How to Build a Healthy BreakfastBy: Anna Smith, MS, RDN, LDN
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know why they say that? Breakfast literally means to “break” the “fast” from your night’s sleep and your previous meal the day before. Just as rain and sunlight fuel flowers to grow, food fuels our body to “go.” When we wake up in the morning, our bodies need nutrients to tackle the day ahead. But what’s the healthiest breakfast you can eat? And, more importantly, how exactly do you build a healthy breakfast every morning?
Important Nutrients for a Healthy Breakfast
When building your plate for breakfast (or any other meal of the day), always keep the five food groups in mind: protein, fruit, vegetable, dairy and grain. Select one food from at least three different groups to give yourself a good mix of protein, fiber and other essential nutrients.
Healthy breakfast foods typically include fruits and vegetables, whole (unprocessed) grains and healthy proteins and fats. Grabbing on-the-go convenience foods in the morning, such as donuts or muffins, might satisfy your hunger, but they won’t provide the long-lasting energy you need to take on the day. By choosing a nourishing morning meal, you’ll have sustained energy levels until lunch, helping you ace that test, complete that report, run that extra mile or accomplish whatever else is on your list.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Building a healthy breakfast every morning can be easy once you get into a rhythm. Try keeping a few of these ingredient pairings on hand for simple, go-to options:
- Greek yogurt + raspberries + whole grain cereal
- Protein powder + frozen banana + handful of spinach (blended into a smoothie)
- Egg + whole grain bagel thin + apple
- Steel cut oats + nut butter + strawberries
- String cheese + almonds + pear
- Whole grain toast + nut butter + banana
- Egg + sautéed vegetables + avocado