Your mama wasn’t lying when she told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does starting your day with proper nutrition help you stay focused, but data shows that breakfast eaters tend to consume more important nutrients than breakfast skippers.
However, due to many factors — including our busy lifestyles — many of us are foregoing breakfast. While we love our morning lattes, leaning on our good old cup of coffee to get us through the morning isn’t going to cut it! Thankfully, there are many breakfast options that require little preparation in the AM for those of you who “just don’t have the time.” And, including them in your diet may help you kickstart the morning in a healthy way!
What to Look For in a Healthy Instant Breakfast?
Let’s face it, mornings can be hectic. Many of us don’t have minutes to spare to cook a homemade veggie omelet or a hand-crafted souffle. Because of the time crunch, some people turn to instant breakfast options (that aren’t always the healthiest) to fill their bellies before their day starts. And while the occasional donut or pastry won’t completely derail your health goals, there are some better-for-you options that you can lean on when you want a quick brekfast that is nourishing and satisfying.
Generally speaking, when you are on the hunt for a healthy instant breakfast, your meal choice should:
- Be free of excessive amounts of added sugar
- Contain whole grains versus refined options (if it is a carbohydrate source)
- Contain limited amounts of saturated fat and sodium
- Contain dietary fiber
- Provide vitamins and minerals
- Be made with whole food ingredients
4 Healthy Instant Breakfast Options
If you are ready to start including healthy instant breakfasts in your routine, know that there are many options for you to grab and go on busy mornings.
Here are four satisfying, tasty, healthy, and convenient breakfasts to enjoy when you don’t have time to cook a full meal.
Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal
Despite the bad rap that instant oatmeal has gotten over the years, this type of oatmeal can be a healthy breakfast option. Since instant oatmeal is simply oats that are partially cooked and dehydrated for fast-prep, the main ingredient is incredibly nutrient-dense.
That said, not all instant oats are created equal. The health concerns come into play once manufacturers start adding sugar, artificial flavors, and other unsavory ingredients to the oats. But if you are sticking to a plain instant oatmeal and you are adding your own flavoring ingredients like cinnamon, fresh berries, and nut butter, you will be able to enjoy a cozy bowl of oats in under 2 minutes!
Another instant oat breakfast option that’s healthy and satisfying? This FitOn 2-Minute Blueberry Oatmeal Mug Muffin.
- 1 egg white
- ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ⅓ cup banana
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup blueberries
- ½ cup oats
- ½ tbsp flaxseed meal
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
Step #1: Spray a large mug with cooking spray. Use a fork to mix together the milk, mashed banana, egg white, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, flaxseed, and cinnamon. Then fold in the blueberries.
Step #2: Cook on high for 2 minutes and check. Then continue cooking in 30 second increments until puffed up and cooked through.
For the ultimate grab-and-go breakfast, whipping up some egg muffins can allow you to have a protein-packed breakfast in seconds. You can even prep them ahead of time to save you time and stress! Just scramble some eggs, mix in some veggies, and pour the mixture into mini muffin tins. How simple? Then, bake them until they are done, and once they are cool, store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy them. At breakfast time, simply pop them in the microwave until they are warm for a satisfying and protein-packed dish.
Try this yummy Veggie Egg Muffin recipe to get you started, and modify as desired with your favorite ingredients or swaps.
- 12 eggs
- 1 tbsp chives (optional)
- 1½ cups butternut squash, diced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- ⅓ cup milk, cows (or dairy-free alternative)
- 4 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- sea salt & black pepper, to taste
Step #1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with cooking spray or use liners.
Step #2: Whisk together the eggs, milk, and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
Step #3: In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the butternut squash. Cook for 8 minutes or until softened.
Step #4: Add the garlic, spinach, and nutmeg. Cook for 2 more minutes or until wilted.
Step #5: Let cool for 2 minutes and then mix into eggs. Pour into muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
One of the easiest and most nutrient-dense breakfasts out there is chia pudding. And good news, it’s as easy as combining chia seeds with your milk of choice and letting it set in your refrigerator overnight! The result? A delicious breakfast that is ready to be devoured in the morning when your tummy is grumbling, and you have no time to cook.
- 1 apple, diced
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tbsp almond butter
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
Step #1: Stir everything together except the apple.
Step #2: Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or more. Eat for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. Top with berries, nuts, fresh fruit, or your other favorite toppings.
Step #3: When ready to eat, place the apple with a dash of cinnamon in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add to the chia seed pudding.
Peanut Butter and Banana Toast
Sometimes, the classics are the best choices. Topping a slice of whole grain bread with natural nut butter and sliced bananas makes for a balanced breakfast that has all of the macros that you need to fuel your morning.
Not a banana fan? Swap the fruit topping with berries, kiwis, or any fruit that you like! Or try these 15 other Breakfast Toast Ideas for fast & nutritious morning energy.
And if you want to spice it up with a healthy toast swap, this Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter & Banana will hit the spot every time!
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- ½ banana, sliced
- ½ cup blueberries
Step #1: Carefully slice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick pieces. You can decide to peel the sweet potato first or leave the skin on.
Step #2: Place the sweet potato in the toaster on the high setting. Cook through 2-3 cycles until the sweet potato is cooked through and crisp on the outside.
Step #3: Spread the slices with almond butter and top with banana slices and cinnamon.
Quick Breakfasts For a Healthy Morning
Skipping breakfast can leave you feeling sluggish mid-morning. But sneaking breakfast into your morning can be hard for people who don’t have enough time to think about putting a meal together. Having some go-to healthy instant breakfast ideas on-hand can be the perfect solution for those too busy to cook mornings.