September is Better Breakfast Month and a great time to think about how we start our days and fuel our bodies and minds. Eating breakfast is like fueling up your engine to do what it needs to do… physically and mentally. Your body needs fuel (food) to be able to move and think. It also helps improve memory and concentration, and it can lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. But even with this in mind, eating breakfast can be a challenge sometimes. Below are some of the the common breakfast barriers I hear from my clients.
- “I'm not hungry in the morning.”
If you have not been in the habit of eating breakfast for a while, you can always start slow and let your body begin to form the routine of a morning meal. A small snack of fruit and nuts or a cup of yogurt can provide protein and energy. As you develop the habit, you may find your body telling you it's hungry, and eating breakfast will become something your body desires and enjoys!
- “Won't skipping breakfast help me lose weight?”
Studies show people who eat breakfast reduce their chances of overeating during the day and have better success with managing weight. It also boosts your metabolism and helps you to eat more intuitively throughout the day, listening to your hunger cues and honoring them without restriction.
- “Mornings are chaotic and I have no time for breakfast.”
Mornings can be a hurried, fast-paced time in many homes, trying to get out the door to work or school. However, a healthy breakfast doesn't have to take much time. Here are some quick and easy balanced breakfast ideas:
- Whole grain cereal with berries and milk
- Yogurt and fruit sprinkled with sliced almonds
- Whole wheat toast, peanut butter, and sliced banana
- Instant oatmeal with almond butter and blueberries mixed in
- For a grab and go idea: try string cheese, a granola bar and an apple
Another idea is to food prep your breakfasts on the weekend. Overnight oat jars or baked oatmeal can be ready to go for weekday breakfasts. Egg bites can be made in muffin tins using eggs and your favorite add ins. All you have to do is reheat and enjoy!
Below is a baked oatmeal recipe I tried this week and LOVED! My whole family (littles included) loved this easy and delicious breakfast. Bonus points for this one bowl recipe…easy clean up.
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
- 2 ¾ cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 2 whole eggs
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted + more for topping (omit for nut-free)
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish with butter or with oil spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
- Transfer to the prepared 9×9-inch dish. Top with additional toasted pecans, if desired.
- Bake for 30-34 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Top with a drizzle of maple syrup or yogurt if desired
Recipe source: https://therealfooddietitians.com/pumpkin-baked-oatmeal/
Post and photos by Stephanie Long, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator
If you need additional help planning healthy breakfasts, or if there are persistent issues at play such as an eating disorder or disordered eating, we would love to come along side you and help you be the healthiest version of you possible. To schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian or eating disorder counselor click here. We have in-person nutrition counseling in Collingswood, NJ or online.