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Breakfast Ideas for Busy Families


What do top sports nutritionists recommend for the most important meal of the day, breakfast?

To make life easy for a family always on the go, we've compiled a list of breakfast ideas from some top sports nutritionists:

Leslie Bonci Some easy choices for us busy moms include:

  • Whole grain cereal with milk and fruit 
  • Egg sandwich: whole wheat toast or English muffin with an egg cooked in the microwave and a slice of low-fat cheese, paired with fruitYogurt, granola and berries
  • Yogurt mixed with high-fiber cereal (like Fiber-One) and berries
  • Smoothies using a balanced meal-replacement formula, milk, ice, peanut butter and banana (or other favorite fruit)

Kat Barefield suggests:

  • Oatmeal with milk, almonds and fruit 
  • Smoothie with Greek yogurt, milk, fruit and granola 
  • Breakfast wrap of eggs, ham, salsa in a whole wheat tortilla
  • Grab-and-go low-fat chocolate milk and a small bag of cereal, nuts, and dried fruit, or 
  • Banana muffin with peanut butter or other nut butter and a glass of low-fat milk, or soy milk. 
  • If really in a hurry, whole grain cereal in a plastic baggy, milk in a shaker bottle and whatever fruit is on hand.

Valerie Berkowitz came up with this list of breakfast ideas:

  • Eggs with spinach broccoli and cheese 
  • Peanut butter in celery or banana boats 
  • Whey or soy protein shake with added fresh fruit, cottage cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit
  • Oatmeal pancakes made with protein powder or topped with peanut butter, 
  • French toast sprinkled with cinnamon and turkey franks

Jill Castle recommends:

  • oatmeal made with skim milk topped with banana and walnuts
  • peanut butter toast and OJ
  • low fat yogurt, fruit and granola.

Dave Ellis suggested an egg with cheese and peanut butter on toast (animal, dairy and vegetable protein) 

Jennifer McDaniel recommends:

  • Peanut butter on a whole-wheat hot dog bun with a banana sandwiched inside
  • Greek yogurt + Whole Grain Cereal + Berries 
  • Milk/Yogurt + Flax-seed + Mixed Fruit smoothie
  • Egg & Cheese + Whole Wheat Pita + Sliced apple on the side 
  • Soy/milk + Oatmeal + Dried fruit

Allison Maurer suggests:

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk
  • Yogurt with fruit
  • Bowl of cereal with a glass of chocolate milk 
  • Traditional breakfast foods such as eggs, toast, oatmeal, etc. 

Lindsey Remmers recommends mixing and matching any of the following: 

Whole-Grains & Fruit: 

  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • 100% whole-grain toast with peanut butter and banana or raisins
  • Banana roll-ups (whole-wheat tortilla, banana, peanut butter, honey)
  • Breakfast burritos on whole-grain tortillas
  • Whole-grain frozen waffles or pancakes
  • 100% whole-wheat English muffins
  • Whole-grain cereals with less than 10g sugar per serving and at least 2g fiber per serving. Great cereal options (not exhaustive): Life, Kix, Quaker Whole Hearts. Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats, Raisin Bran, Kashi, Whole-grain Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Wheaties, Kellogg's Smart Start, Honey Bunches of Oats, Corn Chex
All Fruits


Dairy & Protein: 

  • Milk
  • Chobani Champions yogurts or other Greek yogurts
  • Eggs (try making them in the microwave!)
  • String cheese

Brad Taliancich's choices for breakfast include:  

  • Whole wheat bagel or toast with peanut butter
  • Meal replacement shakes made with water
  • Smoothie with frozen fruit and milk
  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Oatmeal and scrambled eggs

Tracy Bowman suggests the following breakfast meals:

  • Whole wheat waffles with a dab of natural peanut butter
  • Banana with a cup of 1% milk 
  • Greek yogurt with fresh berries or low fat vanilla yogurt with fresh, frozen or canned fruit with crunchy whole grain cereal. 
  • Whole Grain cereal with 1% milk and fresh fruit 
  • Whole wheat bagel with Nutella or Natural Peanut butter
  • Kashi or Nature Valley Granola Bar with 4 oz 100% orange juice 
  • 2 scrambled eggs and a fresh piece of fruit 
  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread 
  • Breakfast pizza
  • Homemade smoothie made with fresh fruit, cup of steeled oats, skim milk and a sprinkle of vanilla

Cynthia Lair says if you are tired of the same old breakfasts, try something a little different like Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice. All you need is leftover rice, some vegetables, an egg, and about 5-7 minutes.

Nancy Clark encourage student athletes to eat at least three different kinds of foods per meal, such as:

  • Cereal + milk + banana
  • Bagel + peanut butter + yogurtStrawberry smoothie
  • Fruit smoothie (Berries, orange juice, yogurt) + a granola bar
  • Leftover pizza (crust + tomato sauce + cheese)

Top five breakfast combo mentions

  1. Fruit, yogurt and granola or whole grain cereal 
  2. Whole grain cereal with milk and fruit 
  3. Peanut butter and banana 
  4. Peanut butter and toast/hot dog bun/bagel 
  5. Egg with cheese 

Top five breakfast food mentions

  1. Peanut butter 
  2. Eggs 
  3. Milk 
  4. Greek yogurt/yogurt
  5. Oatmeal 

Posted October 27, 2012; reviewed and updated February 10, 2017