The other day, I was shopping at my local grocery store and walked through the cereal aisle. As a child, cereal was one of my favorite breakfast items. As an adult and a college student studying nutrition, however, I looked at these classic brands with a critical eye. 22…24…25 grams of added sugar? Per serving? You bet I was shocked after looking at the cereals’ nutritional info. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that <10% of the total calories from food servings come from added sugar. Most of the cereals have more than twice the amount! For people who want to eat healthier in 2021, these sugary cereals can place a wrinkle in their morning meal. If you want to boost your breakfast, here are some tips to ensure the most important meal of the day is a nutritionally dense one.
1. Switch up your sugar sources
For people who have a sweet tooth (like me), there are ways to satisfy that craving. You can look at nutrition labels of breakfast products and choose items with less than 10% of calories from added sugar per serving. What I suggest, however, is to change your sources. Fruits are wonderful natural carb sources and are filled with nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and folate. You can blend berries with water or almond milk into a smoothie, squeeze juice from fresh oranges, add apples and bananas to oatmeal, or cook up some whole wheat pancakes with blueberries. The possibilities are virtually endless!
2. Add a savory twist to your meals
Savory breakfasts are also a delicious way to start the day, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can cook an egg and tomato frittata, a tofu stir-fry with onions and veggies, avocado toast with cracked pepper and lime juice, or a breakfast salad with plant-based sausages, lettuce, and spinach. Whether you like meat and potatoes or prefer a vegan/vegetarian diet, breakfast can be easy as combining ingredients together. Fit.Digital has a wonderful breakfast pizza and spinach & ham quiche recipe to brighten up your day every time. All these dishes can be cooked up in under 30 minutes.
3. Protein and fiber are your friends
Breakfasts don’t have to be carb-heavy. One major benefit of adding protein or fiber to a dish will make you feel fuller for much longer. Protein sources don’t have to be bacon, eggs, or sausages if you are going for a plant-based diet. Adding peanut butter to high-fiber oatmeal or smearing it on a whole-grain toast, or eating yogurt with chia seeds or chopped nuts are great examples. Black beans can be cooked with sweet potatoes into a hash and spread onto a whole-wheat wrap. Again, there are endless possibilities. Waking Up Right Your meals don’t have to be the same every time. It takes some creativity to create breakfast meals that you enjoy, but taking the time to figure out likes and dislikes will make your mornings a little brighter. Thumbnail credit from Brooke Lark from Unsplash