During this pandemic, some of us are now being presented with the opportunity to work from home. Let’s use this opportunity to get a few easy breakfast recipes up our sleeve! When busy mornings return, it will be easier to keep eating a nourishing breakfast at home or packing it up to bring along.
The word breakfast is a compound of break and fast, referring to the end of fasting from the night before. Generally, a ten to twelve-hour window with no caloric intake is recommended (please consult with your doctor as individual needs may vary). Our body uses this overnight fast to clear out any undigested food from the digestive system, as well as to heal and repair other parts of the body.
Upon waking, the body is looking for fuel to tackle the day; eating within one hour of waking is ideal. The types of foods we include in our breakfast are also very important. A good rule of thumb is to eat a healthy balance of protein, fat, and fiber (the PFFs) to provide slow fuel and minimize blood sugar spikes. Starting our day with starchy, sweet foods and caffeine will lead to a crash a few hours later that will have us craving even more sugar and coffee.
Research studies have shown that eating breakfast provides a number of benefits:
- Is a key factor in successful weight loss / weight maintenance programs.
- Increases focus, decreases stress, and leads to better work performance.
- Improves mood by helping regulate blood sugar levels and decreasing fatigue and irritability.
- Decreases the risk of heart disease.
- Decreases the risk of developing diabetes.
The benefits of a nutrient-dense breakfast also apply to children. A nutritious breakfast has been shown to reduce the risk of developing childhood obesity and it improves alertness and mood at school.
If you struggle to make breakfast in the morning rush you may consider some simple tips:
- Setting the alarm 15 minute earlier to make your breakfast.
- Eat leftover dinner for breakfast (any wholesome meal can be a breakfast! Don’t feel boxed in by only eating “breakfast food”).
- Meal prep breakfast on Sundays and partition into multiple servings for the week.
- Quickly meal prep the night before (you may cut and throw ingredients into the blender, place in the fridge, and it will be ready to go in the morning).
- Have healthy snacks handy that you can grab and go (boiled eggs, nuts, fresh fruit).
WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST?
How can we combine protein, fat, and fiber into easy to make and delicious breakfasts? Here are some ideas:
- Scrambled eggs with pre-chopped veggie, spinach, and garlic (or premade egg muffins)
- Unsweetened yogurt (dairy or alternative) with berries, hemp hearts, and nuts.
- Whole grain toast with a nut butter and hemp hearts.
- Whole grain toast with hummus, avocado, and tomatoes.
- Overnight oats with chia seeds, nut butter, ground flaxseed, and apples.
- Savory oats with an egg on top, sautéed spinach, and mushrooms.
- Breakfast bowl with quinoa, avocado, tomatoes, and spinach.
- A grain-free bowl with nuts, seeds, dried coconut and berries.
- Chia pudding with different nuts/seeds and fruit.
- Apple slices with nut/seed butter.
- Veggie hash with salmon and a whole grain toast.
- Leftovers from dinner!
- Smoothie that includes low glycemic fruit, dark greens, vegetables, spices, and nut/seed butter.
All these are simple breakfast options that will provide balanced nutrition and long-lasting fuel. You don’t have to master all of them! Just pick 2-3 that sound good to you and rotate through them. The goal is to gain confidence with making a few simple meals that can become your “go-to” and you can prepare with ease.
TRY THESE RECIPES TO GET THE BREAKFAST INSPIRATION FLOWING!
- Hummus toast with avocado
- Berry and nut breakfast bowl
- Chocolate banana cauliflower n’oats
- Quinoa and egg breakfast plate
NUTRITION FUN FOR THE KIDDOS
- Talk to your child about the importance of farms and gardens in providing food for the communities and a habitat for many animal species. Then help them find gardening words in this word search puzzle
- What do plants need to grow? Talk about plants needing water, nutrients, air, and sun to grow using this coloring sheet. Compare to what we, as humans, need for growth.
- Involve your children in making the chocolate banana cauliflower n’oats. They can contribute to the family breakfast by stirring the ingredients (while supervised) and by serving and adding toppings to the breakfast bowls.
- Joking around: “Why do bananas use sunblock? Because otherwise they would peel!”