You often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s important to make it count. Forget the doughnuts and the big-as-your-face muffins drowning in sugar sprinkles. A healthy breakfast includes a variety of whole grain, fruit, vegetable, dairy and meat or meat alternative combinations. With a little planning and our tips for a healthier breakfast, you’ll be well on your way to getting the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Bagels, toast and English muffins
Did you know that bagels have doubled in size and more than doubled in calories in the past 20 years? Improve your health (and stretch your dollar) by eating just half.
For a healthier schmear, blend pureed fruit into cream cheese or ricotta cheese. Or top your breakfast bread with mashed avocado or a nut butter instead of cream cheese, butter or margarine.
Eggs and potatoes
For an on-the-go protein-rich breakfast, spray a coffee mug with non-stick spray, drop in a couple of scrambled eggs and microwave for 40-50 seconds. Add vegetables for extra flavor and benefit.
Stir in some vegetables such as spinach, scallions, green and red peppers, broccoli, or tomatoes to your regular scrambled eggs or omelets.
Mix onions, mushrooms and fresh or roasted peppers of any color into your hash browns. You can increase the nutritional value of these traditional favorites without giving them up.
Grab n’ Go
Mix cut fresh fruit such as melons, pineapple or berries into plain low-fat yogurt.
Place oats, berries, and/or apples in a slow cooker at night for perfect oatmeal in the morning. Experiment with different fruits and combinations—fresh or dried— including figs, peaches, bananas, pears, mangoes, and more. If desired, top with nuts or shredded coconut before eating.
Whip up a wide variety of smoothies with fresh or frozen fruit, dark leafy greens, and your choice of non-fat yogurt, milk (including dairy alternatives such as almond and coconut milk), fruit juice or ice/water—add nuts or a nut butter for protein to keep hunger at bay longer.
Make a batch of scrambled eggs with veggies and store in the fridge. On busy mornings, warm up a serving in the microwave and tuck it inside a whole wheat tortilla for an easy “to-go” wrap.
Think outside of breakfast
You don’t have to stick to traditional breakfast foods to eat healthy. Mix leftover brown rice with any fruits and nuts you have on hand (try diced apples, dried cranberries and walnuts) and sprinkle with cinnamon. Try a whole wheat pita stuffed with roasted vegetables, or topped with vegetables and baked like a pizza. A whole wheat quesadilla with chicken and veggies, black beans and veggies, or ground turkey sausage and veggies will also do the trick! Just watch your portion size.
Get more creative healthy breakfast ideas and recipes by visiting “Choose My Plate” on Pinterest.
Do you know 5-2-1-0?
5-2-1-0 is a simple phrase to help you remember important, research-proven recommendations for good health. Adding fruits and veggies to your existing breakfast routine is one way to help your family meet the recommended 5 servings per day. Browse our Resource Hub for more tips to help you reach your 5-2-1-0 goals.
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