You should include protein with each breakfast.
It’s important to include protein in every meal — including breakfast, says Garrett Swisher, a registered dietitian at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. “A lot of us today don’t eat breakfast and for those that do, typical choices, such as cereals, baked goods and granola bars, are high in sugars and refined grains,” he says. “These breakfast options may not be giving you the best nutrition.” You should eat breakfast every day, and include protein in each breakfast, he says.
Eating protein at breakfast can help you achieve your weight goals.
Because protein helps make you feel more satisfied, consuming some with each meal means you’re less likely to snack, adds Lisa Jones, a registered dietitian based in Philadelphia. Consuming protein at breakfast therefore can be helpful in achieving weight goals. Overall, you should aim to consume between 10% and 35% of your calories a day from protein, she says. “For example, if your nutritional needs call for 2,000 calories daily, you should get 200 to 700 calories from protein, or 50 to 175 grams,” Jones says.
Here are eight high-protein breakfast ideas:
Gruyere, bacon and chives breakfast egg bites
This is a tasty, filling high-protein dish, Swisher says. For this dish, you’ll need:
— 6 eggs.
— ½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese.
— ¼ cup chopped chives.
Scramble the eggs and add 3 pieces of cooked and chopped bacon, shredded Gruyere cheese, chopped chives and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour the concoction into a greased muffin pan and place in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep the egg bites moist, place the baking dish filled with some water in the oven to keep the moisture level up. “These egg bites are great to make up ahead of time and grab quickly on your way out the door,” Swisher says. “Just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. They are very customizable as well so you can add your own ingredient preferences.”
Total: 12 grams of protein for each egg bite.
Peanut butter banana protein pancakes
You can get plenty of protein in this delicious breakfast dish, Swisher says.
— 2 eggs.
— ½ cup of oats.
— ½ banana.
— 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
— 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
— ¼ teaspoon of baking powder.
In a blender, combine the eggs, oats, banana, peanut butter, cinnamon and baking powder. Pour the batter onto a preheated greased skillet and cook like a normal pancake. “This recipe adds some protein to a typically carb-loaded food,” Swisher says. “The eggs are not even noticeable, but you get the added protein content to help keep you full longer.”
Total: 24 grams of protein per pancake.
Dark chocolate coconut overnight oats
This recipe requires:
— ½ cup of old-fashioned oats.
— ½ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt.
— 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.
— ½ banana.
— 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut.
— 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips.
— Your sweetener of choice.
In a mason jar or bowl, combine the old fashioned oats, yogurt, chia seeds and your sweetener of choice — like stevia, Splenda, Equal and Sweet’N Low. Slice up the banana and add it to the top of the mixture, along with the shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight. “This is another quick breakfast option,” Swisher says. “Overnight oats combines high-fiber oatmeal with the protein from the yogurt and milk to keep you going until lunch. This is another recipe with plenty of customizing potential for the creative mind.”
Total: 21 grams of protein per serving.
Everything but the bagel avocado egg toast
If you like avocados and eggs, chances are you’ll love this breakfast dish.
— 1 piece of bread, toasted.
— 2 eggs.
— 1 tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend.
— ½ avocado, mashed.
Fry the eggs in a skillet over easy. While cooking, sprinkle in the Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, which is available for purchase online and in some grocery stores. Cover a piece of toast with mashed avocado and add fried eggs on top once they’re fully cooked. “This is one of my favorite recipes for when I have some time to cook a hot breakfast in the morning,” Swisher says. “Savory and delicious. You can vary the type of bread you use to preference. This breakfast combines some heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats from the avocado to your protein too. A great way to start your day.”
Total: 19 grams of protein.
Omelet with mushroom, spinach and bacon
This breakfast choice helps keep you feeling satisfied throughout the morning, says Jones.
— 3 eggs.
— 1 cup of spinach.
— ½ cup of mushrooms.
— 2 slices of bacon.
Cook the eggs and add the spinach, mushrooms and bacon. “This breakfast choice packs a protein punch,” Jones says.
Total: 25 grams of protein.
If you like oats but would prefer something not as sweet as dark chocolate overnight oats, you might like this option.
— ½ cup of rolled oats.
— 1 scoop of protein powder.
— 2 tablespoons of flax seeds.
— ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk.
— 1 cup of your favorite fruit.
“This breakfast choice saves time in the morning,” Jones says. You can prepare the dish the night before. Place the rolled oats, protein powder, flax seeds, unsweetened almond milk and your favorite fruit into a mason jar. “Place the jar in a refrigerator overnight and enjoy the next morning.”
Total: Almost 30 grams of protein per bowl.
Smoked salmon-topped English muffin
Think bagel and lox, but healthier, says Lise Gloede, a registered dietitian based in Arlington, Virginia.
— 1 whole wheat English muffin.
— 1 tablespoon of light cream cheese.
— 2 ounces of smoked salmon.
— Sliced red onion or capers.
Toast the English muffin and spread light cream cheese on each slice. Add 1 ounce of smoked salmon to each piece of toast, and top with a sliced red onion or capers. “The smoked salmon provides protein and the whole wheat English muffin provides fiber,” Gloede says.
Total: About 14 grams of protein.
Greek yogurt parfait
This is a simple and flavorful recipe.
To make this, you’ll need:
— 1 cup of Greek yogurt.
— ¼ cup of roasted almonds.
— 1 cup of fresh berries.
Take the Greek yogurt and sprinkle on roasted almonds, then top it off with fresh berries. “Add granola if you want more crunch,” Gloede says. The dish is “smooth and crunchy at the same time, with sweetness from the berries.”
Total: About 18 grams of protein.
To recap, here are eight high-protein breakfast ideas:
— Gruyere, bacon and chives egg bites.
— Peanut butter banana protein pancakes.
— Dark chocolate coconut overnight oats.
— Everything but the bagel avocado egg toast.
— Omelet with mushrooms, spinach and bacon.
— Overnight oats.
— Smoked salmon-topped English muffin.
— Greek yogurt parfait.
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Update 04/19/21: This article was previously published and has been updated with new information.