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20 High Protein Breakfast Ideas For All-Day Energy

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Step away from the box of sugary cereal.

If you’re watching your weight or have a hard time keeping your hunger in check in the morning, you likely have heard how important protein is. But while it’s easy for most of us to get enough of the nutrient at dinner and lunch, breakfast can be a struggle. Bagels, cereal, and smoothies don’t always pack a big protein punch. Not to mention, if you skip your morning meal, you’re not getting any protein at all.

That’s a big mistake. “In numerous studies, a high-protein breakfast habit has been linked to weight management or weight loss,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, CSSD, a New York City- and Los Angeles-based performance nutritionist. “Protein is filling, and triggers the release of satiety hormones that blunt appetite.”

That means you may eat less all day long, including in the evening. “That’s key because most people are inactive in the evening, and therefore less likely to burn off surplus calories consumed at that time,” Sass explains. Protein also boosts alertness so you are productive and helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels so you have steady energy to face the day, she adds.

The ideal amount of protein at breakfast is about 30 grams, according to a review published in Advances in Nutrition in September. (Get your daily dose in these 15 high-protein foods.) However, registered dietitians say starting with at least 20 grams is a good goal for weight loss and hunger management. Ready to start your day off right? Try one of these nutritionist-approved high protein breakfasts next time you’re tempted to reach for the cereal box.

1) Diner Breakfast

“Some mornings I find myself craving a traditional ‘egg platter’ type of meal that you find in most diners,” says Georgia Rounder, RDN, CDN. To make your own (without the grease some diners cook in), she suggests scrambling two eggs and cooking a link of organic chicken sausage. Toast a slice of whole-grain bread topped with jam, add a cup of joe, and you have a DIY diner meal.

2) Avocado Omelet

Eggs are a no-brainer for protein. Sass suggests mixing in veggies and herbs and topping with avocado for healthy fats, which will boost the satiety factor. Using three eggs will give you about 19 grams of protein, so fold in some cheese or meat if you want to get closer to 30 grams.

3) Cottage Cheese Bowl

Cottage cheese is a great start to the day. Half a cup of 1-percent cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and only about 80 calories, so scoop out the proper portion for your needs. “Combine with chopped or shredded veggies like spinach, bell pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, and red onion, and mix with EVOO-based dairy-free pesto. Chill overnight and grab to go in the a.m.,” Sass says. If you prefer a sweeter breakfast, top with fiber-rich berries instead.

4) Tofu Scramble

Perfect for vegans and meat-eaters alike, tofu can mimic eggs. “Crumble a block of tofu in a pan and ‘scramble’ it like you would eggs, adding your favorite veggies, herbs, and spices for flavor,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, a Seattle-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Half of the recipe gives you about 22 grams of protein. Extra-firm tofu tends to work best, and if you have time to press it first, go for it. Your scramble will still be yummy if you don’t press it, though.

5) Scrambled Tofu and Eggs on Toast

There’s no reason you can’t combine plant proteins with the incredible edible egg to diversify your nutrient intake. “Scramble two eggs with 1/4 of a block of extra-firm tofu, tomato, and freshly ground black pepper,” says Keri Gans, RDN, nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. She suggests enjoying your scramble on 100-percent whole-grain bread.

6) Breakfast Quinoa

Although you can have it savory in the morning too, quinoa also makes a good sweet breakfast if you’re sick of oats. “This whole grain contains 12 grams of protein in just 1/2 cup uncooked,” says Hultin, who recommends adding in more protein by topping with nuts, seeds, and soy milk (which contains about 8 grams in one cup). Plus, it’s fairly quick to cook, or you can make it the night before and reheat in the morning.

7) Egg Muffins

Muffins don’t have to be loaded with sugar and empty carbs. Rethink your omelet so you can take it on-the-go and make egg muffins, says dietitian Amy Kubal, RDN. Since one egg has about 6 grams of protein, mix in some turkey or ricotta cheese in addition to veggies, she adds. If you’re eating at home, you can also top them with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt and salsa for extra protein and flavor

8) Greek Yogurt Parfait

With 20-plus grams of protein per cup, there’s good reason this thick, creamy yogurt is a go-to breakfast. “Yogurt parfaits are hands-down one of my favorite high-protein breakfasts,” Rounder says. She tops plain, full-fat Greek yogurt with whatever toppings she’s in the mood for-usually a combination of walnuts (for added protein and healthy fat), berries (for fiber), a few spoonfuls of granola (for crunch), and a drizzle of honey (extra sweetness!).

