Breakfast tends to be the most nutrient-packed meal of the day, and studies show that kids who eat breakfast have fewer absences from school, improved test grades, and better memory. And there are plenty of benefits for adults, too, including better control over weight and blood sugar. Breakfast is a key opportunity to increase your intake of several of the nutrients that most Americans lack in their diets, so think of it as a chance to make a deposit into your nutritional bank.
It seems like I’m always in a rush in the morning, especially now that I have kids. That’s why I like to keep breakfast really simple while still including at least three of the five food groups – protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy.
One of our favorite no-cook breakfasts is a yogurt parfait. Yogurt can be enjoyed by babies as young as 6 months, making it a great option for the entire family. Plain yogurt is loaded with nutrients and lacks added sugar. Add natural sweetness with a serving of fresh fruit and top it off with low-sugar cereal for a serving of whole grains to complete your parfait.
Overnight oats are one of my family’s favorite ways to start the day and can be made in advance. Stir together uncooked oats, milk, and optional mix-ins, like fruit, nuts, or seeds, and refrigerate overnight or up to three days. In the morning, simply enjoy. Using milk instead of water to make oats provides a nutrition boost with 13 essential nutrients to power through busy mornings.
Egg muffins are perfect for prepping ahead on the weekend. They can be refrigerated and reheated in the morning, and they even freeze well. Serve with fruit and whole-grain toast and you’ve got a hot breakfast in less than 5 minutes.
As another time-saving option, I like to keep individual servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese on hand for those days when we’re running late and have to take breakfast in the car. They’re easy to throw in a lunchbox and eat on the go even when you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast at home.
For more quick and easy breakfast ideas visit The Dairy Alliance’s recipe page.
Jessica Ivey is a Registered Dietitian and chef with a passion for teaching people to eat healthy for a happy and delicious life. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating original recipes to help busy families eat well and enjoy more meals together. Jessica lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, two toddlers, and dog.