Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

If your breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and a banana, you’re missing the mark. The importance of the morning meal can be found in the word itself -- it “breaks the fast” and replenishes your body with energy and nutrients after a long night’s sleep. Understanding the components of a healthy breakfast is crucial for building a better breakfast -- and while fruit is a healthy choice, it shouldn’t be the only food that fills your empty stomach.

A Better and Healthy Breakfast

To build a balanced breakfast, MayoClinic.com recommends filling your plate with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and some healthy fat. Complex carbohydrates come from whole-grain pieces of bread and cereals, which also deliver a healthy dose of fiber. To fill up on protein, choose low-fat dairy products, like skim milk and low-fat yogurt and cheese. Protein can also come from lean meats, eggs, and peanut butter. Fruits and vegetables should finish the meal, as they’re excellent sources of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

A healthy breakfast is possible even if you’re running out the door in the morning. Top a whole-wheat pancake or waffle with peanut butter and bananas for an easy treat to enjoy on your morning commute. Or, stuff a whole-wheat pita pocket with egg whites, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and feta cheese. If you eat breakfast at the office, choose plain oatmeal topped with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit. A fruit smoothie is another great idea, as it only takes a few minutes to blend before you’re out the door. Combine low-fat yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, a handful of spinach and a splash of skim milk. Either toss a spoonful of wheat germ into the mix or pair the smoothie with a whole-wheat toast to round out the meal.

If you have a bit more time to get ready in the morning, spend a few extra minutes preparing your morning meal. Use a whole-wheat tortilla to make a morning pizza topped with salsa, diced veggies, black beans and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Diced veggies can also be mixed into scrambled eggs or egg white omelets, while spinach leaves and cucumber slices can be tucked into a breakfast sandwich.
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