Skipping breakfast can leave you hungry and irritable by mid-morning, but it can be hard to sit the whole family down for a healthy meal every morning. Fast-food breakfasts and calorie-laden pastries are too often the substitute. Fight the battle of the breakfast with an arsenal of 300-calorie meals that are quick to prepare and that will satisfy your family's nutritional needs.
Frozen Waffles and English Muffins
Frozen waffles provide endless opportunity to elaborate on a theme. Choose a whole-grain variety for extra fiber. Pop a waffle in the toaster, spread on 1 tbsp. nut butter and 1 tbsp. sugar-free fruit preserves, and eat it on the go. Other topping ideas include skim-milk ricotta cheese, fresh berries and raw honey. As an alternative, pile the same toppings on a whole-grain English muffin, or spread it with hummus and sliced cucumbers with a dash of dry ranch dressing mix for a savory touch.
Eggs are a perennial breakfast favorite, but too many yolks and frying in butter can lead to calorie overload. Instead, invest in a good non-stick skillet and some olive oil cooking spray and throw away most if not all of the yolks. Whether you prefer omelets or scrambled eggs, pile on the fresh veggies. Replace high-fat cheese with skim-milk cottage cheese, add a handful of spinach, and throw in a medley of yellow, green and red bell peppers. Other omelet additives include tomatoes, grilled onions and shredded green or yellow squash. Top your omelet with spicy ranch dressing for some zip.
Sometimes you just have to have a muffin for breakfast, especially on chilly mornings. You can't beat the convenience and comfort of muffins, but the sugar, butter and white flour are packed with calories. Fruits and vegetables soften baked goods without oil, provide essential nutrients and slash calories. Use whole-grain or gluten-free flour for a serving of complex carbohydrates. Sweeten and moisten with carrots, cranberries, bananas and pureed apples or applesauce. Toss in ground flax seed and raw walnuts for fiber and healthy fats.
Smoothies and Juices
If you don't have time to eat your breakfast, drink it by making a smoothie or fresh juice. A smoothie can be as simple as a handful of strawberries, a cup of orange juice, a banana and ice or as complex as nut-butter and protein-powder concoctions. If you like creamy smoothies, add fat-free plain yogurt or soy milk and 1 tsp. of raw honey. As an alternative, invest in a juicer and make your own green juice. Hide the taste of spinach with lots of grapes, apples and pears.