If you're focusing on fitness, healthy breakfast ideas are a must. There's a reason why breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day. It's the perfect opportunity to start the morning with a delicious, nutrient-dense meal and set yourself up for a day brimming with energy.
If you’re ready to kickstart your fitness, healthy breakfast recipes or wholesome versions of your favorite indulgent breakfast choices like the ones below are the ideal places to start. Keep reading to learn what makes a healthy breakfast and how to efficiently prep your morning meal, no matter your recipe of choice.
What Makes a Healthy Breakfast?
If you're going to spend more time focused on fitness, healthy breakfast ideas that can take you through the workweek and into the weekend are key. At the most basic level, a healthy breakfast is a combination of foods offering a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Choosing complex carbohydrates is an excellent place to start brainstorming healthy breakfast ideas. Think sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, and quinoa instead of cereal or pastries.
Protein is just as important as the carbohydrates you choose. Your body needs amino acids for various bodily processes, impacting metabolism, muscle growth, blood sugar regulation, and tissue repair. So when choosing your protein, make it count.
Last but not least, healthy fats are a fuel source when your body has worked through carbohydrates, so include some fats to balance out everything on your plate.
The proper ratio of carbs, protein, and fats will depend on whether you're using your breakfast as a pre-workout snack or refueling post-workout. But suppose you're focused on simply setting the tone for your day with a healthy breakfast. In that case, you won't have to worry about getting too specific with macronutrient profiles — but always check with a dietitian for guidance if needed.
Tips for Creating the Perfect Breakfast
Even though none of us can wave a magic wand and instantly have a morning meal on the table, you can come pretty close. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re making the switch to more healthy eating:
- Choose convenience foods wisely: Sometimes we all need a hand in the kitchen. Let's be honest (and realistic) — making everything from scratch isn't always feasible, especially if you have little ones. Save time by choosing foods that provide plenty of bang for your buck, like a clean label plant-based protein or a simple ingredient granola mix.
- Meal prep when possible: Taking a few hours on the weekend can save you oodles of time during the week and help make mornings less stressful. Think about batch cooking pancakes or waffles and storing them in the freezer or preparing a large batch of quinoa for breakfast burritos or morning scrambles.
- Keep it simple: Save the complicated breakfast recipes for the weekend. Simple breakfast recipes save you time, are budget-friendly, and can be just as delicious as fussier breakfast meals. We promise you can find quick and easy recipes everyone can get excited about!
Supercharge Your Fitness Routine: Healthy Breakfast Ideas
A breakfast meal can make or break your day. If you're focused on improving your fitness routine, healthy breakfast recipes are even more important. Try these scrumptious breakfast ideas to fuel you for the week ahead.
Oatmeal is one of those reliable breakfasts you can count on. Perfectly cozy during the cooler months, overnight oats make it possible to enjoy a fiber-rich and nutrient-dense breakfast year-round.
Naturally gluten-free, oatmeal is customizable and easy to prepare. Try adding a spoonful of nut butter for healthy fats, sweetening your oatmeal with maple syrup, or throwing in a handful of berries for an oatmeal bowl bursting with flavor and antioxidants. A scoop of protein powder blends in beautifully, especially overnight oats.
Here are just a few of our favorite flavor combos:
- Peanut butter + dark chocolate chips + maple syrup
- Stewed apples + cinnamon + vanilla bean powder
- Caramelized sliced bananas + shredded coconut + macadamia nut butter
2. Yogurt Parfait
Another super quick option, yogurt parfaits include fresh fruit, homemade granola, and other toppings, making these a particularly healthy breakfast choice. Try swapping in a plant-based Greek yogurt for some extra protein, sprinkling some chia seeds for extra calcium, and finishing with a sprinkle of blueberries, raspberries, or other seasonal berries.
3. Avocado Toast
For a more complete (but still quick and easy) breakfast, you can’t go wrong with avocado toast. Simply add a smear of smashed avocado on whole-grain bread topped with everything bagel seasoning (or hemp seeds) to tick off all the macronutrient boxes without sacrificing flavor.
4. Breakfast Scramble
For days when you need breakfast with a little more oomph, check out Minimalist Baker’s southwest tofu scramble. A lovely change from an omelet, this breakfast scramble is loaded with veggies and goes well with breakfast potatoes — roasted red or sweet potato would be fabulous!
If you’re prioritizing fitness, healthy breakfasts with extra protein are essential, especially if you’re refueling after a workout. A spoonful of quinoa will give you the building blocks your body needs.
Like oatmeal, smoothies and protein shakes are the workhorses of quick and simple breakfast prep. With so many different ingredients and flavor combinations, you can easily find something new to enjoy every morning if you're crunched for time and need an on-the-go breakfast. Smoothies and protein powder go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it's easy to get extra nutrients when you need them.
Here are some smoothie flavor ideas to get you started:
- Dried mulberries + tahini + almond milk
- Bananas + blueberries + almond butter
- Strawberry + bananas + Greek yogurt
6. Protein Pancakes and Waffles
We invite you to think about a delightfully indulgent yet nutritious take on chicken and waffles. Sweet, savory, and filling, this is a breakfast everyone in your household will look forward to.
Made with Nowadays original nuggets, this is one version of chicken and waffles that the entire family can enjoy from start to finish. Nowadays nuggets are made with organic pea protein, have 0 grams of saturated fat, and are entirely plant-based — giving you 13 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in every serving.
7. Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast sandwiches are tough to beat. They're a perfectly portable high-protein breakfast option and easily become better for you with a few tweaks. Enter Cookie and Kate's veggie breakfast sandwich recipe. This is a 15-minute breakfast you'll make again and again.
Stick with the English muffin, arugula, red onion, and fresh tomato, or swap some of the ingredients out for your favorite bagel and vegetables. No worries if you want to keep things entirely plant-based — vegan nuggets from Nowadays would be right at home on this breakfast sandwich instead of eggs (or you can give JUST Egg a try). Skip regular mayonnaise and cheese for plant-based versions and dig into a breakfast fit for champions.
8. Tacos and Burritos
Who says you have to wait until dinner for Taco Tuesday festivities? Why not start your day with a hearty breakfast burrito or a plate of crispy tacos with fresh pico de gallo! This flavorful recipe is ready in under 30 minutes (including prep time) and will leave your family’s tummies full and happy. Plant-powered nuggets provide a source of quality protein, vegetables give you fiber, and corn tortillas offer antioxidants plus healthy carbohydrates. Yum and yum!
Next Level Fitness: Healthy Breakfasts All Week Long
Don't let prioritizing your health and well-being intimidate you. Healthy eating is so much easier than you think. If you're committed to your fitness, healthy breakfasts will quickly become a familiar part of your everyday routine. Refer to this list of breakfast ideas when you need some culinary inspiration or check out more plant-based tips and tricks on the Crave Better Blog.