Breakfast might not be more important than lunch or dinner, but enjoying a nutritious meal in the morning is definitely good for your health. That’s especially true for families on the go. Eating a balanced meal of proteins and carbohydrates with lots of vegetables gives you energy to enjoy days full of work, learning, chores, and quality time. But if you’re one for living life to the fullest, you might also get bored of eating the same old breakfast foods.
It’s fun to mix it up. But what if you want to make breakfast more exciting, yet still healthy, and you don’t have extra time to cook? Try these healthy breakfast ideas to revitalize your first meal of the day.
Pork bacon is a classic breakfast ingredient, but because it’s conventionally higher in fat and salt, it isn’t the best choice for everyone’s healthy diet, especially one that’s low-fat. Well-rounded meals contain fat and salt in moderation. Basically, conventional pork bacon can be a great treat, but it doesn’t always need to be the star of your plate. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to pork bacon or you want to remix a classic, here are some ways to do bacon differently:
- Substitute turkey bacon. Real turkey bacon, made from whole cuts of meat, is high in protein, but it has less fat and salt than conventional pork bacon. For something different, yet classic, try Godshall’s real-wood smoked turkey bacon.
- Make it a condiment. It only takes a little to flavor a dish. Instead of putting whole slices in your breakfast sandwich, try crumbling some into the dressing. When you prepare pork bacon, you can also reserve a tablespoon of fat for cooking your vegetables or buttering your toast.
- Search for similar flavors. Bacon has a characteristic smokiness, but you can also get a similar flavor from smoked cheese, fish, and paprika.
One way to simplify cooking is to prep ingredients ahead of time. That can work just as well for breakfast as it does for other meals, and it’s a great way to add a variety of nutrients. Cut up your family’s favorite whole foods (or, to make it more exciting, try something new). Prepare vegetables, cheese, herbs, and proteins and store them in the fridge. Then, let everyone mix and match to customize a savory dish:
- Fold into a wrap for a breakfast burrito.
- Serve over roasted potatoes or greens for a breakfast bowl.
- Fry with rice and scrambled egg for breakfast fried rice.
For a sweet side, use toppings like berries, seeds, granola, dried fruit, and coconut:
- Bake into your favorite muffin recipe.
- Stir into leftover rice with dairy or coconut milk, vanilla, and honey to make easy rice pudding.
Instead of oatmeal, try overnight oats by combining sweet ingredients with oats and yogurt in a jar, and leaving it in the fridge overnight.
Swap Sweet for Savory
Sweet flavors are a staple of some breakfast dishes, but starting the day with too much sugar can lead to an afternoon energy crash. Incorporating more protein helps, but protein-rich ingredients, such as specialty meats, cheese, tofu, and beans, are often more on the savory side. So why not give the family a taste of the unexpected by putting a twist on traditionally sugary meals?
- Waffles: If you’ve ever added fruit to waffles, you already know what to do. Sprinkle ingredients like cheese into the batter as your waffles cook. Ingredients like turkey bacon go well with traditional syrup, but you can also use cheese sauce or gravy.
- Pancakes: You can treat buttermilk pancakes just like waffles, or you can try a different pancake altogether. Latkes are a savory potato pancake traditionally cooked in Jewish households, and okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake that incorporates vegetables.
- Oatmeal: Savory oatmeal? It’s a thing. Cook the oats like you normally would—or use broth for the cooking liquid. Instead of topping with brown sugar and butter, mix in your favorite proteins and vegetables. Season with miso, sesame oil, or soy sauce, and top it with an egg.
Think Outside the Breakfast Box
Breakfast can and should be one of the most flexible meals of the day. In fact, you don’t have to limit yourself to just breakfast foods. It may feel strange, but there’s nothing wrong with eating a salad at the start of the day. And just like eating breakfast for dinner can be fun sometimes, so can eating dinner for breakfast (particularly if you have leftovers).
The best thing about mixing up your routine is the opportunity to make it more exciting and nutritious by incorporating whole foods and fresh vegetables. Try these healthy breakfast ideas to turn meal boredom into better health.