We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, for many it is not a priority. Busy schedules and meal shortcuts that are short on nutritional value can keep us away from eating a better breakfast. This can change the course of your day, leaving you sluggish, foggy and unfulfilled. As we celebrate Better Breakfast Month in September, we have some tips to make breakfast a meal you will look forward to as a kickstart to your day.
First and foremost, don’t skip breakfast. Fuel your day with a healthy breakfast. Eating within an hour of waking up breaks your overnight fast, kick starts metabolism, increases energy, improves mental function, controls weight and hunger, supports daily nutrient intake goals, and more. But what is in a better breakfast? Focus on getting whole grains, protein, healthy fats and some fruits and/or veggies.
Consuming whole grains at breakfast boosts fiber intake and provides your body with energy that is slowly released throughout the day. Some whole grain breakfast ideas include oatmeal, toast, bagel, English muffin, & cereals. Be careful, many cereals are loaded with sugar.
Muscle tissue is continually breaking down and rebuilding, especially when you are training. It is vital that muscle has the fuel to rebuild. Frequent protein feedings throughout the day supports this process. Protein also helps control hunger. Some healthy protein options for breakfast include eggs, Canadian bacon, yogurt and milk.
In addition to whole grains and protein, breakfast should include healthy fats. Incorporating avocado, nuts or eggs is a delicious start. Dairy is also a good source of fat and protein. Finally, find opportunities to add fruits and vegetables. Adding raspberries or even some leafy greens to your breakfast adds nutrients that will fuel you throughout your day.
Unfortunately, athletes tend to frequently miss breakfast due to busy schedules, like early morning practice. Planning ahead can help ensure you do not miss out on breakfast. Here are some on-the-go breakfast ideas that are easy and quick to prepare.
- Overnight Oats – This overnight oat recipe is great for those early mornings when you just don’t have the time or desire to cook breakfast.
- Avocado Toast – Slice it how you like, toast and avocado were meant for each other. Add your own flavor to spice things up.
- Nut Butter and Banana Sandwich – Elvis was on to something here. Swap out peanut butter for almond butter to add vitamins, nutrients and fiber.
- Egg & Veggie Bagel – Adding protein and veggies packed with nutrients revs up the power of a plain bagel.
- Yogurt Parfait – Balanced and delicious, parfaits are a seemingly-indulgent way to get a better breakfast in without tons of time or effort.
- Smoothie – Ingredient suggestions include berries, bananas, spinach, kale, chia/flax/hemp seeds, peanut butter, milk, yogurt, protein powder, oats
Breakfast can make or break your morning. If you get ahead of your nutrition with a little more attention to that first meal of the day, you’ll be set for success.
Created in collaboration with Texas Health Resources.