Although mornings can be busy, making time for breakfast is important, especially for children and teens. Eating within 1-2 hours of getting up in the morning helps to break-the-fast from the night before, and sets children and teens up for success throughout the day. Ideally, a breakfast meal includes foods from at least three food groups (a protein or dairy, a fruit or vegetable and grain, most often being a whole grain) from MyPlate and is low in added sugars, salt and saturated fat. Here are a few tips:
- Make small changes to your usual breakfast options to find a healthy eating style that works for you. The #MyPlateMyWins at Breakfast video features small changes you can make to improve your choices at breakfast.
- If a sit-down breakfast doesn't work for your family, have granola bars, cheese sticks, yogurt, and fruit in an easy to grab place for family members to take with them on their way out the door.
- Everything you eat and drink matters. Choose foods and drinks that can help your family be healthier now and as they grow.
- Choose whole-grains. For example, choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid. If your family enjoys sweetened cereals, try mixing them half and half with whole grain cereal. Add fruit, such as peaches, blueberries or strawberries for extra nutrients. Top with low-fat/fat-free milk.
- If eating breakfast at a restaurant, read and compare the nutrition information. Choose options lower in calories, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium.
- Make egg burritos ahead of time and reheat in the morning.
- Save time and money by making this Egg & Cheese Muffin at home.
- 1 whole wheat English muffin, cut in half and toasted
- 1 egg
- 1 slice American or Cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh spinach leaves, (optional)
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Gently wash spinach under cold running water. If spinach is marked "pre-washed" or "ready-to-eat", use the spinach without further washing.
- Spray a coffee mug or small bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Crack egg into mug and beat with fork.
- Wash hands with soap and water after cracking raw egg.
- Microwave egg for approximately 1 minute. (Cooking times may vary.)
- Remove cooked egg from mug and place on one half of the toasted English muffin. Place cheese slice on egg.
- Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Place fresh spinach leaves on top of cheese, if desired.
- Top with remaining half of English muffin.
- Serving Size (1 muffin):
- Calories 295
- Total Fat 15g
- Saturated Fat 8g
- Sodium 450mg
- Total Carbohydrates 24g
- Fiber 4g
- Protein 18g
Breakfast for Learning: Why the Morning Meal Matters, American Academy of Pediatrics
MyPlate, United States Department of Agriculture
This article has been peer-reviewed. It was reviewed and updated in 2023.