If I hear someone say breakfast is the most important meal one more time, I’m gonna’ bean ’em with my bran muffin. Every meal is important if you’re interested in health. With the incidence of diabetes on the rise, it’s very important that we have a balanced and stable amount of food going in. Skipping breakfast is not an option for healthy people who want to stay that way. Even in a hurry, there are many nutritious breakfast ideas, and more, when you have the time.
Balance Is The Key To Health: O.K. So the same people who said breakfast is most important also told you to have a balanced diet. They’re right, but what is a balanced diet? Without getting too technical, a balanced diet has the right amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water and fiber. To do this, we need a balance of meat/fish, dairy, grains, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Since this article is about breakfast, we’ll focus on ways to get a balance of about 1-2 servings of carbohydrates, 1-2 servings of proteins, 1 serving of fats, 1-2 servings of fruits or vegetables (not fruit juice), 2 glasses of water and one serving of fiber. This is about a third of what you’ll need for the whole day.
Eating Healthy In A Hurry: There are many ways to eat a healthy breakfast in a hurry. In all cases, assume low fat dairy (2% fat or less), 1 glass of water when you wake up and another just before breakfast. Since many of the ingredients are interchangeable, the following examples represent about a dozen different quick healthy breakfast ideas:
1. Bowl of cereal with one cup of milk and a cup cubed fresh fruit. (Substitute hot cereal in winter).
2. Bran muffin, glass of milk, 1 cup cubed fresh fruit.
3. Trail mix bar, string cheese, 1 banana.
4. 2 pieces of whole grain toast with spread & sliced fresh fruit, 1/2 cup cottage cheese.
Celebrating Healthy Breakfast When There’s Time: The weekend is when we can slow down a bit and really enjoy the time spent preparing and eating a healthy breakfast, together. This is also when we increase the servings to the max of our range of nutrients. Water and low fat dairy are assumed just as with the breakfasts above. The frittata and fry breakfasts can be doubled and reheated the next day if you want to save time and don’t mind leftovers.
1. Fry breakfast per person: 1 cup frozen hash browns, browned and set aside. 1/4 cup cooked meat/sausage. 2 cups fresh vegetables. 1 egg. Stir fry the vegetables lightly, add meat, stir and set aside. Layer potato in pan, add vegetable meat combo on top, beat egg and drizzle over vegetables, sprinkle a little low fat cheese on top. Cover and cook over medium heat until eggs are done.
2. Flap jacks & Egg: 3-5, 4″ diameter pancakes with spread. 1 cup sliced fresh fruit on top of pancakes. 1-2 fried egg. 1 glass milk of 1’2 cup cottage cheese. Substitute 2 pieces French toast, toast, muffin, waffles for pancakes and meat for eggs, or for half the eggs.
3. Lazy Frittata (per person)& Toast: 2 eggs, beaten, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1-2 oz chopped cooked meat/sausage. Spray small pan with cooking oil, heat to low/medium, add egg mixture, sprinkle cheese in immediately, sprinkle meat in. Cook until egg hardens. Sprinkle with paprika for color. Serve with toast, spread and fresh fruit.
As long as you keep the amounts and balances of foods represented in these recipes, you can do pretty much what you want. As you can see, there are hundreds of healthy breakfast combinations. This article is just a sampling, so you can be creative and come up with your own ideas based on your favorite foods. Enjoy!