Most people know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And yet, as a nutritionist, I find that people often forego the morning meal because they’re rushed for time – whether it’s getting the kids to school or prepping for a long day at the office.

Don’t. Skip. Breakfast.

Why? Because breakfast is fuel for your day and beneficial overall to your health. A healthy, nutrient-packed breakfast provides you with the energy to get through a busy morning, improves cognitive function and alertness, and is tied with numerous positive health outcomes, including lower cholesterol, stable blood sugar, and weight control.

For all its big benefits, breakfast requires minimal time and effort. With a little preparation, you can easily squeeze in a healthy, convenient, and delicious breakfast. Read the three tips below on how you can incorporate the most important meal of the day into your busy schedule.

Pack in Protein

Munchery Ham, Egg & Cheese English Muffin

Protein is essential to a healthy breakfast: it cuts cravings and reduces hunger, often resulting in a lower overall caloric intake throughout the day. Aim to get roughly 20 to 30 grams of protein at your morning meal. Eggs are a fantastic choice due to their versatility: whip up a scramble with veggies, top some toast with a fried egg and mashed avocado, or grab a few hard-boiled eggs on your way out the door. For a hot grab-and-go breakfast, try our ham, egg & cheese English muffin—the ham, egg, and cheese pack in 36 grams of protein. Other great sources of protein include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds (sprinkle some hemp seeds or slivered almonds onto your oatmeal), chicken sausages, or protein-based smoothies.

Plan Ahead

Munchery Overnight Oats

You go to sleep with the best intentions to whip up a healthy breakfast in the morning, but instead you frequently leave the house on an empty stomach. Sound familiar? An easy solution: spend a bit of time on the weekends to make breakfast for the week ahead. On Sunday, make a batch of bite-sized frittatas. Or make a mix of smoothie ingredients—think frozen fruit, protein powder, almond butter, and spinach— and pack them into individual ziplock bags so all you have to do in the morning is blend the contents. If you’re a fan of oatmeal, try overnight oats: at night, combine rolled oats, your choice of milk, and toppings like berries, nuts, and chia seeds in a mason jar. That way, in the morning, all you need to do is grab a spoon and head out! For maximum convenience, try our own overnight oats, which come in kid-friendly flavors like strawberry-banana, almond-chocolate, and tropical fruit!

Mix-and-Match

Munchery-Made Granola

If you’re in charge of feeding the kids, devote a shelf in the fridge or pantry to mix-and-match items that you and your kids can grab on the way out the door. Sprinkle some of our Munchery-made granola over one of our Greek yogurt cups, or add a handful of slivered almonds to our mixed berry parfait. Hint: by combining protein, fiber, and fat, you’ll get the most bang for your buck out of breakfast. Each nutrient plays a unique role in regulating hunger and cravings and providing energy; when eaten together, you’ll have lasting energy until lunchtime.

Now that school is back and the mornings are hectic, getting everyone out the door on time is a Herculean effort. Breakfast is often the first to be sacrificed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Fortunately, you don’t have to let a rushed morning deprive you of the most important meal of the day.

Kate Schlag

Posted by Kate Schlag

Kate Schlag, MPH, RD is the Nutritionist of Munchery. Kate Schlag is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in nutrition from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. She completed her dietetic internship at Oregon Health & Science University and went on to begin her career as an outpatient dietitian at UCSF. Growing up in Boulder, Colorado shaped her preferences for healthy foods and fitness from an early age. As an athlete, she believes in fueling her body with healthy, wholesome foods to optimize her performance on the field and off. At Munchery, she works closely with the company’s culinary team to design healthy and balanced meals using fresh and whole ingredients, and is a resource of information about meals, ingredients, and general nutrition.

2 Comments

  1. Kate-
    I am trying to follow the weight watchers plan and also trying to watch my sugars/carbohydrates as I recently was diagnosed with diabetes. How do I read the labels of the foods before I order them so that I can make better choices?

    Reply

    1. Kate Schlag

      Hi Kirsten,
      Thanks for your question! For the average person, I generally recommend starting with the ingredients list first: ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, meaning that the ingredients that appear at the top of the list make up the largest part of the food or dish. Ideally, the first few ingredients in an entree would be a whole, unprocessed food like chicken or fish, vegetables, beans or legumes, and/or a whole grain. If added sugars, refined grains, or hydrogenated oils appear at the top of the list, that’s probably a sign that the dish or food is lower in nutrient density and higher in calories.

      Make sure to watch out for all of the different sources of added sugar: added sugar can hide under different names, like high fructose corn syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, and rice syrup. If a food manufacturer uses several types of sugar, they’ll appear lower on the ingredients list than they would had they used only one–so scan the entire list for all sources of added sugar.

      Check out the nutrition panel next. First, look at the serving size: it puts into perspective all of the other numbers (calories, grams of carbohydrates) you’re seeing. Serving sizes can often be a lot smaller than the amount a typical person eats in one sitting; for example, many serving sizes for cereal are just 3/4 cup! Next, check out the number of grams of carbohydrates in a serving. For a woman with diabetes, we generally recommend aiming to eat between 45-60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal, although your specific numbers are dependent upon individual factors like your target glucose levels, long-term blood sugar control, and medications.

      Make sure that your meal is balanced: it should also have some protein, ideally from lean sources, and healthy fats, which won’t increase your blood sugar (they’ll also help fill you up, especially when you’re limiting carbohydrates!). Aim to include heart-healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3s, in your diet, like fish, avocado, olive oil, and walnuts. Limit saturated and trans fats, as well: they can negatively impact insulin resistance.

      Thanks again for your question–and make sure to be on the lookout for our new Ask The Dietitian series, which will be launching in the next few weeks!

      Kate Schlag, MPH, RD

      Reply

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