25 Fast, Healthy (and Delicious!) Breakfast Ideas

best-healthy-breakfast-tout
Photo: Greg DuPree

Mornings can be a hectic time. Between putting last-minute touches on homework or presentations and finding where you took off your shoes the day before, taking time to eat a healthy breakfast before you rush out the door may be easily overlooked. But it doesn't have to be.

A quick and healthy breakfast can take just a handful of minutes, be made the night before, or even a few days in advance. There's no need to flip omelets or bake fresh granola in the name of healthful meals every morning. Instead, build a healthy breakfast menu for your week from this collection of easy breakfast ideas. As you'll see, many healthy breakfast ideas can be speedy and quite tasty.

A few of these quick breakfast ideas are so good, you may decide to just repeat them daily to take away the worry of crafting a whole new breakfast menu each week. After all, whatever is easy enough for you to make and eat before you get to the office or drop the kids off at school is the right choice for a healthy morning meal.

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Nutty Superfood Breakfast Bites

Superfood Bars
Grace Elkus

If you DIY your breakfast bars or energy bites, you can make sure you're getting ingredients you know and like. You can also customize the recipe to fit your tastes. These make-ahead energy bars are filled with nuts and seeds, which provide fiber and lasting protein. They also have several types of berries, great sources of vitamin C and other antioxidants. When you make these, go ahead and split them into individual portion sizes so it's easier to grab and go.

Get the recipe: Nutty Superfood Breakfast Bites

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Sesame Crunch Trail Mix

Sesame Crunch Trail Mix
Greg DuPree

A quick breakfast doesn't have to come in the form of a muffin or fast food breakfast sandwich to count as a healthy breakfast option. Trail mixes, which often feature nuts, fruit, and granola, are a great option for busy mornings. If you tend to avoid sugary starts to your day, this trail mix hits savory notes thanks to ingredients like cashews, peanuts, and pistachios. A hint of sweetness is still there with golden raisins.

Get the recipe: Sesame Crunch Trail Mix

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Tropical Creamsicle Smoothie

Tropical Creamsicle Smoothie
Greg DuPree

With a bit of prep work, smoothies make for great quick and healthy breakfasts every morning. Wash, chop, and freeze all ingredients in "smoothie packs," or baggies pre-measured for just one smoothie. Put anything that doesn't go into a freezer (like the milk or leafy greens) into a glass jar or baggie in the fridge. Then, dump everything into your blender, and let it go to work. You can sip while you dress, or take it with you in a lidded container.

Get the recipe: Tropical Creamsicle Smoothie

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Cranberry-Hazelnut Bread

Cranberry-Hazelnut Bread
Con Poulos

Almost any quick bread recipe makes for a fast and healthy breakfast. Bonus points go to ones that have fruit, nuts, or whole grains. This bread has two of the three—with frozen or fresh cranberries and whole hazelnuts. Keep the bread tightly wrapped during the week to maintain freshness. You can also store it in the fridge. Just microwave it for a few seconds if cold bread isn't your thing.

Get the recipe: Cranberry-Hazelnut Bread

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Cottage Cheese With Minted Pineapple

Cottage Cheese With Minted Pineapple
Charles Masters

If cutting up fresh herbs and marinating fruit in the morning seems a bit of a reach, just get to the basics of this recipe: protein-rich cottage cheese and a serving of juicy, sweet fruit. You can even go ahead and make a few of these easy breakfasts by layering the fruit and dairy snack in mini glass jars. The juices from the fruit will slightly sweeten the cottage cheese. If you do like the marinated fruit idea, make it the night before to speed up your morning.

Get the recipe: Cottage Cheese With Minted Pineapplec

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Savory Oatmeal With Spinach and Poached Eggs

Savory Oatmeal With Spinach and Poached Eggs
Greg DuPree

A heaping bowl of comfort food is a healthy way to start your day, especially if the idea of quick sugar fixes like cereal just isn't your thing. To make things speedier, make the oatmeal the night before or on the weekend in a big batch. Then portion out enough for your day. When you're ready to eat, you need only focus on poaching your egg, which makes this incredibly hearty and healthy breakfast easy enough for a weekday.

