If your idea of breakfast is a cup of coffee, you may want to rethink your morning meal. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why is that? Not only does a good breakfast rev your metabolism and get your day started off right, but it’s also good for you. Skipping breakfast is associated with nutrient gaps, including calcium, iron and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D, and these important nutrients commonly consumed at breakfast are not made up later in the day.
The Right Mix for a Nutrient-packed Breakfast
Done right, a good breakfast will satisfy your hunger for at least 2-3 hours, keeping you full until your next meal or between-meal snack. It should include a mix of carbohydrates, which give you energy to fuel your body, plus protein to support muscle and immune health.
The Power of Protein
Protein is particularly important at breakfast time. That’s because unlike carbohydrates and fats, your body can’t store extra protein – it needs to get a steady diet of protein sources throughout the day, starting first thing in the morning.
Most people pile on the protein at dinner, with steak or chicken entrees at the center of the plate. Ideally, we should be getting this important nutrient at every meal and snack throughout the day, aiming for about 20-35 grams for each meal. Keep protein-rich foods and protein drinks on hand, like BOOST® High Protein Nutritional Drink, to have as a snack or to help round out a nutrient-packed breakfast.
Older adults need to pay extra attention to protein, since we need more of it than we did when we were younger. For example, a healthy 65-year-old weighing 150 pounds needs about 75 grams of protein per day, compared to 55 grams of protein for an adult over the age of 19, weighing the same. (Learn more about your individual needs here.)
Five Protein-Packed Breakfast Ideas
A nutrient-packed breakfast should be non-negotiable, whether you have time for a sit-down meal or need something quick to take on the go. Here are five protein breakfast ideas that will satisfy your stomach and tantalize your taste buds:
- Make a Protein Shake. The ultimate easy breakfast, a high-protein shake is great when time is tight, and you have some produce that you need to use up. A high-speed blender is best, but a food processor or immersion blender can work just as well. Use milk or BOOST® High Protein Nutritional Drink as a protein base, then add whatever fruits and/or vegetables you have on hand to give you some vitamins and minerals.
- Prepare Overnight Oats. Another easy breakfast option is one that you prep the night before. Preparing oatmeal with milk or BOOST® Nutritional Drink not only increases the protein but gives you extra flavor and creaminess. Add in whatever toppings or mix-ins you’d like. For a tasty treat that combines the goodness of oats with BOOST® High Protein Cinnabon® Bakery Inspired Flavored Nutritional Drink, try this recipe for Cinnabon® Overnight Oats.
- Make a Yogurt Parfait. Another easy breakfast idea that requires little to no prep work is a cup of yogurt with chia seeds. Greek or Icelandic skyr have more protein than traditional yogurt. And a topping of chia seeds provides crunch and about 4 grams of protein per two tablespoons. Add some berries or sliced bananas for some sweetness and extra nutrition.
- Prepare High Protein Pancakes. Whether you eat them fresh or make once to freeze and reheat later, this pancake recipe using BOOST® High Protein Very Vanilla Nutritional Drink to punch up the protein and add some delicious vanilla flavor. Whole wheat flour is used as the base and gives these breakfast flapjacks extra fiber and texture.
- Make a Breakfast Sandwich. If a hot breakfast is what you crave, save a trip to the drive-through and make your own egg sandwich. Just toast an English muffin (you’ll get more fiber and a little more protein if it’s whole wheat) and cook up 1-2 eggs. Melt some cheese and add a slice of ham or turkey, and you’ve got a breakfast sandwich in the palm of your hand!