Breakfast is one of the most important parts of our day. By the time morning rolls around we’ll have gone about twelve hours without eating.
An unhealthy breakfast, or no breakfast at all, means we’re going even longer without any substantial nutrition. We often skip breakfast in hopes of being more productive. But with a little planning, we can save time while still ensuring we get the nutrition we need to start the day outright.
Start With a Focus on the Most Important Ingredients
We can begin by asking an important question. Just what makes a meal healthy or unhealthy? It’s vitally important for us to include a good balance of calories, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Basically, we need to avoid the empty calories found in junk food.
Here’s something that will surprise a lot of people. Most cereals would be classified as junk food. They’re a great example of a food that looks healthy at first glance but which doesn’t stand up to our earlier criteria. It’s true that cereal has vitamins and minerals added in. But without fiber or protein, it’s essentially like taking a multivitamin tablet alongside a tablespoon of sugar.
Some Examples To Build On
Let’s take a look at some other classic breakfast foods to see how they hold up under these criteria. Toast and eggs are almost synonymous with a classic breakfast. The eggs are packed with protein. And the right bread will pack a great combination of grain-based protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. But be sure to look for whole grain bread rather than white bread.
White bread is usually heavy on sugar and low on everything else. The heavy processing used to make white bread essentially leaches out most of the nutritional goodness. That makes it fit under our junk food category. We need to look for whole grain bread instead. This is a less processed form of bread that’s packed with nutrients.
Meats like bacon can pair quite well with this too. We often consider meat to be unhealthy. However, it’s all about pairing nutritional profiles. Meat alone is high in protein but low in fiber.
We can correct that by adding something high in fiber. Bread, again, is a great choice. This is one of the reasons why a breakfast of toast, eggs, and bacon is such a classic. It provides plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals by combining three very different types of healthy foods.
A sandwich with meat and whole grain bread will have a nice balance of protein and fiber too. We can push that even higher by adding lettuce. But we could also substitute kale for lettuce as they have a similar taste and texture. The main difference between the two is that kale is packed with nutrients. It’ll even more than double the amount of fiber that we’d get from lettuce. This makes kale a great addition to our breakfast.
Breakfast burritos are also quite popular. They typically combine many of the ingredients we’ve looked at so far with a tortilla wrap. Much like bread, we have multiple types of tortillas to choose from. Corn tortillas are generally higher in fiber than wheat tortillas.
This makes it a generally healthier choice. The tortilla gives us fiber similar to bread. As such, we’d want to pair it similarly as well. We could use eggs or meat for protein. And we could even mix in some other healthy items like kale to create the perfect breakfast burrito. A little spice from sriracha or hot sauce will add the perfect extra bit of spice to wake us up in the morning.
We can even have a healthy dessert to get some additional nutrients. For example, try probiotic yogurt as a great way to add taste, nutrition, and probiotics all at the same time. The probiotics in particular are important as they’re almost exclusively found in yogurt. What’s more, they’re one of the big nutritional powerhouses which provide a number of benefits. We can even mix a little extra fruit into the yogurt for both natural sweetness and extra fiber.
Planning and Prepping for a More Peaceful Start to the Day
Putting these ideas together might seem time-consuming. But keep in mind that you can prepare a lot of items in advance. For example, you can cook a big batch of breakfast burritos Sunday evening and store them in the freezer.
Then you can just grab a burrito and toss them into the microwave when needed. Sandwiches are a classic example of items that can be eaten on the run. And one of the great things about yogurt is that it’s a grab-and-go solution.
Planning Breakfast Should Be As Satisfying as the Meal
Of course, all of this is just a general foundation. Part of what makes a good breakfast so satisfying is the individual attention that goes into it. This can serve as a good template for a nutritionally balanced breakfast. But what’s really important is making it something that you can enjoy and keep up with throughout your life.
Find some great taste combinations that match your unique preferences. If you see some potential matches with foods that are high in one nutrient that might complement another then give it a shot. And keep trying new ways to prepare breakfast in advance so that you can be healthy and save time. Put all that together, and you’ve got yourself a tasty and balanced breakfast.