9) Amped-Up Oatmeal

By itself, oatmeal isn’t high in protein. But you can easily increase that amount. “Make it with one cup of nonfat or low-fat milk, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, and chia seeds,” Gans suggests. Add some berries or banana on top if you crave something sweet in the morning.

10) Egg and Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is still trendy, but just toast and avocado doesn’t add up to a ton of protein. An easy solution: Add two eggs, cooked however you like. “Throw them on top of a piece of whole-grain bread, avocado, and some Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning for an extra kick,” Rounder says.

11) Breakfast Salad

It’s not a traditional morning meal for most Americans, but a salad is great any time of day and helps you get in those veggies first thing in the morning. “Stir an EVOO-balsamic dressing into canned wild salmon. Place the salmon over a bed of greens along with a scoop of lentils and a sprinkle of chopped nuts,” Sass suggests. Plus, it’s easy to prep the night before if you want to take it on the go.

12) Non-Dairy Yogurt Parfait

Greek yogurt enjoyed its time in the spotlight, and now there are many plant-based yogurts that have a good amount of protein. In addition to soy yogurt, there’s Kite Hill’s almond milk “Greek” yogurt with 11 grams of protein and Ripple’s Greek yogurt alternative with 12 grams of pea protein. “Aim for an unsweetened variety so you can mix in your own fruit,” Hultin says. “Then maximize protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids by adding in flax, chia, or hemp seeds.”

13) Salmon Avocado Toast

If you’re not in the mood for eggs, try 4 ounces of smoked salmon, or lox, which has about 20 grams of protein. “Top 100-percent whole-grain bread with tofu-scallion cream cheese, lox, avocado, and diced red onion and tomato,” Gans suggests.

14) Overnight Oats

Next time you make your favorite overnight oats, stir in a scoop of protein powder, Sass says. Combine the oats and plain or vanilla-flavored protein powder (unless chocolate goes with your other flavors), then add water or unsweetened nut milk. Stir until well combined. Let the oats soak in the fridge until the morning, then top with berries and pumpkin seeds.

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15) Snack Pack To-Go

“This sounds weird, but it totally works,” Kubal says. “A lot of my clients travel and take some deli turkey and veggies and guac, and call it breakfast.” You could also pack jerky, she says, which has the added benefit of being shelf-stable.

16) Cottage Cheese Toast

Switch up your morning slice by topping whole-grain bread with a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese instead of your go-to cream cheese or avocado. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and a handful of nuts for extra crunch and protein. This combo is super versatile, so if you prefer savory toast, you can top with veggies and nuts instead.

17) Protein-Packed Smoothie

Many smoothies are a bunch of fruit. Delicious, yes, but not very filling and often low in protein. “To maximize protein and create more balance, add a scoop of protein powder,” Hultin says. Look for a protein powder with no more than 5 grams of sugar, Kubal recommends. However, unsweetened is best-the fruit in your smoothie will give you plenty of sweetness. Don’t forget to include a handful of greens such as spinach for some veggies, and nut butter or hemp seeds for more protein and satiating healthy fats. (Check out our favorite smoothie recipes here.)

18) Bagel with Lox

A bagel breakfast doesn’t have to be all carbs. It’s all about portions and proper toppings. “Top either half a whole-wheat bagel or whole-grain crackers with smoked salmon, a tablespoon of whipped cream cheese, capers, and some salt and pepper for a high-protein breakfast that always hits the spot,” Rounder says.

19) Creamy Oatmeal

Another way to make high-protein oats is to stir in cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. Top with nuts or seeds, and you have a breakfast that’ s high in protein and fiber for a one-two hunger-fighting punch.

20) Dinner for Breakfast

We’re all looking for a quick bite as we get ourselves and the kids ready to dash out the door. Leftovers can be a great solution-simply reheat. “Include poultry or fish, herb-sautéed veggies, extra-virgin olive oil, and a small portion of a healthy starch, like sweet potato or brown rice,” Sass recommends, so you have a well-rounded meal to keep you full and meet all your nutritional needs.

 

This article was written by Brittany Risher from Prevention and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Making Mornings Easier

Getting ourselves ready for work, our children ready for school and our pets ready for a day alone in the house can create a ton of stress in the morning and cause us to forget important steps in our morning ritual. For example, have you ever forgotten to send your child to school with a lunch or to take your dog out and later come home to a mess on the floor?

