A healthy breakfast has been found to address many modern health concerns, from weight loss and maintenance to reducing heart disease, easing stress, and more. Eating a healthy breakfast does not have to be a time-consuming process. Nor does breakfast have to be chemical-laden prepackaged for fast food choices in order to be quick and easy. Here are the seven reasons why a healthy lifestyle includes a healthy breakfast followed by five easy recipes even kids will love.
Breakfast Eaters are Leaner
The Journal of Epidemiology published a study in 2003 that included 499 people. They tracked their eating patterns for over a year and included such factors as eating out, eating dinners out, eating breakfast regularly, and snacking. They found that those who eat breakfast regularly are nearly five times less likely to be obese or have weight-contributed health conditions than those who skipped the meal. The study also found that those who ate meals outside the home on a regular basis, for breakfast or dinner, are linked to high obesity risk.
Breakfast Eaters are Healthier
In 2003 the American Heart Association published a study at their annual conference that announced breakfast eaters have healthier blood-sugar levels. Dr. Mark Pereira (Harvard Medical School) told BBC News, “It appears that breakfast may play an important role in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” The study showed that those who eat breakfast are more likely to eat less at subsequent meals and make far healthier choices than their breakfast-skipping peers, averaging around 100 calories less per day. That means 36,500 fewer calories per year!
Breakfast Eaters Feel More Energized
The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition published a study in 1999 reporting that a high-fiber and moderate to low-carbohydrate breakfast enabled people to have more energy throughout the day. When compared to high-carbohydrate or high-fat breakfast choices, those who consumed higher fiber in relation to carbohydrates and fat felt more energy for longer throughout the day.
Breakfast Eaters Have Lower Cholesterol
Even without eating high-carbohydrate oatmeal-based breakfast choices. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Reported that those who skip breakfast are also prone to high cholesterol levels. The study also reported that those who skip breakfast tend to be more insulin resistant.
Breakfast Eaters are Smarter
The American Journal of Adolescent Health reported a study of 319 teens and found that those who ate a high-energy breakfast tended to remember better and have sharper short-term memories. However, a high-calorie breakfast tended to hinder concentration.
Breakfast Eaters Eat Better Foods
A study in the 2011 Journal of Nutrition Research and Practice reported that those who consume breakfast regularly tend to consume foods lower in fat, calories, refined sugars, and higher in essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Breakfast Eaters Eat Better Breakfast Foods
It all makes sense too when you realize that the less expensive homemade breakfast alternatives often include fresh fruit, eggs, oatmeal, and high-fiber grains and cereal products. Foods like whole grain oatmeal, brown rice, and pearl barley make for excellent breakfast choices, especially when paired with protein choices or fruit. Numerous studies detail the health benefits of eating these common breakfast foods, including lower cholesterol, better insulin response, better concentration and memory, and smaller waistlines. Further, a healthy breakfast high in essential nutrients like fiber, minerals, and vitamins A, C, and E tend to be more resistant to health complications like colds, viruses, and even cancer.
5 Easy Near-Instant Breakfast Choices You Can Make At Home
1. Oatmeal Bombs
These are simple, easy, and far cheaper and healthier than the instant oatmeal packets found in stores. Unlike the chemical and sugar-laden instant oatmeal packs, you can control the ingredients 100%. This recipe should make 40 to 50 oatmeal bombs in about 20 minutes. With these ingredients, you can spend about 25 cents per serving and still incorporate raw frozen fruit and healthy fats.
You Will Need:
1 box of 100 fold-lock-top sandwich bags or reusable containers
3 pounds of 1-minute oats (1 carton)
1 stick of butter (½ cup) or healthy oil alternative (try grapeseed, sunflower, or coconut)
2 pounds frozen fruit or equivalent of bananas (1-ounce cinnamon is another option)
1/8 cup salt
½ cup sugar (optional) (or maple syrup or sweetener of choice, try a pureed date or fig syrup too)
4 Drinking glasses
Freezer-safe storage Container
Assemble the ingredients and supplies on a clean counter.
