Breakfast: How to make the most important meal of the day easy

“I don’t have time to eat breakfast.”

This is what I hear from the majority of my middle school and high school patients, and I always have the following conversation with them:

“Breakfast is called breakfast because you are BREAKing the FAST from sleeping all night long! When our bodies are ready to start the day, we need fuel. This means when you wake up on “empty” you need to fuel your body and mind. Just like a car that runs out of gas, your body will look fine if you skip breakfast, but it won’t run right. Your brain will be like that car on the side of the road that is on empty…it won’t work correctly. It takes only a few seconds to grab a quick and healthy breakfast that you can eat in the car or on the walk to school. In fact, multiple studies prove that if you eat breakfast, you’ll do better in school.”

Parents should be aware that just a bowl of cereal usually doesn’t provide much protein nor nutritional value but is heavy on sugar content. But check out these quick and healthy breakfast options that don’t require much cooking or prep time – each one includes protein and a serving of fruit and when paired with a 10-16 ounce glass of water, your child will be ready to go!

  • Hard-boiled egg and a 1/2 cup of berries
  • Cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and strawberries on top
  • Greek yogurt with granola and berries
  • Scrambled eggs with cheese and an orange
  • Oatmeal with walnuts and your choice of fruit stirred in (raisins, dried cherries, fresh bananas are all great!)
  • Cheese blintzes (found in frozen food section) and berries
  • Whole grain waffle with nut butter and berries or banana on top
  • Quiche (individual sizes are easy to find in the frozen food section and can be microwaved quickly) and a bunch of grapes
  • Handful of almonds and a fruit/yogurt smoothie
  • Any piece of fruit like an orange, apple, or banana and a big spoonful of peanut butter

If you’re behind schedule and running out the door with no time to sit, grab one of the following on-the-go breakfasts with a bottle of water:

  • Cheese stick and an apple
  • Prepackaged nut and fruit trail mix with a banana
  • Packaged fruit and nut bar (such as Lärabar® or KIND®) with an apple

As you can see, with a little pre-planning and smart shopping it is really easy to make sure your child starts their day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast, which is so important!