When it comes to breakfast, registered dietitians have got their morning meal on lock. Easy, filling, and straight-up delicious, their go-to creations can provide some tasty, healthy A.M.
“Studies show that protein in the morning helps to prevent cravings later in the day, so while protein is important in general, at breakfast, it’s critical,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.
If you’re not a breakfast person in general, there’s no need to force feed yourself in the A.M. But if you do find yourself hungry when you wake up, fuel your day with one of these high-protein R.D. picks.
1. Avocado Toast With Eggs
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“If I need something substantial, I’ll top two slices of hearty, whole-grain toast with a little mashed avocado, two sliced, hard-boiled eggs, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Eggs are the obvious source of protein here, but the whole-grain toast adds another six to 10 grams of plant-based protein!”
— Elle Penner, M.P.H., R.D., senior registered dietitian at MyFitnessPal and lifestyle blogger at According to Elle
2. Chocolate Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding
“This literally tastes like dessert for breakfast, but it’s packed with nutrition and protein. In a mixing bowl, combine one cup of skim milk, ½ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, ¼ cup chia seeds, one to two teaspoons of local honey, one to two teaspoons of 100 percent raw cacao powder, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract or fresh vanilla bean. Chop one cup of fresh strawberries into small pieces and grab a glass. [Layer in some of] the chia seed mixture, then add a layer of strawberries, and continue [to layer until it’s full]. Place it in the fridge, covered, overnight. The skim milk, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds all provide protein.”
— Jenny Beth Kroplin, R.D., L.D.N., C.L.C.
3. Egg White Frittata With Cherry Tomatoes, Feta, And Spinach
“Egg whites are a great source of lean protein. Five egg whites provide you with 20 grams of protein and 80 calories. In addition, ¼ cup low-fat feta provides seven grams of protein. Spray a pan with cooking spray and scramble five egg whites with feta, tomatoes, and spinach. Eat with one slice of whole-wheat toast. This breakfast gives you an edge to start your day with a boost of energy that will sustain you till lunch.”
— Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet and founder of F-Factor Nutrition
4. Greek Yogurt With Granola And Maple Syrup
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“I’m a pretty big creature of habit, so the majority of my breakfasts are the exact same thing: 4-percent plain Greek yogurt with a handful of whichever granola I’m crushing on at the moment, drizzled with maple syrup (because I’m Canadian). The Greek yogurt gives this breakfast its protein, but the fat in the yogurt and the nuts and seeds in the granola also make this meal extremely satisfying. That means I can take off and deal with my busy day without being hungry an hour later!”
— Abby Langer, R.D.
5. Cottage Cheese With Whole-Wheat Toast
“Cottage cheese is a great source of protein. [I put] ¼ to ½ of a cup of cottage cheese on two slices of toast. [There’s] little assembly required! [It’s] convenient—easy to eat quickly at home before work, or bring and eat at your desk. [It’s a] low-fat, high-protein dairy option.”
— Brittany Kohn, M.S., R.D.
6. Oatmeal With Peanut Butter
“Mix two tablespoons of peanut butter into your bowl of hot oatmeal (made with milk) and top with sliced bananas, cinnamon, and a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt. The peanut butter, Greek yogurt, milk, and oats all pack satiating protein into this bowl of oatmeal. I love starting my day off with this breakfast because it’s the perfect energizing combo of protein and slow-digesting carbs (fiber) to fuel me until lunch.”
— Kara Lydon, R.D., L.D.N., R.Y.T., author of Nourish Your Namaste (out May 2016) and The Foodie Dietitian Blog
7. Smoothie Bowl With Protein Powder
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“[I love green] smoothie ingredients blended and put in bowl, then [I] top with shredded coconut, berries, raw cocoa power, and spirulina. You can add protein powder, like pea or collagen protein, to the smoothie to get even more protein.”
— Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.
8. Sprouted-Grain Toast With Nut Butter And Greek Yogurt
“A protein-packed breakfast favorite is a piece of sprouted-grain toast topped with nut butter, sliced banana, and a layer of plain Greek yogurt! The yogurt adds a ton of protein to the mix, and while it sounds like a weird addition on toast, it goes quite well with the banana and nut butter.”
— Anne Mauney, M.P.H., R.D., blogger fANNEtastic Food
—By Alexa Tucker
Hero image Manuta, Getty Images; Graphic by Jocelyn Runice