Arrange the four drinking glasses and line with the sandwich bags.
Measure into the sandwich-lined glasses ¼ cup oatmeal, ¼ cup fruit (about 1/4 th of a banana thinly sliced or berries) or one dash cinnamon, two to four dashes salt (about 1/8th of a teaspoon), 1 teaspoon sugar (or maple syrup), and ½ teaspoon butter or oil of choice.
Tie up all four bags with one single-loop knot each, so that they are easy to open, and drop them into your storage container. Repeat until you run out of oatmeal.
When serving, untie the baggie and dump the ingredients into a heat-safe bowl, preferably glass, like a coffee mug. Add ¼ cup boiling water and stir until desired thickness is achieved.
Alternately, add ½ cup to 1-cup cold water or juice to a blender with the oatmeal to make a smoothie.
Consider other healthy additions like chopped nuts, coconut flakes, or flax-seed or meal to boost fiber, protein, and nutrition.
Remember to rinse out the cup right away to make cleaning a breeze later on.
2. Breakfast Smoothie Bombs
While quick on their own, getting out all the ingredients and putting it away when you are already in a rush can seem a daunting task. Further, those diet smoothies in a can or pre-mixed often have too many chemicals and sugar in them to actually be of any real benefit to weight loss, weight management, or other health concerns. Instead, make your own smoothie bombs in much the same way as the oatmeal bombs. By spending 20 minutes on prep over the weekend can significantly boost time come breakfast during the week. Try these smoothie bombs to simplify your healthy breakfast plan.
You Will Need:
1 canister protein powder (Garden of Life, Nutiva, and Egg Powder are excellent choices)
1 pound frozen berries (preferably blueberries or raspberries as they are low glycemic-impact fruits)
1 pound flax seeds or flax meal
½ gallon nut milk or rice milk frozen into ice cubes
1-pint essential fatty acid (flax oil, fish oil, hemp oil, or safflower oil)
100 fold-lock-top sandwich bags
4 short drinking glasses
Measuring cups and spoons
Freezer-Safe storage container
Arrange ingredients on a clean counter and line glasses with sandwich bags.
Carefully measure and dump in one serving of protein mix into each baggie.
Next, add ¼ cup berries, ¼ of a banana sliced thinly, 4 milk ice cubes, 1 serving flax seeds or meal, and 1 teaspoon essential fatty acid.
Carefully tie the baggies up and place upright into the freezer container.
Add one baggie along with 1-cup or more water and blend until smooth. Rinse or soak blender cup to make cleaning easy.
Alternatively, go ahead and blend each one up and store it in a freezer-safe drinking container. Then, simply pull them out and drink them as they thaw.
3. Parfait Bombs
This concept is similar to the ideas above. Simply put these together and freeze or refrigerate for quick breakfasts or snacks during the week. If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, simply substitute the yogurt with another creamy alternative such as vegan yogurt or very thick, frozen protein powder blended with bananas.
You Will Need:
1 pound frozen berries
1-quart yogurt, Greek yogurt, homemade vegan yogurt, or additional bananas blended with protein powder from recipe two.
4 cups homemade granola or gluten-free cereal
Measuring Cups and Spoons
100 fold-lock-top sandwich bags*
8 small plastic glasses*
1 freezer-safe storage container*
*Or you can use freezable storage containers and the baggies to layer the ingredients into and seal the dry granola or cereal into a separate baggy to add later.
Assemble ingredients onto a clean counter and line glasses or tumblers with baggies. If you are planning to eat directly from the sealable plastic tumblers or glasses, then you will not need the baggies.
Use the measuring spoons and cups to carefully measure out a proper serving size of each ingredient plus ¼ of the banana cut into thin slices. Remember to leave off the granola or cereal and store it into a separate baggie.
