You’ve heard a million times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but before you reach for a glass of orange juice or sugary cereal to “break the fast,” know that the type of breakfast you eat matters. We asked nine nutritionists to reveal their favorite morning meals so you can follow their lead and start your day the healthy way, too.
“Lately I've been experimenting with different toppings for whole-grain toast,” saysJohannah Sakimura, RD, author of Everyday Health’s Nutrition Sleuth blog. “One of my favorite combos is part-skim ricotta cheese, sliced banana, and cinnamon. The filling duo of carbs and protein starts my day off on the right foot. This combo would also be great with a sprinkling of toasted almonds or pecan pieces, which are loaded with heart-healthy fats.”
3 / 9 Oatmeal
“Starting the day off with a warm bowl of oatmeal is comforting and satisfying,” saysDebra Wein, RD, founder and president of Wellness Workdays, a provider of worksite wellness programs in Massachusetts and Florida. “The steel-cut oats are packed with fiber to keep me full throughout the morning, and a sprinkle of chia and flax seeds provides heart-healthy omega-3s.”
Oatmeal is also a top choice for Mitzi Dulan, RD, team nutritionist for the 2015 World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals. “I make mine with milk to add protein,” she says. “For toppings, I’m a fan of strawberries because they're naturally sweet, as well as cinnamon, which may help control blood sugar levels.”
4 / 9 Whole Grain Waffles
“For breakfast, I like to pack in the protein, whole grains, and fruit,” says Elizabeth Ward, RD, a nutrition consultant based in Boston. Her go-to breakfast — a whole grain waffle topped with pineapple and cottage cheese — does the trick. “Cottage cheese is really high in protein so it keeps me satisfied until lunch,” she says.
5 / 9 Nut Butters
“I want something high in fiber and protein for breakfast, but not overly sweet,” says chef Beth Saltz, RD. “I’ll usually have one slice of whole grain toast topped with Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter or a super chunky natural peanut butter. Or, I’ll have a big apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter.”
6 / 9 Greek Yogurt
“For a quick breakfast, I grab a 0 percent fat plain Greek yogurt and top it with a tablespoon of chopped, unsalted nuts and a mashed banana,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author Everyday Health’s Nutrition Intuition blog. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein (12 grams in 5.3 ounces), which is twice that of regular yogurt, Taub-Dix says. When combined with carbs (like those in the banana) and fat (found in the nuts), it can promote satiety. “The combo keeps me feeling fuller longer so that I’m not rummaging through the pantry before lunch,” says Taub-Dix.
7 / 9 A Homemade Smoothie
“On busy mornings when I need to take my breakfast on the road, I make a smoothie at home,” says Maureen Namkoong, RD, director of nutrition and fitness at Everyday Health. She blends one cup of light vanilla soy milk, a leaf of kale, some peanut butter powder, chia seeds, and frozen mango. “This starts my day off on the right foot with veggies and fruit out of the gate,” she says. “I also get lots of protein from the peanut butter powder, and heart-healthy omega-3s from the chia seeds.”
8 / 9 Fruit, Eggs, and Whole-Wheat Toast
“When I can’t decide what I want for breakfast, I reach for fresh fruit, a hard-boiled egg, and a whole-wheat English muffin with peanut butter,” says Everyday Health nutritionistKelly Kennedy, RD. “It’s the perfect plate to satisfy my hunger.” The protein in the egg and peanut butter, and the fiber in the English muffin, help keep her feeling full longer. “And the fresh fruit rounds out my meal nicely with a healthy dose of vitamin C, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals,” she says.
9 / 9 Amaranth Hot Cereal
“When it comes to breakfast, I’m a huge creature of habit, so I usually have hot cereal — either oatmeal or amaranth hot cereal,” says Karen Ansel, RDN, a New York-based nutritionist. Though amaranth often gets lumped into the whole grain category, it’s technically a seed that’s packed with protein, which will help keep you full all morning. “I boil it with milk and then top it with fresh berries and a pinch of cardamom,” says Ansel. Credit :everydayhealth.com