Build a Power Breakfast
By Anne Mauney, MPH, RD
As someone who loves keeping physically active and who also happens to be a dietitian, I know how important a balanced, nutritious breakfast is for keeping the body functioning at its best. As we head into summer with all of the fun outdoor adventure the season brings, make it a point to improve the breakfast you prepare for yourself and your family.
What makes a good breakfast? My number one tip is to make sure you have a fiber-filled carbohydrate, healthy fat and some protein. Having a mix of these three nutrients will keep you fueled until lunchtime! A few of my favorite go-to “recipes” that will help fuel your activity this summer include:
Oatmeal made with whole rolled oats and milk (instead of water) to add protein to this fiber-filled option is a great choice. Top with some nuts, chia seeds or other seed for a healthy fat boost. If fruit is your thing, add a few slices of canned peaches or pears, or stir in some canned pumpkin. Yum! Or, try quinoa instead of oats! My Coconut Breakfast Quinoa, made with canned coconut milk, is great made ahead of time and reheated.
For some, breakfast is not breakfast without toast. Be sure to choose bread labeled as “100% whole wheat/grain” for fiber – and make sure the ingredient list is all whole, real food! Topping combinations I love are nut butter (healthy fat) + plain Greek yogurt (protein) or avocado (healthy fat) + egg (protein). Not super hungry? A classic banana and nut butter combination, either on toast or solo, gets you out the door fast.
Smoothies – especially great as we enter summer! They are quick and refreshing when made with fruit (canned, frozen or fresh) and some protein-packed Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or milk. Toss in some healthy greens (spinach is great in smoothies, like in my simple Banana Spinach Smoothie), and some nuts, nut butter, or seeds for healthy fat!
Whatever your preferred breakfast, steering away from a refined carbohydrate-laden morning meal in favor of one with a healthy mix of carbs, fat and protein will ensure you start the day on the right foot.