Building a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast can be a big influence on how you eat for the rest of the day, and a well-balanced breakfast should contain a variety of healthy foods. In this article, we’ll walk you through the parts of a healthy meal and give you ideas for working them into your breakfast.
Fruits are an important source of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to continue working at its best.
Apples, berries, bananas, and stone fruits (like peaches and plums) are just a few tasty options. Try adding berries to yogurt or having a banana with whole wheat toast and peanut butter for a fruity breakfast.
Side note: Unfortunately, fruit juices (including freshly pressed juices) aren’t as good for you as whole fruits. Juices often contain lots of sugar and are lacking in the fiber that helps you feel full (and supports a healthy gut). Thus, we recommend limiting or avoiding them.
Like fruits, veggies are a great source of vitamins and minerals, along with fiber. We recommend including a healthy serving or two of veggies with every meal, including breakfast!
A few fun ways to work veggies into breakfast include:
Adding veggies like mushrooms or bell pepper to scrambled eggs
Roasting veggies like peppers, broccoli, and sweet potatoes to eat with the rest of your breakfast
3. Whole grains
Whole grains include foods like oats, quinoa, or whole-grain toast. We recommend whole grains because they have more fiber and nutrients than grains that are more processed, like the ones used to make white bread.
Luckily, whole grains are a great breakfast food! Try having a whole-grain English muffin with peanut butter or flavoring oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh apples for a yummy breakfast (with none of the added sugar of a packet of quick oatmeal).
4. Lean protein
Lean proteins are foods that are high in protein, but low in unhealthy fats. This includes foods like chicken, turkey, fish, and tofu. Nut butter, beans, and eggs are also great sources of lean protein.
A little bit of nut butter mixed into your oatmeal, apples dipped in nut butter, hard-boiled eggs, or an egg on top of a piece of whole-grain toast are all tasty breakfasts that incorporate lean protein.
5. Healthy fats
Fats often get a bad rap, when in reality eating the right fats can be very good for you!
There are so many different “types” of fats, but in general:
focus on eating unsaturated fats, found in vegetable oils (like olive oil), nuts and seeds, avocado, and fish
limit saturated fats, found in meats (particularly red meat) and in some processed foods
avoid trans fats, which are found in fried or processed foods.
To work healthy fats into your breakfast, we recommend foods like avocado, smoked salmon, and nuts (or nut butter!). They’re tasty additions to any meal, but especially breakfast!
It can be overwhelming to try to get ALL of these things into your breakfast. To start, take a look at what you are currently eating: Do you have at least one of these components? Is there something you can swap out for a healthier option? You don’t have to worry about having the perfect breakfast. Start small with quick swaps and changes! If you need support for building a better breakfast, the TOVI app is here to help. Download the TOVI app today. It's free!
Reviewed by: Dr. Tara Coletta, Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry