By Rebecca Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Your mom was on to something when she repeatedly reminded you, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” There is actually health-promoting truth to this timeless statement. Having a balanced meal within 90 minutes of waking starts your day with the nutrition your body craves. The National Weight Control Register (NWCR) which follows over 10,000 individuals who have each lost 30 pounds of more, reports that 78% of its participants eat breakfast daily. Research suggests that breakfast provides improved cognitive performance, better mood, and better appetite control throughout the day.
To get the most health benefits from your breakfast it must be balanced. A balanced breakfast consists of three of the five food groups: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy or lean meats. A satisfying, high protein breakfast ranging from 250 to 500 calories can keep you feeling fuller longer. Give this week worth of breakfast options a try.
make ahead MONDAY
You can make overnight oatmeal in batches before the busy week starts.
Directions: In a half-pint mason jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, and honey. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add bananas and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled.
take it to go TUESDAY
When there is no time to cook, just grab breakfast and go.
Directions: Take an individual light Greek yogurt, sprinkle with 2 tbsp. of your favorite nut or seed, and pair with a medium sized fruit. My favorite: plain Greek yogurt, with sunflower seeds, and mixed berries.
warm up WEDNESDAY
Directions: Cook oatmeal as directed. Stir in the remaining ingredients into warm oatmeal. Enjoy with a glass of ice-cold milk.
Directions: Top slices of toast with cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes, and salt and pepper.
Slowdown and savor a heartier healthy breakfast frittata on the weekend.
Directions: Beat eggs, milk, thyme and salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended. Add spinach; mix well. Heat butter in 6 to 8-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium heat until melted. Pour in egg mixture; cook over low to medium heat until eggs are almost set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains, 5 to 10 minutes.
Directions: Place all ingredients except blueberries into a blender; blend until smooth. If batter is too thick add a teaspoon or two of milk. Let batter thicken for several minutes. Lightly coat a large nonstick griddle with butter and heat over medium low heat. Drop batter by (1/4 cup per flap jack) onto skillet. Add a few blueberries on top. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with scrambled eggs, or turkey sausage or bacon if desired.
stay tuned: There is more to come. This article is the first in a series by Rebecca Turner. In our May/June issue look for “Maximize Your Mid-day Metabolism – A Week of Healthy Lunch Menus.” In subsequent issues Rebecca will bring our readers Healthy Dinner Menus, as well as Healthy Snacks for all Seasons.
Rebecca Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, is the author of Mind Over Fork, as well as a guest columnist, radio host, television presenter, media spokesperson, consultant and a certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.