You’ve undoubtedly been told zillions of times that it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast. And you might even believe it. But the truth is that for most of us the morning is a sometimes chaotic race to get out the door on time and the notion of cooking a healthy breakfast is laughable. So mom and dad may make do with a Starbucks latte from the drive through while the kids gobble a couple of high-sugar pop tarts or a packaged cinnamon bun.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are many high-quality breakfasts that can be prepared with minimal time and preparation. Yes, you will definitely need the planning and discipline that are always required to establish a new habit. But when you observe the positive effects of a healthy breakfast, it will become a welcome way of life. Here are six ideas to get you started.
1. Yogurt Fruit Parfait
While you’re fixing dinner the night before, cut up whatever seasonal fruit you have. The next morning, dish up the fruit and top it with some yogurt and, if you wish, you can even top the yogurt with a bit of whole-grain cereal, oatmeal, nuts, coconut or dried fruit.
This meal is loaded with vitamins and friendly bacteria from the yogurt – IF you choose yogurt brands with live bacteria. It’s so incredibly simple that there is no excuse for not serving it often. If your family eats in the car on the way to school or the office, have some plastic bowls and spoons handy because this is a very portable meal.
2. What Is Breakfast Without Eggs?
Scrambled eggs with veggies are a quick meal. Choose vegetables that cook quickly – like mushrooms or spinach – and add them to scrambled eggs. You can top them with some seasoning or a bit of organic cheese for a very filling meal. To cut the fat, substitute egg whites for 1/3-1/2 of your egg mixture.
It’s important to include some fiber at every meal so add a slice or two of whole grain toast. You can top it with many of the jams and jellies that are sweetened with fruit juice, rather than sugar. Forget the high-sugar jellies, along with the traditional bacon, sausage and butter.
3. Copy The Swiss & Eat Muesli
Switzerland understands the power of traditional muesli which sits in the refrigerator overnight and prepares itself. Mix:
* 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1/4 cup nuts or sunflower seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 2 cups rice or almost milk
* 1/4 cup fruit juice concentrate
In the morning, your muesli will be ready to go and all you need to do is top it with apple, pear, peach, berries or other fruit. The recipe above makes two servings.
4. Smoothies Are The Ultimate E-A-S-Y!
Smoothies are loaded with goodness and are simple to make. You will need to experiment to find out what your family prefers, but once you figure that out, your kids will willingly cooperate. After all, why would they object to a “soda” for breakfast?
Always begin with milk and frozen fruit as your base. Depending on the amount of fruit you add, it will be creamy and smooth, especially if you use frozen bananas. Then you can add in the extra ingredients that make it interesting.
For example, here is a recipe my kids have loved all their lives.
* 1 banana, peeled
* 2 cups milk â€“ I use almond
* 1/2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
* 2 Tablespoon peanut butter
* 1 Tablespoon agave nectar or other sweetener like honey
Once they’re accustomed to drinking these healthy smoothies, you might want to add in a scoop of high-quality protein powder.
5. Fruited Couscous Is Mere Minutes
Whole wheat couscous is an interesting grain. Although traditionally served for dinner, it can easily be transformed into a breakfast with the addition of fruits.
First, put 2 cups of milk, 2 Tablespoons of honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a pan and heat until almost boiling.
Turn off the heat and add 2 cups of dry couscous and let it sit in the pan for about 5 minutes or according to the directions on the package.
Add 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup raisins and 1/2 cup pecans and eat up. You can, of course, vary the fruits and nuts. I usually use 2/3 cups cranberries since I love them so much.
6. Who Says Beans Aren’t For Breakfast?
Beans are one of the greatest foods on the planet. They’re low in fat, high in carbs, protein and fiber and are certainly one of the greatest bargains in the grocery store.
You can cook a large pot of kidney, pinto, black or other beans the day before. Then at breakfast time, assemble a wrap. Use a whole wheat tortilla and add beans and whatever else you have on hand: tomatoes, small green onions, lettuce, spinach, olives, balsamic vinegar, fresh parsley or other herbs, a small amount of cheese, sliced carrots, cranberries or any vegetable your family loves. Some prefer the tortilla warmed up a bit but many people don’t care. Once your wrap is assembled, you are ready to walk out the door.
All of these breakfast ideas are quick, easy and healthy. You can vary your meals and have dozens of combinations so there is no reason to ever be bored. Kids resist change (and so do husbands) but if your family is used to eating junk on the go, know that you absolutely can change your family’s habits. Be determined and set an example. They absolutely will follow.
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