- Healthy breakfast ideas include veggie omelets, loaded oatmeal, and kefir smoothies.
- A healthy breakfast is one that combines protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
- If you want to lose weight, eat a healthy breakfast with fiber and protein to keep you satiated.
As the saying goes, breakfast is in fact the most important meal of the day — but only if it’s a healthy one.
“Breakfast is the fuel that jumpstarts your day and gets your metabolism going,” says Eleana Kaidanian, a registered dietitian with the private practice Long Island Nutritionist.
Choosing the right type of breakfast is just as important as eating it. For example, a 2018 study found that eating a poor-quality breakfast, such as commercially baked goods, was linked to poorer physical and mental health.
So, what makes a healthy breakfast? Kaidanian recommends choosing foods with lean protein, high-fiber carbs, and healthy fats, for a well-balanced breakfast.
Here are 20 healthy breakfast ideas that are quick and easy to make, with plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
1. Yogurt bowl with berries
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, protein, and probiotics. Meanwhile, berries add flavor, fiber, and antioxidants. Together, they make a healthy and delicious breakfast combo.
How to make it: Kaidanian recommends opting for plain, low-fat Greek yogurt and topping it with a handful of berries, like blueberries or raspberries. She says you can sprinkle some hemp seeds or raw oats on top for more texture and fiber.
2. Tomato ricotta toast
If you’re in the mood for a light and fresh breakfast sandwich, try making tomato ricotta toast. Kaidanian recommends opting for 100% whole grain bread for an extra boost of fiber. White bread is made with refined flour, which is stripped of its fiber and nutrients while processing.
How to make it: Spread low-fat ricotta cheese on whole-grain toast. Top it with slices of grilled or raw tomato and season it with salt, pepper, and dried herbs like basil or oregano.
3. Veggie egg muffins
Veggie egg muffins offer both protein and fiber, says Kaidanian. Eggs are a powerhouse of protein and nutrients like vitamins A, B2, B12, calcium,
, and phosphorus.
How to make it: Beat eggs and then add toppings of your choice, like mushrooms, green onions, jalapenos, or bell peppers, says Kaidanian. Bake them in a cupcake tray for 20 minutes at 350 ºF. Kaidanian recommends making a batch on the weekend and then warming up a couple every morning.
4. Fruit with nut butter
If you’re in a rush, slice up some fruit and dip it in natural nut butter, says Kaidanian. Nut butter offer protein and healthy fats, while fruits offer fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
How to make it: Slice some fruit, like a banana, apple, or strawberries, and dip it in peanut or almond butter. Check the nutrition label on the nut butter to ensure it doesn’t have any added sugar since consuming lots of added sugar over time increases your risk of
5. Loaded oatmeal
Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, which are digested slowly and keep you fuller for longer, says Kaidanian. They are also a rich source of antioxidants.
How to make it: Kaidanian recommends making the oats with either water, skim milk, or unsweetened plant-based milk. She suggests topping your oatmeal with blueberries, chopped pecans, and a dash of cinnamon, for added nutrition and flavor.
6. Savory oats porridge
If you prefer savory to sweet, try a savory porridge. Add spinach and tomatoes to bump up the vitamin and mineral content and top it with an egg for some protein.
How to make it: Boil steel-cut oats with salt and pepper. Add spinach and tomatoes to it and stir it until the oatmeal is cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes. Top it with a poached or boiled egg for added richness.
7. Avocado toast
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
How to make it: Slice or mash a ripe avocado and spread it on whole-grain toast. Season with salt, pepper, lime, and paprika. Kaidanian recommends adding a hard-boiled or poached egg on top for a protein boost.
8. Quinoa and fruit breakfast salad
Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that is gluten-free and easy to cook. You can pair it with fruit to make a nutritious and filling breakfast salad.
How to make it: Combine berries with chopped mango and 1 cup of boiled quinoa. You can make a simple dressing of honey, lime, and mint leaves to drizzle over the salad, for flavor and added nutrition.
9. Veggie omelet
There are many ways to prepare eggs from scrambled to fried, but whipping up an omelet means you can pack in the veggies. While eggs have gotten a bad reputation for raising cholesterol levels, research has found that eating them isn’t bad for you. In fact, the average healthy adult can eat an egg every day.
How to make it: Beat an egg and add salt and pepper. Pour into a frying pan greased with a little oil. When the egg starts to set, add chopped veggies, like peppers, mushrooms, and onions to it. Once the egg is cooked, fold it in half and take it off the heat.
10. Banana and peanut butter smoothie
If you don’t have time to cook breakfast in the morning, you can whip up a quick smoothie instead of making a meal. Adding bananas not only makes it creamier but also provides potassium while peanut butter offers protein and healthy fats.
