4 Quick Breakfast Secrets

Don't get fed up. Get up and at 'em with easy, filling morning meals

Boy eating cereal for quick breakfast
Inti St. Clair / Getty Images

Is your family active from the moment your alarms go off in the morning? If so, you probably need to prepare some lightning-quick breakfasts. All of us have to start the day with a good meal—preferably something we can put together pronto.

Here are some tips and tricks to make sure your whole family has a breakfast that's healthy and satisfying, and prepares you for a day of school, work, and after-school activities or sports practice.

Make Ahead

Hard-boiled eggs are kid-friendly, and a good source of protein and some B vitamins—both of which are smart choices in the morning. But quick to make, they're not.

Cook a batch of six or eight of them in the evening or on a weekend, then stash them in the fridge where anyone can grab one for an easy breakfast (or lunch, or snack).

Here are some recipes you can make ahead, freeze or refrigerate, then warm them up in the toaster or microwave at breakfast time.

Don't Forget the Protein

Prevent a mid-morning energy crash by making sure everyone's breakfast includes protein. This could mean cereal fortified with protein, served with milk (cow's, soy, or almond); Greek yogurt; string cheese; whole-grain toast with nut butter or cheese; sliced nuts on cereal, oatmeal, or pancakes; or eggs.

Poaching an egg in the microwave takes less than a minute, and scrambling a few on the stove is almost as fast.

You can even chop up last night's chicken and vegetables into a quick omelet or egg scramble, or eat them as is. Better yet, save time by doing the chopping the night before when you're putting away the dinner leftovers.

Keep the Right Stuff in Stock

You know you need the basics, like bread, cereal, milk, and eggs. You can also speed up breakfast prep with pantry staples like peanut butter or other nut butters, chopped nuts, quick-cooking oats, and no-sugar-added applesauce or other pureed fruits (eat them as is or use in baking).

Skip the juice (which can have added sugar) in favor of water, milk, or whole fresh and frozen fruit.

Speaking of fruit, fill your freezer with frozen fruit whenever it goes on sale. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies (you can use it in place of ice) and can be mixed with plain yogurt, oatmeal, or tossed in cereal. It's also a major time-saver because you don't have to rinse or chop the fruit. Plus, stored properly in the freezer it will keep for a long time.

The Magic Number

Let your kids know they can eat anything they want for breakfast, as long as they check off the Big Three: a fruit or vegetable, something with protein, and a complex, whole grain carbohydrate such as bread, waffles, cereal, or oatmeal.

This winning combination helps you start the morning with the nutrients and energy we need for our busy days, and it doesn't have to take hours—or even more than a few minutes—to prepare.

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