Layer the ingredients a little at a time, starting with the yogurt or protein-banana mix. ( Protein-Banana mix – Blend one overripe banana with 1 serving protein mix and about ¼ cup nut milk or juice to create a yogurt-like consistency per serving.)
Place one serving of granola or cereal into a sandwich bag and tie it shut. Store these in a separate zipper bag or along with the frozen parfaits.
Place tumblers or cups into the freezer and freeze until the night before or pull out of the freezer before getting ready in the morning. If you do decide to line the tumblers with sandwich bags, freeze them solid before removing from the containers. Carefully remove them from the sandwich bags before thawing to make a nice layered breakfast, dessert, or snack.
4. Breakfast Burritos with a Fruit Cup
This recipe takes more than 20 minutes to whip up, but it is worth it. Homemade breakfast burritos are simple enough to make and the hour spent in the kitchen once per week can certainly make eating a healthy, protein-packed breakfast too quick and easy. Pair it with a fruit cup for a quick and easy balanced breakfast.
You Will Need:
1 20-count package of tortillas of your choice
1 dozen eggs
Oil or pan spray
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to season them
1 pound shredded cheese (optional)
1 jar salsa or pesto
1 pound baby spinach leaves
100 fold-lock-top sandwich bags
1 stainless skillet
Measuring cups and spoons
A plate or cutting board to work on
Assemble ingredients on a clean countertop.
Place the skillet on the stove on medium heat, resist the urge to cook at a higher temp, anything higher and the eggs will stick and burn before they get done cooking.
Spray the skillet with oil and crack all twelve eggs into it. Stir from the bottom, folding gently, every 30 seconds, until eggs reach desired done-ness and there is no shininess or sliminess to them.
Turn off heat and add a few dashes of salt, pepper, and the optional garlic and onion powders until they taste right.
Measure out ¼-cup of eggs onto a tortilla, top with a tablespoon of salsa or pesto, three to four spinach leaves, and about 1/16th of a cup of shredded cheese.
Fold the tortilla over the ingredients halfway and sort of pull them into the center of the tortilla using the side of the tortilla. Then, fold the bottom and top down and roll it up.
Place the burrito into a sandwich bag and finish repeat the process with remaining ingredients until you run out of tortillas or eggs. One burrito per serving.
Add a 1/4-cup of frozen berries, apple dices, and bananas into a second baggie. Tie it up and add it to the burrito baggie.
Now, tie up the burrito baggie and freeze them together in a freezer-safe storage container. Pull out one burrito per meal, unwrap from the plastic and set the fruit aside. Pop the burrito into a skillet, microwave, or toaster own to reheat. (Heating times vary.) Serve the fruit and reheated burrito together for a balanced breakfast.
5. Pancakes and Other Treats
This breakfast alternative is even easier since it is a treat breakfast, you don’t actually need to prep it ahead of time in batches. Instead, anytime you make pancakes, waffles, sausage, or eggs, make a double batch and freeze serving-sized portions into sandwich bags. This makes it easy to pull out a sandwich baggie of eggs, sausage, pancakes, waffles, french toast, or other goodies for a treat item on another day when you don’t have time to cook. Other options include frozen fruit and nut mixes, homemade trail mixes, homemade granola mixes with nuts, and even leftovers from other meals. And think, these meals are for just pennies per serving and cost far less than the precooked chemical versions in the grocery store which are laden with sugars, corn syrup, trans fats, and other fattening ingredients.
Healthy Breakfast Choices As Easy As 1, 2, 3
We are all short on time as our hectic lives demand we work more to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living. We can easily trim the fat off of our budgets and waists by prepping healthy breakfast choices ahead of time and freezing them. Make your lifestyle choices easier with these seven tips and five healthy breakfast recipe choices above. Weight loss and maintenance is deeply tied to solving other health complications and feeling vibrant and energetic. Eating a right-fat, low-carbohydrate, and low-sugar breakfast can certainly boost our efforts, whatever our health concerns may be.