Protein at Breakfast: Thinking Outside the Cereal Box

Do you remember your mom nagging you to eat breakfast every morning? As much as you may not want to admit it, she had a point. Your body goes all night without any fuel, and eating breakfast helps “wake up” your metabolism and helps to light your calorie-burning fire for the rest of the day. A calorie-burning fire sounds great, right? But 31 million Americans skip breakfast every day1! Obstacles to breakfast include not being hungry, not having enough time to eat, or simply forgetting about it. Well lucky for you, there are a few simple solutions to all of your breakfast woes. Minimizing late night snacking may help fuel your appetite for the morning after. In addition, making breakfast a habit may help your body regularly feel hungry for a meal in the morning hours. If you think you don’t have enough time to eat breakfast, think again. There are endless quick options that you can grab on your way out the door like protein bars, pieces of fruit, or a handful of almonds. Stocking your drawer at work with instant oatmeal is another way to have a hot breakfast once you get to the office.

So mom said breakfast was the most important meal of the day, but she may have forgotten to mention protein’s MVP role. Including a source of protein at breakfast can help keep mid-morning hunger in check until lunch time rolls around. Aim for 10-20 grams of protein in the morning to help reach the 50 grams per day that is recommended for most healthy adult women. Some sources of protein that can easily be thrown into the breakfast mix include hardboiled eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, lean breakfast sausage, nut butters, and seeds.

But we get it—sometimes your brain isn’t exactly awake yet in the AM hours to think about breakfast. Use this breakfast checklist and try out our breakfast combos to help build a better meal in the morning.

Breakfast Checklist

□ Lean protein to help keep you fuller for longer

□ Fiber-rich foods to help support digestion

□ Calcium to help support bone health

□ Fruit or veggies to pack a vitamin and mineral punch

Quick combos to build a better breakfast

Honey PB Oatmeal + sliced banana

Vanilla Oatmeal w/Almonds and Pecans + shredded carrots  (carrot cake oatmeal)

Maple Almond High Protein Bar (10% Calcium) + apple

High Protein Smoothie made w/ low fat milk

Greek yogurt parfait w/ dark chocolate nut Bites + strawberries

Coconut Almond Protein Nut Bar + fresh diced pineapple

Berry Oatmeal w/ dollop strawberry Greek yogurt

Whole wheat toast + eggs + sautéed spinach

Greek yogurt + strawberries + sliced almonds