Nutritious morning meals you can eat while driving, walking, or sprinting out the door.
Fruit and Cheese
A balanced, easy-to-assemble make-ahead morning meal: Grab an apple, wrap 1 to 2 ounces of Cheddar in plastic, and toss ¼ cup of fiber- and protein-rich walnuts into a resealable plastic bag.
Peanut Butter Waffle
Instead of dousing a whole-grain or bran toaster waffle in syrup, cut the sugar and boost the protein and fiber by spreading it with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. You can also sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of raisins, sesame seeds, or extra peanuts for even more fiber, which helps deliver the meal’s nutrients slowly and steadily.
Plain Doughnut with Chocolate Milk
A plain cake-style doughnut is usually a better choice than a bakery muffin. At Dunkin’ Donuts, for instance, an old-fashioned doughnut has 280 calories, while a corn muffin has 510 calories. Add fiber by eating ¼ cup of almonds or dried fruit. Instead of coffee, try 8 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk.
In a cocktail shaker, combine a packet of vanilla or strawberry instant-breakfast powder (look for the no-sugar-added kind, such as Carnation) and 1 cup of low-fat strawberry cow’s milk or soy milk. (You can also mix this the night before.) If you have time, use a blender to add strawberries or a frozen banana, for extra fiber, and a scoop of protein powder, such as GeniSoy Natural.
You could have a slice of last night’s pizza (it’s preferable to filling up on sugar or skipping breakfast). Or you could try a more sophisticated spin: Take a slice of crusty bread, spread it with 3 tablespoons of low-fat ricotta, and add tomatoes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) and a little salt and pepper. Broiling is optional.
One of the most portable proteins is a hard-cooked egg, but it has no fiber or carbohydrates. So slice it, then roll it in an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla with a piece of Canadian bacon or lean ham and, if you like, a ½-ounce slice of cheese. Add a tablespoon of salsa for a shot of flavor and a smidgen of vitamin C.
A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes (about 1½ cups) with 8 ounces of low-fat milk is nearly the perfect breakfast. Make it portable by replacing the milk with lemon or vanilla yogurt and mixing it in a to-go container. Increase the fiber and vitamins by adding ¼ cup of nuts or fresh or dried fruit, such as chopped pecans or blueberries.
Yes, you read that right. If you must eat fast food in the morning, get an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s. At 300 calories, it’s not an outrageous meal. Plus it has a good amount of lean protein from the egg and the Canadian bacon. To trim empty calories, remove the top half of the muffin. For additional fiber, add a fresh orange.
To substitute for a meal, an energy bar should have at least 3 to 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Odwalla, Kashi GoLean, and TruSoy are all good options. Because cereal bars rarely have more than 2 grams of protein, kids might be better off adding a stick of Go-Gurt! And a sleeve of peanuts.