Start yourself off on the right foot each morning by selecting a healthy breakfast — it gives you the energy and nutrition that a caregiver needs to start the day!
When selecting a healthy breakfast, look for options that contain fiber, lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy sources of fat. Fiber is found in complex carbohydrates such as oats, whole wheat, and other whole grains. Lean protein includes low-fat dairy, eggs, and lean meats. Healthy sources of fat include nuts and seeds, avocados, seafood, and certain oils. Be sure to choose healthy, natural ingredients as the processed versions of quick breakfasts often contain excessive amounts of sodium and sugar.
As a carer with limited time on your hands, these guidelines may sound too complicated and time-consuming.
If you have a plan (and a backup plan), however, it can be quite simple and that is why we are here to help! It’s always a good idea to try to plan your meals so you have all the necessary ingredients ahead of time, but it is also great to have some grab-and-go and/or frozen options for those mornings when the snooze button gets the better of you. To save you time and money, we’ve gathered some quick, affordable, easy, and delicious breakfast options!
If you have more time to spend making a healthy breakfast, try:
- Vegetable Frittata – eggs are a complete protein that helps to keep you fuller for longer. Antioxidant and fiber-full vegetables, such as spinach, tomato, and mushroom can be quickly tossed in, or if you have any cooked vegetables left over from dinner the night before, you can add them as well.
- Avocado and egg toast – instead of your normal toast with butter and jam, try topping it instead with a fresh, mashed avocado and a fried egg. Be sure to use whole wheat toast (100% whole wheat should be the first ingredient on the list) for added fiber and B vitamins.
- Oatmeal – If you have the time, it is definitely worth it to make your oatmeal from scratch. You can flavor it with different fruits and nuts each day as well as control the amount of sweetener you use.
- Breakfast sandwich – Fill a whole wheat pita or whole wheat English muffin with scrambled eggs, and sliced tomatoes, avocado or low-fat cheese, and any other vegetable or lean meat of your choice.
If you have less time and need a quicker breakfast option, try:
- Fruity Smoothie – Just toss your favorite fruit, yogurt, and other healthy ingredients into a blender. You can even save time by chopping and measuring everything before-hand and storing in the freezer; the morning you want to make the smoothie, simply throw them all into the blender!
- Yogurt Parfait – Plain, greek yogurt is creamy, delicious, and high in protein. Fresh sliced fruit or granola can be added to make it a more balanced breakfast. Tip: make your own granola beforehand – there are plenty of healthy recipes you can find online and it is so easy and affordable!
- Almond butter toast/waffles – Spread almond butter on your favorite whole grain toast or waffles and top with sliced fruit.
- Breakfast burrito – Smear your favorite breakfast spread (almond butter, low-fat ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, or cream cheese) on a whole grain wrap or tortilla, add sliced fruit or vegetables, roll up and enjoy! You can also make a more traditional breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, black beans, pico de gallo, and low-fat cheese.
If you just need to grab and go in the morning, try:
- Overnight oats – In a small mason jar or Tupperware, combine ⅓ C rolled oats ,1 ½ Tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 C almond milk. The next morning, enjoy as is or toss in some fresh fruit and you’re on your way! This recipe can be made up to four days in advance.
- Homemade granola bars – Find a healthy recipe and make your own granola bars at home – its cost effective and simple. On mornings when you just don’t have much time, you can just grab one and go.
- Baked oatmeal squares – This is what happens when you cross oatmeal with granola bars – chewy goodness. Try this recipe and cut and wrap individual portions ahead of time.
- Other quick ideas:
We hope these ideas will inspire you to start you morning in a healthy way. Bon Appetit!
As Project Manager at Meals to Heal, Corinne Easterling assists in managing the blog and social media initiatives. She is a graduate in Nutrition and Food Studies from New York University and a part-time caregiver. She hopes to continue her education and become a Registered Dietitian to help people with serious diseases manage their nutritional needs.