How Much Protein Should I Have for Breakfast?

by Michelle Powell-Smith

Protein at breakfast can help keep you feeling full and prevent a mid-morning crash. Ideally, you should divide your protein evenly between meals and snacks, so you'll need approximately 20 to 33 percent of your daily protein intake at breakfast. Protein-rich breakfasts can be quick and make and do not have to be high in calories or fat.

Divide It Up

Depending upon your age and lifestyle, approximately 10 to 15 percent of your daily calories should come from protein. You can estimate how many grams of protein you need by taking your weight, dividing it by two then subtracting 10. Use this, as a guideline, when planning meals and snacks for your family to make sure they get an ample supply of protein throughout the day, starting with a protein-packed breakfast.

Adding Protein

Add protein to your usual breakfast to perk up your mornings. Replace the usual butter and jam with 2 tbsp. of peanut butter on toast or waffles or add nuts to cereal. You can also swap out your usual cereal for a high-protein version. Try combining a high-protein cereal with your kids' favorite cereal to reduce complaints.

Protein To Go

If you need to pack a high-protein breakfast, try nonfat Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese. You can also opt for hard-boiled eggs for an easy breakfast to eat at the office or in the car on the way to school. Make fruit smoothies with Greek yogurt, silken tofu or protein powder if you or the kids prefer to drink your breakfast.

Cooked Breakfasts

There's an easy answer to protein on weekend mornings or less hectic days. Eggs or egg whites provide a significant amount of protein. Make eggs more kid-friendly by cutting a circle, star or heart out of a piece of bread and cooking the egg in the center, or season their scrambled eggs with a ranch-flavored dry mix. Lean meats or soy products can round out your breakfast. You can also opt for leftovers from dinner the night before, particularly for family members who just don't like traditional breakfast foods. For a quick breakfast, wrap last night's chicken and vegetables drizzled with creamy dressing in a whole-wheat tortilla.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

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