Simple Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Nine suggestions for a simple and healthy morning meal to start your day off right.
As nurses, we know how important it is to start our day with a nutritious breakfast, but most of us still aren’t making our morning meal a priority. We’re either too busy or just plain bored with our breakfast options. Jump-start your morning routine with one of these nutritious (and easy!) ideas.
Chia Seed Pudding
There’s a reason chia seeds are so popular: Just one ounce has 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. Plus, they’re full of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 fat that may reduce triglycerides and other risk factors for heart disease.
In liquid, these tiny seeds swell to 12 times their size, creating little gel-like balls similar to miniature tapioca pearls. To make a chia seed breakfast pudding, just mix ½ cup of chia seeds with 2 cups of milk (regular, almond, coconut, or soy) and anything else you’d like for flavor — try sprinkling in maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped fruit, or nuts. Place the mixture in a sealed container in the refrigerator for four hours or overnight. Try it: Vanilla-Cinnamon Chia Pudding
Heidi Wellnitz-Rye, an RN and certified group fitness instructor, uses a similar technique to make overnight oats. She mixes ½ cup of oats with a cup of milk and flavors with agave nectar, maple syrup, chopped apple, or cinnamon and leaves it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning it’s thick, creamy, and you can grab it as you walk out the door. Try It: Overnight oats
Another one of Wellnitz-Rye’s grab-and-go breakfast staples is quiche cups. “It’s important to start your day with protein,” she says. “Nurses often have donuts or muffins for breakfast because they’re quick, but they won’t keep you satisfied for long.” Each of these mini quiches is the equivalent of one egg, so the protein will keep you full. Make a batch in advance and eat them all week. Try Heidi's Quiche Cups recipe below:
Try it: Heidi's Mini Quiche Cups
- Spray a muffin pan with oil or nonstick spray (Wellnitz-Rye uses avocado oil).
- Sprinkle chopped veggies like spinach, onion, or peppers (or anything else you like) into the muffin pan.
- Crack one egg into each muffin mold and mix with a fork.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Meet the healthy breakfast alternative to ice cream — the smoothie bowl! It’s a smoothie (often full of fruits and veggies) that’s thick enough to eat with a spoon. After you pour it into a bowl, add your favorite toppings. Sliced bananas, nuts, a sprinkle of granola, or a few dark chocolate chips — it’s up to you! Try it: Smoothie Bowl
These baked goods tend to be denser and chewier than traditional cookies, but that’s because of all the healthy ingredients packed in them. You can make them by mixing together a combination of your choice of chopped nuts, grains, pureed fruit, and spices. Blend everything together and place dollops of the mixture on a baking sheet. Pop into the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Try it: Breakfast Cookie recipes
Unlike typical pastries that are made with flour and sugar, these “muffins” consist mainly of whole grains, eggs, and yogurt. Best of all, there are only two steps – mix ingredients in the blender and then bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Change up the flavor by adding in different fruits and spices. Try it: Magical Blender Muffins
The combo of whole grain bread and ripe, creamy avocado is so good, it often graces the menu at hot brunch spots. It’s simple to make at home or you can bring the ingredients to work and easily assemble at mealtime. The monounsaturated fat in the avocado will keep you full, and studies show these healthy fats may lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk. Try it: Avocado Toast
These naturally gluten- and dairy-free pancakes are made by whisking two eggs with a mashed banana. Fire up the griddle and flip! Eat them on their own or top with maple syrup, crushed nuts, sliced fruit, or almond butter. Try It: Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Smoothie bowls team up with popsicle molds to create these healthy breakfast ice pops perfect for summer. Hearty ingredients like Greek yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, and a sprinkling of nuts, seeds, or grains make this a nutritious, easy, and fun way to enjoy your first meal of the day. Try It: Easy Breakfast Yogurt Popsicles. For more flavors, try these options.
Which one of these will you try? Make a commitment to try one new breakfast this week. Let us know how it goes in our Healthy Breakfast Fuels Your Body Discussion or post in our Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Facebook group. Are you getting in 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables? Join us in our challenge to do it for 10 days in a row here.
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