We all love a good pancake breakfast at Sunday brunch or a loaded breakfast burrito at your favorite hole-in-the-wall diner, but during the week, eating a full breakfast can sometimes be a task.
If you’re in school, your day probably starts pretty early, which doesn’t leave you much time to whip up a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. If you work a 9-5, then you probably either get breakfast on-the-go or wait until lunchtime to have a full meal.
What used to be considered the most important meal of the day has become an afterthought for many people! With less free time in the mornings, and more pressure to get going with your day, many people simply opt for a protein bar or smoothie and call it good.
Well, we’re here to fix all of that! A healthy breakfast is crucial to starting your day off right, and with a bit of effort, a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Once you have some good breakfast ideas, the rest is a piece of cake (figuratively speaking)!
We put together a few ideas to help you get started towards your next balanced breakfast. From the main food groups you want to use to some quick and easy meal ideas for those of you in a rush, we have all the materials you need to make breakfast meaningful again.
Know Your Food Groups
Yes, we are taking it back to elementary school! When you’re trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast, food groups are a great place to start. There are five major food groups, all of which are important to keeping you healthy and giving you all the nutrients you need. Ideally, a balanced breakfast would hit all five food groups, but even getting two of them is a great place to start.
The five food groups consist of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy, and within each food group, there are some great breakfast foods to be found.
Fruit is a classic breakfast food, and almost any fruit will do the trick! However, fruit is a natural source of sugar, and no matter how natural it is, you shouldn’t have too much sugar in the day. Berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are always a good choice, as they have a lower amount of sugar than some other fruits and mix well with other classic breakfast foods like greek yogurt or oatmeal!
Big Breakfast: Try a small fruit bowl with fruits like watermelon, pineapple, grapes, and cantaloupe! A small bowl of fruit alongside your breakfast is the perfect dash of sweetness and freshness.
On-The-Go: Blend your fruits into a smoothie! Or, if you’re pressed for time, find 100% juice at the grocery store. Buying 100% juice helps to avoid the danger of added sugars.
Having veggies for breakfast might not be your first instinct, but there are a few easy ways to incorporate them into your daily routine. Vegetables are great for fiber and potassium, which can help maintain cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease! Plus, they make for great smoothie, scramble, and quiche fillings!
Big Breakfast: Add cubed sweet potato and spinach to some scrambled eggs for a filling and healthy breakfast scramble. Avocados and onions also go well with most egg breakfasts!
On-The-Go: If you’re sticking with a smoothie, try adding kale or spinach to the mixture for some added vitamins and fiber! You can also make a breakfast burrito the night before you need it, using the egg scramble mentioned above.
Protein is one of the most critical aspects of your daily diet, as it is vital to the structure of your bones, muscles, skin, and blood! Sometimes, protein can be complicated for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet, but it doesn’t have to be. Beans, lentils, tofu, and nut butter like almond butter and peanut butter all provide fantastic amounts of protein, so non-meat eaters have no reason to worry!
Big Breakfast: Classic breakfast meats like bacon and sausage can go under this category, but make sure to only eat these in moderation! For healthier meat choices, opt for lean or low-fat protein options. For a good middle ground, maybe opt for some lean sausage links or turkey bacon.
On-The-Go: Breakfast sandwiches can be a good solution for a quick morning meal. Try an egg, ham, and cheese croissant, or add some lean protein to your breakfast burrito (that already has veggies and eggs) to hit a couple of food groups at once!
If you look up “what to make for breakfast,” one of the more common answers will probably be some form of grain! Any type of toast, most cereals, oatmeal, and even foods like rice can add to your list of breakfast foods. Plenty of breakfast recipes center around grains, and you can get pretty creative with them!
Big Breakfast: Here, you’re options are almost endless. From bagels with cream cheese to french toast covered in maple syrup, you can add grains to your morning pretty easily! Some grains are better than others, however, so if you have the opportunity, you should look for whole-grain options rather than refined grains.
On-The-Go: Fast grain meals are pretty easy to find too! Look for whole-grain cereals at the grocery store, or simply sprinkle chia seeds into your morning smoothie for a boost of grains.
The final food group to consider is dairy. This food group can be complex for many people, especially those with lactose intolerance, but there are still options for everyone! Dairy provides a great source of calcium and vitamins, which are vital to the health of your bones. In terms of balanced breakfast ideas, however, dairy doesn’t factor too heavily into the equation.
Big Breakfast: Foods like greek yogurt and cheese can be easy to incorporate into your mornings, or if you are lactose intolerant, try soy milk or another milk alternative. These products won’t provide as much calcium as others, but they can still add to your breakfast!
On-The-Go: A cup of yogurt is easy to bring with you on a commute or as you’re running out the door to school! You could also invest in some cheese sticks, which are convenient and quick to eat.
A balanced breakfast might seem complicated at first, but once you know what you’re looking for, your breakfast dreams will come true! Try to have a full, big breakfast as often as you can, and even when you can’t, try to fit at least two food groups into your morning rush. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!
A Side of Cold Brew
Now that you have your breakfast sorted, why not top it off with some cold brew coffee! Cold brew is less acidic, naturally sweetened, and a superb source of energy for your day. Our cold brews come in all sorts of flavors, and if regular cold brew isn’t your style, we have Nitro Cold Brew and even Self-Heating cans of coffee!