Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Blog - Jumpstart Your Day With Veggies 4466

Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Blog - Jumpstart Your Day With Veggies


Most people understand why they should eat vegetables every day — they’re loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. But you may not realize that when you eat your veggies can make a difference. Packing veggies into your breakfast can impact how you feel and how much you eat that day.

ff002a29719298beebdbbf38f7f38282-huge-piWhy Eat Vegetables for Breakfast?
People talk all the time about how breakfast is the most important meal. About 72% of adults who eat breakfast on a regular basis say it positively impacts their mood throughout the day. But imagine if that breakfast also contained the nutritional powerhouse in vegetables. Your first meal would be packed with benefits for your mind and body.

Incorporating vegetables into your breakfast can help you:
  • Get enough vegetables each day: The HealthyNurse Survey found that less than 7%  of nurses and nursing students surveyed eat the recommended amount of vegetables daily. Many people don’t eat their first vegetable until dinner — often too late to get all the servings you should have (2 or 3 cups a day). Eating your produce early in the day can help you reach that goal.
  • Cut unwanted calories: Vegetables contain fiber, and fiber makes you feel full. When you start your day with a fiber-heavy meal, you’ll be satiated throughout the day and less likely to grab processed snacks and sugary sweets.

4 Tips for Adding Veggies to Your Morning Meal
Many people are set in their ways when it comes to breakfast, eating the same thing day after day. But changing your morning menu can be easy if you know how to add vegetables and how to do it in a way that gives you the most bang for your buck:
  1. Start with the breakfast you know and like
If vegetables don’t make you want to rise and shine, it might take some time to get used to it. Instead of avoiding the breakfasts you love, try to add a vegetable or two to the dishes you know how to make and enjoy:
  • Eat bagels for breakfast? Top your cream cheese with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, or spinach.
  • Love pancakes, waffles, and muffins? Add some grated zucchini or carrots to the batter (squeeze the moisture out first).
  • Eggs your thing? Add peppers, mushrooms, or onions to your scramble, or top your egg sandwich with spinach and a tomato slice.
  • Sip on smoothies? Throw in a handful of spinach (you won’t even taste it).
  1. Pair your veggies with protein
Veggies bring significant benefits, but when you combine them with protein, you create a power-packed breakfast. According to the American Society for Nutrition, a high-protein breakfast benefits you all day. It decreases your desire to snack at night while increasing your:
  • Calories burned
  • Energy
  • Feelings of fullness
  • Glucose (blood sugar) regulation
  • Muscle mass
  1. Use the veggies you have on hand
Adding vegetables to your breakfast shouldn’t be stressful. You shouldn’t be making extra trips to the grocery store or waking up 2 hours early to chop. Instead, turn your focus from recipes and exact measurements to the veggies you find in your kitchen.  Don’t forget to peek in your freezer.  There just may be some forgotten vegetables lurking in there as well.

Leftover vegetables are perfect for tossing into scrambled eggs or a breakfast burrito. Love veggie pizza? Grab a leftover slice on your way out the door in the morning.
  1. Consider making breakfast your main meal
In American culture, dinner tends to be the biggest meal of the day. People grab a quick breakfast (or no breakfast at all) as they race out the door in the morning. But there are benefits to eating a big breakfast. One study found that people who are overweight or obese lost more weight when they ate a bigger meal at breakfast and a smaller meal at dinner — even when participants consumed the same amount of calories throughout the day.

Making breakfast your biggest meal encourages you to plan and prepare that meal — a perfect opportunity to highlight vegetables. Home-cooked meals are generally more nutritious and associated with a healthier overall diet.

Ideas for Veggie-Based Breakfasts
Throwing vegetables into your morning smoothie is a no-brainer way to sneak veggies into your breakfast. But variety is the spice of life. And let’s be honest, some days you just crave bacon, eggs, or carbs.

No matter what you wake up wanting, the more veggie-based breakfast options you have in your arsenal, the more likely you are to eat them consistently. Get started with one of these recipes:
Most veggie-based breakfast ideas are fast and easy — especially if you prep your produce beforehand. Having peeled, cut, and possibly cooked vegetables ready to go makes adding them to your dish easy.

If your mornings are usually rushed, prepare green smoothie ingredients, make egg muffins, or bake zucchini muffins on the weekend to enjoy all week.

Do you eat vegetables with your breakfast? Share your favorite recipe in this renewed discussion.


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Blog Nutrition 05/24/2023 1:11pm CDT

Post a Comment or Question


I like a green smoothie for breakfast once or twice a week 

ChristiM ChristiM Jun '23

I saw a post where a girl said she buys those veggie trays to keep in her fridge for snacking. I saw them on sale one day and got one.  I definitely can say that having easy and ready to go snacking veggies made getting my daily veggie in take easy! I mostly grab snacks/small plates early in the day when I can and need something in the late afternoons. Veggie and dip we're surprisingly satisfying!

Hi @Holly E Carpenter, RN, BSN Really enjoyed this post. I had just gone through a Jumpstart Your Health program in April which was run by 3 plant based MDs. It was an introduction to “whole food, plant based, no oil” and we followed those guidelines for 3 weeks. It seemed a tough challenge but with some thought and planning it was achievable and enjoyable with two live classes and two virtual cooking together classes. I tried things I don't usually eat and it got me into the kitchen again. 


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It isn't easy to find time for healthy eating. One average, nurses consume less fruits, veggies, and whole grains than other Americans. This domain covers recommended guidelines for dietary health, managing diet at work, and overcoming barriers to nutrition.