5 healthy breakfast ideas to start your day

Try one of these breakfast ideas if it’s hard to find time.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, but sometimes, it’s hard to fit into our busy lives.

Registered Dietitian Neelu Kohli, with ADC’s Diabetes Management program, says breakfast does not have to be labor intensive – in fact it can be quite easy if you plan ahead.

A healthy breakfast can help you

  • Feel less irritable
  • Have more mental focus
  • Lengthen your attention span

“Breakfast, as the name suggests – you’re breaking a fast. You haven’t eaten for the past 8 to 9 hours, and your body needs to be refueled – especially your brain,” Kohli said.

What to include in breakfast

“Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day,” Kohli said. “For breakfast, the most important thing to have is carbohydrates, protein and fiber.”

By making sure you include all three nutrients in your breakfast, you can help curb your hunger later on and prevent you from overeating.

“Studies have show that people who eat breakfast tend to lose weight much faster and keep the weight off,” Kohli said. “This is because when you skip breakfast, you have a tendency to overeat snacks. So by the end of the day you have consumed a lot more calories than a person who would have had a healthy breakfast.”

Kohli suggested five breakfast ideas – many of which can be prepared in three minutes or less and have under 300 calories.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt with cereal and nuts

Make a Greek yogurt parfait by adding cereal and nuts.

Greek yogurt – an excellent source of calcium and protein – is a great way to start the day.

Kohli says you can top this superfood with crunchy cereal, add walnuts and make it into a yogurt parfait.

You can also eat it with fruit for a blast of antioxidants.


Container of quick oats

Oatmeal is fast and easy to make.

Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber and helps to lower cholesterol.

Kohli recommends adding one cup of skim milk or some cottage cheese to boost protein.

“Oatmeal is very easy to make. It takes about two minutes to make,” Kohli said.

Also consider adding flax seed, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, to your oatmeal. Kohli recommends buying ground flax seed which is easier to digest than whole flax seed. You can usually find it in the baking aisle at the grocery store.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a good option for all ages.

On the run? How about a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with whole grain bread?

Kohli says this is a great option for all ages.

And if you don’t like bread, you can also spread nut butter on a tortilla – wrap that around a banana and you’ve got a great breakfast on the go.

Fruit and string cheese

Banana and string cheese

Pair fruit with string cheese for fast carbs and protein.

Still pressed for time?

Kohli says you can get your protein, fiber and carbs by pairing an apple or banana with string cheese.

“If you absolutely don’t want to eat breakfast, you can spread it out,” Kohli said. “You can do an apple at 8 in the morning, then you can eat yogurt around 10:30 am. It’s better to eat something than not eat anything at all.”

Breakfast bar

As a last resort, Kohli says you can eat a bar for breakfast. But she recommends eating real food, first, so your body has time to register that it’s full and you don’t overeat.

Bonus breakfast idea: Omelet

Omelet cooking in pan

If you have time, an omelet is a great breakfast option.

If you have some time in the morning – or even time the night before — try making yourself an omelet. Eggs – which are considered a superfood — are high in protein and rich in vitamins like A, D and riboflavin. They are also high in iron and calcium.

Think outside of breakfast

You don’t have to eat “breakfast food” for breakfast. You can eat leftovers from the night before – as long as it includes carbs, protein and fiber, you’re good to go!

“Look in your pantry or refrigerator,” Kohli said. “If you have spaghetti from the night before or some deli meat – you can have that.

“Breakfast is a good investment. Invest in breakfast because it will save you time with your health in the future.”