Begin with Breakfast
- Eating a healthy breakfast will help you perform your best at school and in sports.
- Include foods from at least three of the food groups (grains, proteins, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and heart-healthy fats).
- If you don't have time, choose healthy options that you can eat on the go.
Even though it can be hard to make time for breakfast when you're rushing to school in the morning, there are lots of benefits to eating a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast will give you the energy you need to perform your best at school and in sports. This guide will give you breakfast ideas and recipes so you can start your day off right.
Why should I eat breakfast?
Research studies haveshown that teens who eat breakfast regularly:
- Do better in school than those who don’t
- Get more vitamins, mineral, and fibers than teens who skip breakfast
- Are less likely to be overweight than teens who skip breakfast
What should I eat for breakfast?
When choosing a healthy breakfast, aim to include foods from at least three of the food groups (grains, proteins, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and heart-healthy fats). Fiber and protein are the most filling nutrients, so be sure to include protein-rich foods and fiber-rich foods if you tend to get hungry in the morning. Protein-rich foods include eggs, peanut butter, nuts, soy sausage, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For example, a bowl of oatmeal topped with nuts and dried fruit will keep you full much longer than a bowl of sugary cereal or a donut.
Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas:
- 1 cup whole-grain cold cereal
- 8 ounces yogurt
- Sliced bananas or berries
- 2 eggs or ½ cup egg substitute
- 1 slice whole grain toast
- 4 ounces orange juice
- Banana Nut Smoothie (see recipe below)
- Whole grain toast
- Scrambled Egg & Tomato Sandwich (see recipe below)
- Orange (or piece of your favorite fruit)
- Golden Apple Oatmeal (see recipe below)
- Low-fat milk
What if I don’t have time for breakfast?
Many teens think that they don’t have enough time in the morning to make and eat a meal. If you’re running short on time, remember that any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all. Keep breakfast foods on hand that you can eat on the run, such as granola bars, fruit, yogurt smoothies, small cartons of low-fat or soy milk, individual boxes of cereal, and trail mix.
Below are some breakfast ideas that you can pack in an insulated lunch bag (with a small ice-pack) and take with you. You can pack nonperishable foods such as fresh fruit and granola bars in your lunch bag the night before and just add a dairy food and small ice-pack in the morning.
- Low-fat yogurt with granola mixed in
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Low-fat cottage cheese cup with a piece of fruit
- Yogurt smoothie with a granola bar
- English muffin with 1 tablespoon almond butter and a carton of low-fat milk
- One serving of whole grain cereal (in a to-go container) with milk and a piece of fruit
The following breakfast recipes are from our "Quick and Easy Recipes for Teens" Cookbook:
Banana Nut Smoothie
- 1 ripe bananas, peeled
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in blender.
- Cover and mix on high until smooth.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg.
- Serve Immediately.
Scrambled Egg & Tomato Sandwich
- 2 slices whole grain bread
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, peeled & finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- ½ cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
- 1 large tomato, cored and finely diced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt & pepper
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- Place butter into medium saucepan over low-heat.
- When the butter melts, add garlic, parsley & hot pepper flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs and stir slowly over low heat until the mixture starts to form small curds. Gently fold in tomatoes and add salt and pepper.
- Lightly toast slices of bread in toaster and arrange egg mixture onto toasted bread.
- Top with basil leaves and sprinkle with cheese.
- Serve immediately.
Golden Apple Oatmeal
- 1 Golden Delicious apple, diced
- 1/3 cup apple juice
- 1/3 cup water
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/3 cup quick-cook oats, uncooked
- Combine apples, juice, water, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Stir in oats, cook for 1 minute.
- Cover and let stand for several minutes before serving.
Healthy eating is a way of balancing the food you eat to keep your body strong, energized, and well nourished. This guide was created to help you learn about healthy eating, and ways to plan nutritious meals and snacks...
Snacks are important because they help keep your energy level up between meals so you can do the things you like to do. Eating small, well-balanced snacks between meals can also keep you from eating too much at meal time...