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Vegetable Protein for Breakfast

by Maggie McCormick

Traditional breakfast foods can be high in sugar and fat. Despite their high calorie counts, they may not keep your child satisfied until lunchtime. Protein can help sustain a feeling of fullness, and sources of vegetable protein don't come with all the fat of animal protein. In your efforts to make breakfast for your family a bit healthier, experiment with recipes that feature vegetable proteins.

Shakes and Smoothies

Protein shakes and smoothies are ideal for picky eaters, those who don't have a lot of time in the morning or family members who don't like to start the day with a heavy meal. Purchase a protein powder that's made with vegetable protein. Read labels carefully, as some brands are based on milk or eggs. Simply mix the powder with water, juice or milk, or create a smoothie by blending the powder and liquid along with some frozen fruits.

Tofu

Made from soybeans, tofu is a favorite protein source for many vegetarians. It's mild tasting and picks up on the flavor of anything that you cook with it. Scramble firm tofu by breaking it up and cooking it in a frying pan, along with a bit of oil and vegetables of your choice. Salt and pepper make a fine seasoning, or spice it up a salad dressing or dip flavor packet.

TVP

Textured vegetable protein, or TVP, is an option when you want the taste of meat, but don't want to eat meat. The soybean product in its natural state is generally cheaper than meat. You'll find it premade in the freezer aisle in the form of vegetarian sausages or bacon,and other "fake meat" products. Often, you can purchase it dry, then rehydrate and use it as you would ground meat.

Beyond Traditional Breakfast

Most people have ideas about foods that you should eat for breakfast -- eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, sausage and home fries all typically make the grade. However, don't limit yourself to these offerings. You can just as easily eat "lunch" or "dinner" foods for breakfast. For example, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, peas and green peppers are all vegetables that are high in protein, according to the Happy Cow. Toss a salad for breakfast or serve sliced veggies to your child along with dipping sauces, such as ranch dressing.

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