Breakfast is the most important meal of the day—it powers your body throughout the day and gives you that energy boost you need to get the day started. “Think of it as fuel for an empty tank,” says Harvie De Baron, sports nutritionist and founder of The Baron Method. “You wouldn’t leave your house and drive to work on an empty tank of gas—in the same way, you shouldn’t go about your day without ‘filling up’ with fuel for your body. A good formula would be a mix of protein, complex carbs, and non-processed meats.”
Other than giving you energy throughout the day, studies have also shown that skipping breakfast could lead to more serious consequences. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in the U.S. found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who ate a morning meal. People who didn’t eat breakfast were hungrier later in the day and ended up eating more food at night, leading to metabolic changes and heart disease.
That being said, mornings are usually a mad dash of rushing to work and school on time, and it can get pretty hectic. But before you think of going the fast food route or ditching breakfast altogether, try out these five breakfast meals that are super easy to prepare, filling, and check all the boxes, nutrition-wise. The best part is—they require little to no measuring and food prep!
1. Rolled oats bowls
Rolled oats bowls are great for when you don’t have time to cook in the mornings. They’re relatively cheap, and you can make infinite varieties based on a basic formula of soaked oats for fiber and carbohydrates, nuts for some crunch and protein, and fruits for vitamins and minerals. Try this for starters:
1/3 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup almond milk or alternative milk
Fruit toppings: bananas, apples, strawberries, and/or blueberries and raspberries
Crunchy toppings: unsalted, unflavored almonds or almond slivers or cashew nuts
The night before: Combine oats, milk, and cinnamon in a bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning: top the oats with your choice of fruits and nuts, or serve separately to allow each family member to choose their own toppings. Enjoy!
Have a stock of fresh fruits and nuts like unsalted, unflavored almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia, and the like. They make great snacks (and are super healthy, too!), and are easy to add to any breakfast meal like rolled oats bowls.
2. Chia Bowls
Chia seeds are seeds have been used as a super food since the days of the Aztecs and Mayans in South America. They’re usually grown organically, and are packed with nutrients—fiber, protein, Omega-3 fats (the good kind!), calcium, manganese, and much more, as well as antioxidants, with barely any carbohydrates. When soaked in liquid, they enlarge to become a texture similar to sago or tapioca. Another great bonus? You don’t need to cook them! They don’t look like much, but a tablespoon of chia seeds yields about a serving (one small bowl) after soaking overnight.
1-3 tablespoons chia seeds
2/3 cup almond-coconut milk (or other nut milk)
1-2 TBSP honey
Coconut nectar, maple syrup, stevia, or honey, to taste
Fruit toppings: toasted coconut flakes, seasonal fruit (mangoes, bananas, kiwi, etc.)
Crunchy toppings: almond slivers, granola, oats, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, etc.
The night before: Combine Chia seeds with milk and stir well. Leave in the fridge overnight or allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the seeds soften.
Sweeten according to taste. 1 TBSP of honey goes a long way!
Top with choice of condiments. Eat well!
Aside from fresh fruit and nuts, be creative—you can add cinnamon, cocoa powder, nut powder, and the like.
3. Pizza Omelet
Think pizza, except it’s not fast food or packed with flour and gluten. This is great for getting your kids to eat a complete meal in one, and you get to enjoy the taste of pizza without worrying about extra carbs, oil, or gluten. Play with the portions and the “toppings” depending on whatever you have at home—it’s a great way to eat up leftovers!
3-4 eggs (depending on how dense you want your omelet to be)
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup pre-sliced pitted green and black olives
1/4 cup button mushrooms
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 cup grated cheese of choice
a few sprigs of fresh basil
Sautee onions and garlic together. When onions are fragrant and translucent, add ham, drained mushrooms, and olives. Set aside.
Proceed to cook your egg in a small pan, adding all your toppings when the eggs are half-cooked.
Add cheese and Basil and turn off the heat when the eggs are cooked thoroughly.
Serve on whole wheat toast or as is.
Using bacon? Cook the bacon first in a pan sans oil. The fat from the bacon will be the oil for the rest of the ingredients.
4. Avocado Toast
There’s a reason why this trendy breakfast meal is all over Instagram and Pinterest—this quick brekkie packs a nutritional punch, with loads of essential fats, protein, and just enough carbs to give you that energy boost.
1 avocado, ripe, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup Parmesan or Cheddar cheese
Paprika, to taste
Dark rye bread or regular toast
1. Spread mashed avocado across a piece of toast.
2. Beat and scramble the eggs, adding in the cheese.
3. Top avocado and toast with scrambled eggs, sprinkling a generous amount of Paprika on top.
One mashed avocado can yield enough for about four pieces of toast. Get creative and add on some smoked salmon or ham if you want more meat.
5. Healthy Breakfast Muffins
If you have a hard time getting your kids to eat greens and don’t have time to fry up anything in a pan, these are perfect for you. It’s super easy, too!
1 cup spinach (eyeballing it will do!)
1/2 cup crumbled cheese (feta cheese, cheddar cheese, or a combination)
1/2 cup ham or any leftover chicken or beef pieces
1. Whisk the eggs and add all the ingredients, mixing them together.
2. Pour into a muffin or cupcake tin, depending on the size you want.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes in an oven or oven toaster.
If you’re really pressed for time and want to grab-and-go, line your muffin tin with paper holders to make it easier to take out of the tin.