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Meal prep your breakfasts to make your mornings easier and healthier!

by Katie Frizzell

It is proven that those who eat breakfast have better concentration, are more alert, remember things easier, and have more motivation. Also, by making a healthy breakfast choice, you are more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day and are an overall healthier person.

A complaint I hear about breakfast is that oftentimes people eat breakfast but get really hungry mid-morning. Although healthy snacks are okay for these situations, many people do not have that kind of time scheduled into their day, such as students who are in class and those who are working a shift and can’t just start snacking whenever they get hungry. It is important to eat a balanced breakfast to hold you over until lunch. When you get hungry mid-morning and your blood sugar is low, you can become groggy and irritable, and that makes you unable to be a good worker or student.

Here are the important components of a good breakfast:

  • High protein and healthy fats to keep you full longer
    • High protein examples: eggs, lean sausage and bacon, lean ground meat, protein powder, Greek yogurt
    • Healthy fat examples: avocado, nuts, nut butter, egg yolk, cheese
  • Natural carbohydrates to give you energy
    • Fruit contains natural sugars to give you energy
    • Whole grains such as oatmeal, whole grain breads
    • Starchy vegetables (such as potatoes) contain natural sugars to give you energy

Follow the MyPlate for the healthiest and most balanced breakfasts:

  • 1 lean protein choice
  • 1 whole grain choice
    • whole grains have fiber and keep you full longer than regular refined grains
    • a starchy vegetable such as potatoes can be used in place of the grain
  • 1 fruit or vegetable (or both!)
  • 1 dairy (or calcium rich choice)
    • Such as milk, yogurt, or cheese
    • Dairy-free/plant-based dairies can be used here if you have a dairy sensitivity, just make sure what you choose is rich in calcium

Another common problem regarding breakfast is simply being able to eat it. Waking up is a struggle in itself but having to wake up then cook breakfast is too much trouble for a lot of people. For people like me that just can’t get up in time to cook breakfast, convenience foods and fast food become staples. The problem with these is the expense on your wallet and your health. You could save a lot of money by eating food from home, and you can save even more by making food from scratch rather than buying frozen breakfast meals. It’s no secret that convenience foods and fast foods are high in sodium and fat, which we know are not good for us.

Preparing breakfast ahead of time can save you time in the mornings and cut back on expenses. Meal prepping simply means taking time ahead to prepare meals for your future self. This can mean making the entire meal ahead or simply prepping ingredients ahead so cooking doesn’t take as long. Whichever is your style, meal prepping can save us a ton of time and heartache, and can help us to eat healthier, too. I am sharing my favorite healthy breakfast meal prep with you: egg frittatas!

 

Egg Frittatasclose up of egg fritattas

Yield: 12 frittatas | Serving Size: 2 frittatas | About 350cal per serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen large eggs
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ c real bacon bits
  • ¾ c of chopped white onion
  • ¾ c of chopped bell pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fold in cheese, bacon bits, and vegetables.
  4. Spray a 12-holder muffin tin with cooking spray.
  5. Divide egg mixture among the 12 holes.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until middle of frittata is mostly firm.

Recipe Tips:

  • You can use any cheese, meat, or vegetables you want to make it your own.
  • These can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. To reheat them, just microwave for 30-60 seconds.
  • These are good served with hot sauce, taco sauce, or salsa.
  • Serve with whole grain toast and/or fruit on the side for a balanced MyPlate breakfast.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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