Ensuring a Quick and Easy Balanced Breakfast: Back to School Edition
“Eat your breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day!”
I’m sure you all remember that saying, right? Well, it actually holds some merit. It has been found in research that those who eat a balanced breakfast have better energy and performance levels throughout the day. With September right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start preparing some balanced breakfast ideas for the school year. Today, I’m here to give you 5 balanced breakfast meals that will give you the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay energized and focused all day long.
Breakfast smoothie. One of the quickest ways to ensure a nutritious breakfast is by preparing a balanced smoothie breakfast. Smoothies are a great breakfast option to enjoy, especially while the weather is still warm. To get the most out of your smoothie recipe, combine the following ingredients: 1 cup of your favorite fruit or fruit blend, 1 handful of spinach, ¼ cup dry rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, skim milk, and ice. Together, these ingredients will create a nutritional powerhouse to keep you focused and energized all morning. Here’s a smoothie example you can try: 1 medium banana, 1 handful of spinach, ¼ cup dry oats, 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter, 1 cup skim milk and ice.
Egg muffins. Eggs are a great, protein-packed breakfast option, and egg muffins can be prepared early in the week and hold well by either refrigeration or freezing. Combine eggs, freshly chopped spinach, and any other veggies you like to a muffin tin and bake until cooked through. Store extra muffins in the refrigerator or freezer and warm them in the toaster oven when you need them.
Protein pancakes. For those of you who enjoy sweet breakfasts over savory, this option is great for you. Using whole grain pancake mix, add 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 egg, and milk to your batter to boost each pancake’s protein content. After cooking, drizzle with natural peanut butter and a handful of fruit for a nice balance of protein, healthy fat, and fiber.
Oatmeal. A classic, heart healthy breakfast option that provides sustained energy for hours. Oatmeal is a versatile breakfast and can be enjoyed either cold or hot. For overnight oats, combine 1 part rolled oats, 1 part milk, and ⅛ part chia seeds. For extra protein, use skim or soy milk as your liquid or add protein powder into the mix. If you’re dairy or gluten-free, look for plant based milks that are also high in protein.
Avocado toast. This breakfast has become more trendy in recent years, but it actually does provide some great nutritional benefits. Choose whole wheat toast as your base for extra fiber, and top with ½ an avocado, 1 cooked egg, veggies and low sodium seasoning of your choice.
Hope everyone has a great start to their school year!
Until next time,
Emily Sicinski, MS, RDN, CDN