Get the recipe: Savory Oatmeal With Spinach and Poached Eggs

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Breakfast Popsicles

Breakfast Popsicles
RealSimple.com

If eating a popsicle at breakfast seems out of the ordinary, know that this one hides several healthy breakfast ingredients: yogurt, fruit, and granola. Make a batch on the weekend, and pop one out each day for a tasty healthy snack to eat as you're getting dressed. Make a "cup" at the base of the pop with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to catch up wayward drips.

Get the recipe: Breakfast Popsicles

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Mustard, Avocado, and Dill on a Whole-Wheat Muffin With Boiled Egg

Mustard, Avocado, and Dill on a Whole-Wheat English Muffin with Boiled Egg
Emily Kinni

Everything's better with avocado on top—including a warm and toasty whole-wheat English muffin. Some whole-grain mustard and a pinch of dill lend the dish an extra pop of flavor and fragrance. Round it out with a creamy soft-boiled egg, and you've got a real breakfast champion.

Get the recipe: Mustard, Avocado, and Dill on a Whole-Wheat Muffin With Boiled Egg

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Healthy Banana Bread

Banana Bread as one of our healthy breakfast ideas
Grace Elkus

This whole-wheat banana bread is so moist and delicious, you'd never know it's guilt-free. Unsweetened applesauce replaces oil or butter and, instead of refined sugar, the loaf is sweetened with honey. Bake it over the weekend, then take slices with you on busy weekdays. For a boost of protein, spread with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Get the recipe: Healthy Banana Bread

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Scrambled Eggs With Beans, Tomatoes, and Pesto

Scrambled Eggs With Beans, Tomatoes, and Pesto
Con Poulos

Eggs, which are protein superstars, are the foundation of this tasty, fiber-rich meal. Enjoy a healthy dose of vitamin C, lycopene, potassium, and folate, courtesy of the sweet grape tomatoes. A swirl of pesto adds a fresh, garlicky kick and vibrant color. Serve atop slices of whole-grain toast.

Get the recipe: Scrambled Eggs With Beans, Tomatoes, and Pesto

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Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (new)
Sang An

Prefer a savory start to your day? This one's for you. Though more often seen at the dinner table, crunchy, nutty quinoa can be an unexpected but appealing addition to the breakfast table, too. For a one-dish morning meal, pair it with tender smoked salmon and a sunny, runny fried egg.

Get the recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

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Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast
Danny Kim

There's a benefit to starting your day with creamy avocado toast: The fruit is loaded with fiber and cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats. Plus, the whole thing is ready in just three simple steps: Mash the avocado onto toasted bread, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and then sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes.

Get the recipe: Avocado Toast

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Toasted Pistachio Muesli With Apple and Fig

Toasted Pistachio Muesli With Apple and Fig
Sang An

Bake oats, pistachios, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds until the mixture is golden brown, then serve with milk, almond milk, or plain yogurt. Top with sliced apples and figs for an instant upgrade. It's such a beautiful (and tasty) start to your day, you'll be recreating it week after week.

Get the recipe: Toasted Pistachio Muesli With Apple and Fig

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Poached Eggs With Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Poached Eggs With Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Romulo Yanes

Sautéed tomatoes and golden brown mushrooms amp up delicately poached eggs in this comforting breakfast. To help the egg whites set, add a splash of vinegar to the poaching water. To serve, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and fresh chives. It's hearty enough to make for dinner, too.

Get the recipe: Poached Eggs With Mushrooms and Tomatoes

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Almond Butter, Yogurt, and Fruit Parfaits

Almond Butter, Yogurt, and Fruit Parfait
Danny Kim

This layered parfait is the perfect on-the-run treat. Chopped roasted almonds add a delightful crunch, and each bite is filled with sweet, juicy fruit. If you're not an almond butter fan, swap in peanut butter or sunflower seed butter. You can also use agave nectar in place of the honey.

