It’s time you started eating breakfast, for real. And not just a bowl of cereal or a muffin that will send you on a sugar rush-and-crash rollercoaster. The good stuff isn’t that hard to pull off, and it’s definitely worth it. According to Jane Jakubczak, a registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition coordinator at University of Maryland, having a complete breakfast encourages healthy food choices the rest of the day and can even stave off late-night snacking frenzies. She recommends a combination of whole grains for energy, protein for staying full, and fruits or vegetables for vitamins and antioxidants.
“Working with college students has encouraged me to be creative with my breakfast ideas,” Jakubczak says. “[They] need quick, easy, and budget-friendly options or they will skip the meal all together.” You don’t need to be an undergrad for that to sound familiar. Here’s five breakfast ideas that Jakubczak recommends.
You’ve seen them on Pinterest. Time to make them part of your routine. Before bed, combine the following in a container with a lid. Store in the fridge for breakfast to go the next morning.
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup berries
- You can also add nuts, nut butter, chia seeds, or dried fruit. Experiment with ingredients and ratios find the flavors and consistency you like best.
Egg in a Mug
You don’t even need to dirty a skillet.
- Crack two eggs in a mug and scramble lightly.
- Add a tablespoon of cheese and a sprinkle of veggies, like chopped broccoli or spinach.
- Microwave for 45 seconds.
- Turn the eggs over and microwave for another 45 seconds.
- Fluff and enjoy right out of the mug or make a sandwich on a toasted English muffin.
French Toast in a Mug
- Melt a teaspoon of butter in a mug and spread it around so it coats the inside.
- Tear one or two slices of whole wheat bread into small pieces and add to the mug.
- In a separate bowl, combine one egg, three tablespoons of milk, a dash of cinnamon and an optional splash of vanilla extract.
- Pour mixture over bread and gently stir to coat. Let it soak for a minute or two.
- Microwave for one minute, then add 10 second increments until egg is cooked through.
- Add honey, fruit, or syrup if desired, and enjoy.
You could make a PB and banana sandwich, but just for fun, spread peanut or almond butter inside a whole wheat hot dog bun. Fold a banana in there like a hot dog. That’s three food groups in the palm of your hand.
The Non-Breakfast Breakfast
Traditional breakfast foods aren’t everyone’s favorite. Have turkey, cheese, and greens wrapped in a tortilla or egg salad and cucumbers in a pita pocket to start your day with the same energy-boosting benefits.