How to make it: Kaidanian recommends adding frozen banana, powdered peanuts, ground flaxseed, plain Greek yogurt, and skim milk to a blender with some ice. For a vegan-friendly alternative, replace the yogurt and milk with plant-based options like almond yogurt and soy milk.
11. Tofu scramble
Tofu is a great vegan alternative to scrambled eggs that still packs a protein punch. Its mild flavor lends itself well to seasonings like turmeric and paprika.
How to make it: Scramble firm tofu with a fork and saute it with any vegetables you like. Season with salt, turmeric, and paprika.
12. Chia pudding
Chia seeds absorb liquids, causing them to puff up into a creamy pudding in about 20 minutes. They’re also rich in protein, fiber, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
How to make it: You can make your own chia pudding with either skim milk or unsweetened soy milk, for added protein, says Kaidanian. For a quick morning meal, prep your chia seeds beforehand by combining them with milk in a mason jar and refrigerating them overnight. Kaidanian suggests serving it topped with strawberries or bananas and a dash of cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder, for added fiber and nutrition.
13. Homemade granola
Store-bought granola is often loaded with added sugar, which can add extra calories to your diet and raise your risk of obesity, heart disease, and tooth decay. Instead, make your own granola for a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast that keeps well in the freezer.
How to make it: Combine raw rolled oats with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits of your choice. Add nut butter and a natural sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup, if you like. Bake the mixture for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 ºF, until golden. Eat it plain or sprinkle it over some yogurt.
14. Veggie breakfast bowl
Kaidanian says most people put off eating veggies until lunch or dinner but eating them in the morning packs in healthy carbs and fiber at the beginning of your day for a head start.
How to make it: Toss veggies like sweet potatoes, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes with salt, pepper, and lemon, and roast them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 375 ºF. Kaidanian recommends adding a protein such as quinoa or chickpeas to the bowl to make it more filling and well-balanced.
15. Breakfast burrito
Instead of spending money at the coffee shop every morning, you can make your own healthy breakfast burrito for cheaper. Just opt for 100% whole wheat tortillas, add some protein, like tofu or eggs, and fill it with vegetables of your choice for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
How to make it: Load up your tortilla with a lean protein like spicy chicken, scrambled eggs, or beans and add avocado, peppers, and salsa. Wrap it up and cook it on a greased skillet for a few minutes on each side.
16. Baked berry bowl
Berries contain fiber and antioxidants, which are plant-based compounds that reduce inflammation. You can eat them raw, or try this baked berry bowl.
How to make it: Choose either blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or some combination and place in an oven-safe bowl. Kaidanian suggests adding almond flour, crushed walnuts or ground flaxseed for a boost of protein and healthy fats. Pop it into the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350 ºF, until the berries release their juices.
17. Spinach and cheese bites
As long as you’re mindful of your portion sizes, cheese can be part of a healthy diet thanks to its high protein and calcium content. Plus, low-fat cottage cheese only contains 2.6 grams of fat. Meanwhile, spinach is a good source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.
How to make it: Mix chopped onion, garlic, and spinach with eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Pour the mixture into a greased mini muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes at 375 ºF until golden.
18. Kefir smoothie
Kefir is a fermented milk product containing probiotics, which can aid in digestion, manage blood sugar, and lower blood pressure. It’s extremely versatile and makes for a great smoothie base.
How to make it: Start with plain, low-fat kefir and add a heaping spoon of unsweetened cacao, a heaping spoon of unsweetened peanut powder, half a frozen banana, and a lot of ice, says Kaidanian. For an added boost of fiber and nutrients, she suggests a handful of baby spinach and a teaspoon of ground flaxseed.
19. Beans on toast
Baked beans on toast provide a great balance of protein and fiber. However, avoid canned beans as they can contain a lot of added salt, sugar, preservatives, and chemicals. Instead, make your own at home.
How to make it: Add beans like haricot beans or navy beans to tomato puree and let them simmer over a stovetop for about 30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and smoked paprika. Serve over whole-grain toast.
20. Whole grain waffles
If you’re in the mood for something indulgent, opt for whole-grain waffles instead of those made with refined flour. Refined flour causes blood sugar levels to spike, which means they’ll inevitably crash, leaving you hungry sooner rather than later.
How to make it: Kaidanian recommends making a batter with whole wheat flour and almond flour. Add two eggs, mashed banana, and a cup of unsweetened applesauce, instead of sugar and butter. You can also find protein waffle mixes at your local supermarket that just require adding water to the mix.
Eating a healthy breakfast can set you up for the day by boosting your energy levels and giving you the nutrients you need to stay focused and alert throughout your morning. Choosing fiber-rich options can also improve heart health and prevent diabetes.
According to Kaidanian, eating a healthy breakfast can also help you make better food-related decisions over the rest of the day.