You’ve heard it before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this phrase may be a bit overused, there is a lot of truth to it. By having breakfast in the morning, you are giving yourself the energy your body and brain need to get you through a busy day of work, school, and other activities.
One easy way to figure out if your breakfast is nutritious is by checking if it includes at least 3 of the 5 food groups – Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, and Dairy. Having multiple food groups with your breakfast will help fuel your body with a variety of nutrients to get you through the morning.
3 Ways to Build a Balanced Breakfast
Cereal with milk, scrambled eggs, and your choice of fruit When picking out a cereal, look for one that includes whole grains, such as Kashi cereals. You can pair this cereal with Horizon milk, which is shelf-stable, so no more worrying about whether you can finish a container of milk before it goes bad. Add a cup of your favorite fruit and some scrambled eggs on the side. You can even add some veggies to your eggs and have all 5 food groups with one meal!
Greek yogurt with granola and berries Make your own yogurt parfait at home! Choose a Greek yogurt to get some extra protein with this dairy choice. Top with some whole grain granola (or a cereal like the Kashi cereal) and your favorite mix of berries to get some fiber to keep you full for the morning.
Breakfast quesadilla with fruit Breakfast tends to include a lot of sweeter foods, but breakfast can also be savory! Try making a quesadilla with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and some chopped veggies within a whole grain tortilla. You can make these up ahead of time, freeze them, and reheat them for something quick in the morning. Add a piece of fruit to this meal for a complete breakfast!
If you have a morning where sitting down for breakfast just won’t work, below are a few great
grab and go options. Remember to pair these with some fruit and dairy, like milk or yogurt, for
a breakfast that includes multiple food groups.
Quaker Oats oatmeal cups (include 100% whole grains!)
Trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds
Hy-Vee chewy protein bars or Larabar protein bars
In good health,
Alex Nguyen, Dietetic Intern
Alex received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from Iowa State University. She is currently completing her dietetic internship at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL.