3 Steps to a Healthier On-the-go Breakfast

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In between getting dressed, packing lunches and keeping the kids on schedule, mornings can feel chaotic.

While a wholesome morning meal sounds like an impossible task, Mon Health Medical Center Dietitian, Robin Redd, takes the brain work out of a healthy breakfast by offering simple tips that even the busiest of families can enjoy.

“A healthy morning breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated,” says Redd. “There are three components to a well-balanced breakfast that will help keep us full and energized throughout the day—grains, protein and fruits/veggies.”

3 Steps to a Healthy On-the-Go Breakfast

Redd says to choose one food from each of the following three food groups to create a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast:

1. Start with a whole grain.

Starting the day with fiber-rich whole grains helps manage hunger and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Redd suggests aiming for a minimum of 5 grams of fiber each morning, which can be derived from two slices of whole wheat bread and a cup of berries.

Examples of travel-friendly whole grains include:

    • Dry bite size whole grain cereals (Aim for less than 8 g of sugar per serving when choosing a cereal.)
    • Instant oatmeal
    • Whole wheat bread
    • Whole wheat pita bread

2. Add a fruit and/or vegetable.

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy daily diet, and breakfast is the perfect opportunity to incorporate them, says Redd. They contain disease-fighting vitamins and minerals and help to support a strong immune system.

Examples of travel-friendly fruits and veggies include:

    • Banana
    • Apple
    • Orange
    • Pear
    • Grapes
    • Pre-cut carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers

3. Choose a low-fat protein.

Morning protein helps to control appetite, kick-start metabolism and support muscle growth. Redd suggests avoiding high-fat choices such as sausage or fatty bacon, and opting for leaner proteins to stay within a healthy calorie range. Aim for a minimum of five grams of protein each morning, she says.

Examples of travel-friendly protein sources include:

  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat or skim milk
  • Low-fat cream cheese
  • Low-fat string cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy nuts

Meal ideas for on-the-go

Need some help pairing items? Redd says the following ideas are perfect for busy families stuck in a breakfast rut:

  • Frozen whole grain waffles topped with applesauce and a side of low-fat yogurt
  • Whole wheat toast with peanut butter, topped with banana slices
  • Scrambled eggs (even better with veggies mixed in!) stuffed into a whole grain mini pita pocket, topped with low-fat cheese, ketchup or salsa, and an orange on the side
  • Instant oatmeal packet with dried cranberries and almonds
  • Hard-boiled egg with whole-wheat toast and a piece of fruit

For more information on Mon Health nutrition services, visit our nutrition therapy website.

To learn more about healthy meals and nutrition, visit choosemyplate.gov.