Begin with Breakfast

Young women's version of this guide
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Healthy breakfast. Yogurt with granola and berriesEven though it can be hard to make time for breakfast when you’re rushing to school in the morning, there are many benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast will give you the energy you need to perform your best at school and in sports.

Why should I eat breakfast?

Research studies have shown that teens who eat breakfast regularly:

  • Do better in school than those who don’t
  • Get more vitamins, mineral, and fiber than teens who skip breakfast
  • Are less likely to be overweight than teens who skip breakfast

What should I eat for breakfast?

When choosing a healthy breakfast, aim to include foods from a variety of food groups. Having a meal with all the types of macronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, will help you to stay full and feel satisfied. Whole grain carbohydrates that are typically eaten at breakfast include whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and whole grain bread. Foods such as eggs, peanut butter, nuts, and low-fat dairy are all great choices as they have both proteins and healthy fats.

Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas:

Option 1:

  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Sliced bananas or berries

Option 2:

  • Eggs scrambled with salsa and shredded cheese
  • Whole wheat English muffin

Option 3:

  • Banana Nut Smoothie (see recipe below)
  • Whole grain toast

Option 4:

  • Scrambled Egg & Tomato Sandwich (see recipe below)
  • Orange (or piece of your favorite fruit)

Option 5:

  • Plain oatmeal made with low-fat milk topped with nuts
  • Fruit

Option 6:

  • String cheese
  • Granola bar
  • Banana

What if I don’t have time for breakfast?

Many teens think that they don’t have enough time in the morning to make and eat a meal. If you’re running short on time, remember that some breakfast is better than no breakfast at all. If you eat on the go. This may include foods such as granola bars, fruit, yogurt smoothies, small cartons of low-fat milk or soy milk, an small box of cereal, or trail mix.

Below are some breakfast ideas that you can take with you if you don’t have time to eat at home. You can pack nonperishable foods such as fresh fruit and granola bars in your bag the night before and just grab anything perishable out of the refrigerator in the morning on your way out the door.

  • Low-fat yogurt with granola
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Low-fat cottage cheese cup with a piece of fruit
  • Yogurt smoothie with a granola bar
  • English muffin with almond butter and a carton of low-fat milk
  • Whole grain cereal (in a to-go container) with low-fat milk and a piece of fruit

Breakfast Recipes

The following breakfast recipes are from our “Quick and Easy Recipes for Teens” Cookbook:

Banana Nut Smoothie Scrambled Egg and Tomato Sandwich

 

If you’re concerned about breakfast, here’s a tip on how to bring it up with your health care provider: “Do I really have to eat breakfast every morning?”