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Follow these steps the night before to help your mornings work seamlessly.

  1. Choose and lay out your outfit and accessories and assist your children in doing the same. You might want to try on outfits before bed to ensure you’ll be satisfied with them in the morning.
  2. Pack lunches for the whole family. It’s a great idea to encourage your children to help with their lunches, which will help teach them
  3. Check that their homework is done, and that any outstanding papers or permission slips are signed.
  4. Premeasure your pet’s food for the morning, making it quick and easy to place in their bowl.
  5. Put a list of things that need to be finished in the morning on your refrigerator and check it off so you don’t forget anything critical.

What are your family’s before-bed rituals that help your mornings run more smoothly?

 

Nutritious and Fun Breakfast: Banana in a Blanket

Perfect for breakfast or shared as a snack, this delicious, hearty little recipe is sure to please!

Ingredients

  • 1 six-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter or cream cheese
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon granola

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Lay the tortilla on a plate and spread the entire surface evenly with the nut or seed butter or cream cheese.

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Peel the banana and place on one edge of the tortilla.

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Sprinkle with granola.

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Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top.

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Roll the tortilla to wrap the banana in the “blanket.”

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Slice in half, serve and enjoy!

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Honey & Cranberry Sandwich!

Are you looking for an easy snack or breakfast option? Check out these delicious honey & cranberry sandwiches! Click here for the video!

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Ingredients:

  • Whole grain bagel or bread
  • Seed- or nut-based butter
  • Dried cranberries
  • Honey

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Spread seed- or nut-based butter on one half of a mini whole grain bagel or slice of bread.

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Then, drizzle on some local honey.

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Top it off with a sprinkle of dried cranberries.

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Serve the sandwich with a glass of almond milk or orange juice. For added flavor and crunch, you can place a few slivers of apple on top. Makes a great snack or easy breakfast!

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Enjoy!

Nutritious and Fun Breakfast: Banana in a Blanket

Perfect for breakfast or shared as a snack, this delicious, hearty little recipe is sure to please!

Ingredients:

  • 1 six-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon granola

Directions:

  1. Lay the tortilla on a plate and spread the entire surface evenly with the cream cheese or sunflower seed butter.
  2. Sprinkle the tablespoon of granola over the cream cheese / sunflower seed butter.
  3. Peel the banana and place on one edge of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla to wrap the banana in the “blanket.”
  4. Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top, slice in half and serve.

Balancing Breakfast: Quick, Creative Tips for Busy Families

Though we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—especially for children—it is often a casualty of morning mayhem. Start your child’s day off with a nutritious and energy-boosting breakfast. Children (grown-ups too!) who consistently eat balanced breakfasts have more energy, better diets, perform better and are less likely to be anxious or irritable. We’re busy with our daily routines and sometimes it seems difficult to find healthy foods that children enjoy. Serving up a balanced breakfast is actually easier than it seems!

Trying these nutritious breakfast tips and easy ideas can help make mornings cheerier, keep tummies fuller and help provide lots of energy.

  • Cutting foods into fun shapes with seasonal, animal or other cookie cutters is a quick way to turn a boring breakfast into a tummy pleaser.
  • Turn an ordinary bowl of whole grain cereal with milk into something more exciting by topping with sliced star fruit, pomegranate seeds or other unexpected bright fruit.
  • Scramble egg whites with low-fat cheese and diced, colorful veggies. Add tomatoes for eyes, a baby carrot for a nose, a slice of turkey bacon for the mouth—even broccoli for hair!
  • Whip up a mixed fruit smoothie using crushed ice, yogurt, fresh or canned fruit and add brightly colored frozen juice concentrate. Garnish with an orange wedge. This can be made the night before to save time in the morning.
  • Toast a whole grain toaster waffle, top with low-fat berry cream cheese. Create a flower or other fun design on top using sliced strawberries and peaches.
  • Spread peanut butter in a whole wheat tortilla. Add raisins and banana slices, roll up tightly and slice to create yummy pinwheels.
  • Serve up a ‘breakfast sundae’ by layering low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit and crunchy granola cereal in a fun, see-through container. Top with a cherry or grape and use colored cereal bits for “sprinkles.”

Create a ‘breakfast pizza’ using a whole wheat English muffin. Spread the English muffin with low-fat flavored cream cheese and top with diced fruits or veggies.