos/strawberries-fruit-muesli-food-498207/

https://pixabay.com/photos/bread-homemade-food-fresh-table-1319583/

The Effects of Breakfast and Breakfast Composition on Cognition in Adults 2016
https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/7/3/576S/4558060

Breakfast: a multidisciplinary approach 2013
https://ijponline.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1824-7288-39-44

Breakfast: A Good Habit, not a Repetitive Custom 2008
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/147323000803600401

Health-related quality of life according to breakfast in elderly 2015
http://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201525550548261.page

Planning and task management in older adults: Cooking breakfast 2006
https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03193268