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Build a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast — it's the most important meal of the day! We hear that a lot, and in many ways it's true. Think of yourself as a car. After a long night of sleeping, your fuel tank is empty. Breakfast is the fuel that gets you going so you can hit the road.

People who eat breakfast:

  • kick-start their metabolism
  • tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day
  • tend to make better food choices throughout the day
  • do better in school 
  • are more active

It can help to plan ahead and have quick choices on hand. Sometimes you have to eat on the go. Be sure to include protein and fiber for staying power, and stay away from sugary choices.

Healthy Breakfast Options

If you're having trouble deciding what to eat, check out these options. Choose one item from two or more food groups to get the most out of your breakfast.


  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 cup melon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canned peaches or pears, in own juice or lite syrup
  • 15 grapes
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit

Dairy (a good source of protein):

  • 1 cup skim or 1% milk
  • 1 oz. or 1 slice low-fat cheese
  • 6-8 oz. low-fat fruit yogurt
  • Low-fat string cheese
  • Lite yogurt smoothie
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Grain (choose whole grains when possible):

  • 3/4 cup whole-grain cereal with 3 grams fiber or more
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread
  • 1/2 whole-grain English muffin or bagel
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 whole-grain (corn or whole-wheat) tortilla
  • 1 small (4-inch) whole-grain pita
  • 1 whole-grain waffle or pancake
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
  • 1 oz. lean ham or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dried beans, cooked
  • 2 soy sausages
  • 1/4 cup of tofu

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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