6 Tips for a Nutritious Breakfast


Eating breakfast in the morning gives us the energy we need to start our day. Make a nutritious breakfast a priority by including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein sources, such as egg, lean meat, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds, for a balanced meal that will fill you up in the morning.

You can quickly make several breakfast options, even during a busy morning. Here are a few ideas for building a nutritious plate.

  • Build from a carbohydrate base. Whole-grain bagels or English muffins are a great option to keep on hand. They pair well with cream cheese and a variety of toppings, including sliced fruit with cinnamon and walnuts, or tomato slices with basil and red onions. Hummus and mashed avocados are also great spreads and pair well with vegetable slices and seeds. The carbohydrates found in whole-grains and fruit will give you energy, while fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber that aid in digestion and will help you stay full for longer.
  • Prioritize protein with a parfait. Top your favorite low fat or Greek yogurt with whole-grain cereal or granola and your choice of fruit. To save time prepping, you can choose dried or frozen fruit options, or fruit like raspberries and blueberries that you can enjoy whole. Dairy options are excellent sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Fruit paired with crunchy granola or whole-grain cereal makes this a good swap for sugary breakfast cereal. Add a tablespoon of nut butter for added protein. You can make this even sweeter by drizzling some honey on top.
  • Skip the heat with smoothies. Smoothies are great options you can enjoy on the way to work. They are also an easy way to include each major food group to start the day! To make a quick smoothie, blend frozen berries with one banana, a handful of spinach, and low-fat dairy. Add avocado or nut butter to include healthy fats. You can use the same recipe to create a smoothie bowl with toppings such as granola, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds when there is more time at home. These are perfect for hot summer days!
  • Wrap with whole-wheat. Try making a breakfast wrap with a whole-wheat tortilla and a combination of mashed avocado, black beans, salsa, scrambled eggs, or your choice of cheese. You can make whole-wheat wraps in advance on weekends, freeze, then reheat during the week. For a sweeter option kids will enjoy, roll a whole banana in a whole-wheat tortilla with nut butter. You can also add some whole-grain cereal or granola for an extra crunch. Whole-wheat options are a good source of fiber and several vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent way to start the day!
  • Power up with pita pockets. Create pita pockets with whole-wheat pita bread, cheese, scrambled eggs, and preferred vegetables, such as spinach or bell peppers. You can also prepare and refrigerate the pita pockets in advance, and warm them up in the morning for a quick on-the-go breakfast.
  • Satisfy with a sandwich. Create a nutritious whole-wheat breakfast sandwich using a toasted English muffin or whole-wheat bread. Include a lean meat, a cheese slice, and your choice of sliced vegetables or greens such as lettuce. This is an easy way to incorporate many food groups. Grab a piece of fruit and you will have a complete breakfast!

Making a healthy breakfast is important, so start your day with nutritious options. Prepare your breakfast in advance or in the morning using a combination of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein that will add variety, balance, and help you start your day energized.

Source: Paulina Antimisiaris, Dietetic Intern, Emily DeWitt, Senior Extension Associate for Family and Consumer Sciences