Start the day off right with a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. The best breakfasts combine whole grains, protein or calcium-rich foods, and fresh fruit or vegetables to keep you and your family energetic and feeling full all morning long. Skip sugary cereals, high-calorie muffins and cholesterol-laden bacon and eggs, in favor of smart breakfast ideas.
Cereal is a breakfast favorite for adults and kids. Unfortunately, many cold cereals are low in nutrition and high in sugar. Opt for a high-fiber cereal with skim milk and fresh fruit for a well-rounded breakfast for the whole family.
Nonfat Greek yogurt provides digestible, fat-free protein for your breakfast. Choose a plain yogurt, adding fresh fruit and a touch of honey for sweetness. Serve with a whole wheat mini bagel.
Egg whites are an affordable and healthy source of protein. Saute a skillet of veggies seasoned with a ranch-flavored dry mix for an egg white omelet. If the kids won't eat egg whites, try adding a single whole egg to their omelets. Serve your egg white omelet with a slice of whole wheat toast for a well-rounded breakfast.
Fruit smoothies are a smart option for picky kids and busy moms. Pair fresh fruit with ice cubes and a scoop of protein powder for a diet-friendly choice for mom. The kids aren't likely to tolerate the flavor and texture of protein powders, so add some yogurt to their smoothies for a good source of protein.
Fast Food Breakfasts
Sometimes you just can't manage breakfast at home and need to grab something on the road. Try a breakfast sandwich with coffee or juice, but skip the high-fat breakfast meats, adding vegetables whenever you can.
Rolled or steel cut oats are ideal for a healthy breakfast. Make the hot cereal with milk for extra calcium, and add applesauce, dried fruit or a pinch of sugar to make it sweeter for the kids. Speed up mornings by cooking steel cut oats overnight in your slow cooker. If you feel better with a high-protein breakfast, look for cereals with added protein or top your bowl with chopped nuts.
Make a kid-friendly fruit shake that even the pickiest eater will enjoy with sweet ingredients, like vanilla soy milk, pineapple juice and frozen bananas. Whir it all together in the blender and serve with a straw.
Breakfast at the Coffee Shop
At your favorite coffee shop, look for a small bagel with light cream cheese or nut butter, along with a side of fruit. Oatmeal or a low-fat muffin and apple are other healthy options.
If you don't eat eggs or are looking for a new alternative, try a tofu scramble. Saute up your favorite veggies in nonstick cooking spray, and then add crumbled tofu, turmeric and nutritional yeast. For kids who don't like the taste of turmeric, season the tofu with a ranch-flavored seasoning mix. Roll the tofu up in a small, whole wheat tortilla.
Make a parfait by layering fruit, nonfat Greek yogurt and low-fat granola for a one-dish breakfast. Go with apples and cinnamon for a fall breakfast or berries and a touch of honey in the summer.