Healthy Meals in a Snap
Breakfast doesn’t get much attention these days, but it’s still an important meal! We’ve talked about quick and easy dinners, so let’s shift our focus this week to breakfast.
Most people have heard the old adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and studies back up that claim. In one study, nearly 80 percent of people that had lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for at least a year said that they ate breakfast every day. Two studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that women ages 9-19 who regularly ate breakfast had far fewer weight problems than those who didn’t eat breakfast.
And the science is pretty clear too. Your first meal of the day breaks your body’s night fast, provides you with the enzymes needed to metabolize fat loss, and gives you energy. The challenge in today’s world is finding time to make and eat a healthy breakfast. Most of us just don’t have time in the morning for a healthy meal – or so we think!
A healthy breakfast consists of foods low in fat and added sugar, and high in fiber. It should include some protein as well as carbohydrates, and it should consist of “calorie sparse” foods. These are foods that fill you up yet contain fewer calories.
Here are some quick, easy, and healthy breakfast ideas that almost anyone can fix:
Quick Huevos Rancheros. Hard boiled eggs are a great source of protein, but they have no fiber or carbs. Slicing a hardboiled egg and wrapping it in a whole-wheat tortilla is a quick way to add fiber and carbs. You can add a slice of ham, turkey or cheese for flavor, along with salsa or lettuce for even more fiber and flavor.
Baked Oatmeal. This is one of our favorites because you can fix it on the weekend and then enjoy it all week. Adding fresh fruit adds great flavor without added sugar, and berries contain essential antioxidants. Add a slice of ham or turkey, or a few nuts for protein. We featured baked oatmeal in one of our newsletters, and you can get the recipe here.
Fruit with low-fat cheese or nuts. This is super-quick. Slice an apple, orange or other fruit, then add some cheese cubes, or a handful of almonds or pecans. The cheese and nuts make this higher in fat than some of the other options listed here, but if you’re really in a hurry, it can’t get much easier.
Toast and peanut butter. The peanut butter adds fat, but it is still much healthier than the usual butter and jam that many people put on their toast. The peanut butter adds protein and, if you use a whole grain bread, you’ll get fiber and some healthy carbs too.
Energy bar and yogurt. Sometimes you really have no time at all for breakfast, so you need something you can grab and take to work or school. Make sure you select an energy bar that is low in fat, has at least 3 grams of fiber and at least 10 grams of protein. Yogurt provides additional protein and flavor. It’s also a nice contrast for energy bars that are crunchy.
Breakfast really is an important meal, and you don’t have to take a lot of time to make it healthy. Try one of these ideas as a quick, healthy alternative to the usual cereal, or worst yet, nothing.
You really can create a healthy breakfast in a snap!
Remember, healthy choices each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
You may also want to read: Whole Grains are So Important to Health, Are There “Good” and “Bad” Carbohydrates?, Eating Right: It’s Not About Willpower Alone