Get the recipe: Almond Butter, Yogurt, and Fruit Parfaits

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Yogurt With Grapes and Granola

Yogurt With Grapes and Granola
Charles Masters

You'll have time for this three-ingredient breakfast on even your busiest mornings. To take this parfait to go, pack it in an insulated coffee cup or thermos. In need of a granola recipe? Try our toss-and-bake granola, which is endlessly customizable. Prefer sunflower seeds to pepitas? They'll work. Crazy for dried cranberries? Just have fun with it.

Get the recipe: Yogurt With Grapes and Granola

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Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins (new)
Con Poulos

Made with plump blueberries, whole-wheat flour, oats, flaxseed meal, and low-fat yogurt, these healthy muffins deliver lots of fiber—so you'll stay full throughout those morning meetings. They'll keep at room temperature for three days or in the freezer for one month. Warm briefly in the microwave before serving.

Get the recipe: Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins

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Fruit and Cheese

bowl of apple and cheese
Formula Z/S

A balanced, easy-to-assemble make-ahead morning meal: Grab an apple, wrap 1 to 2 ounces of cheddar in plastic, and toss ¼ cup of fiber- and protein-rich walnuts into a resealable plastic bag.

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Peanut Butter Waffle

Waffle with peanut butter and raisins
Formula Z/S

Instead of dousing a whole-grain or bran toaster waffle in syrup, cut the sugar and boost the protein and fiber by spreading it with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. You can also sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of raisins, sesame seeds, or extra peanuts for even more fiber, which helps deliver nutrients slowly and steadily.

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Strawberry Protein Shake

strawberry shake
Formula Z/S

In a cocktail shaker, combine a packet of vanilla or strawberry instant-breakfast powder (look for the no-sugar-added kind, such as Carnation) and 1 cup of low-fat strawberry cow's milk or soy milk. (You can also mix this the night before.) If you have time, use a blender to add strawberries or a frozen banana, for extra fiber, and a scoop of protein powder, such as GeniSoy Natural.

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Morning Pizza

Morning Pizza
Formula Z/S

You could have a slice of last night's pizza (it's preferable to filling up on sugar or skipping breakfast). Or you could try a more sophisticated spin: Take a slice of crusty bread, spread it with 3 tablespoons of low-fat ricotta, and add tomatoes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) and a little salt and pepper. Broiling is optional.

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Energy Bars

Energy bar in a cup
Formula Z/S

To substitute for a meal, an energy bar should have at least 3 to 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Odwalla, Kashi GoLean, and TruSoy are all good options. Because cereal bars rarely have more than 2 grams of protein, kids might be better off adding a stick of Go-Gurt! and a sleeve of peanuts.

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Egg McMuffin

egg mcmuffin and orange
Formula Z/S

Yes, you read that right. If you must eat fast food in the morning, get an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's. At 300 calories, it's not an outrageous meal. Plus it has a good amount of lean protein from the egg and the Canadian bacon. To trim empty calories, remove the top half of the muffin. For additional fiber, add a fresh orange.

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Portable Cereal

Cereal Sundae
Formula Z/S

A bowl of fiber-rich bran flakes (about 1½ cups) with 8 ounces of low-fat milk is nearly the perfect breakfast. Make it portable by replacing the milk with lemon or vanilla yogurt and mixing it in a to-go container. Increase the fiber and vitamins by adding ¼ cup of nuts or fresh or dried fruit, such as chopped pecans or blueberries.

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Huevos Rancheros

burrito
Formula Z/S

One of the most portable proteins is a hard-cooked egg, but it has no fiber or carbohydrates. So slice it, then roll it in an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla with a piece of Canadian bacon or lean ham and, if you like, a ½-ounce slice of cheese. Add a tablespoon of salsa for a shot of flavor and a smidgen of vitamin C.

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Related: The Best Way to Crack an Egg

Ever cracked an egg into a bowl and wound up with bits of shell in the mix? You were probably using too much force. To ensure you end up with a shell-free dish, you need to be gentle as you pull the shell apart. Follow the steps in the video above for a clean break every time.

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