Since more of us are at home eating meals with our families, I have chosen a few of my favorite, easy-to-prepare breakfast foods that the entire family will enjoy.
Research has shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because eating when you first wake up jump-starts your metabolic processes. Studies have also shown that people who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to overeat at later meals or snack impulsively.
What you eat for breakfast is important too. It is best to focus on healthy choices from food groups that include whole grains for a fiber-rich breakfast, paired with a source of protein such as an egg, egg white or spoonful of peanut butter. Combining fiber-rich foods with a source of protein and healthy fats will help keep you satisfied throughout the morning.
Start preparing overnight oatmeal the night before. When refrigerated overnight, oatmeal is delicious eaten cold or warmed quickly in the morning. Top it off with portioned amounts of fruit and nuts for a balanced breakfast.
- Milk or milk alternative
- Pour ¼-cup oatmeal into each container.
- Add ½ cup of milk, water or milk alternative.
- Cover container and let sit in the refrigerator 1-3 days.
- Enjoy cold or put in the microwave to warm up for 1 minute.
- Add desired optional ingredients:
- Strawberries and sliced almonds, chia seeds
- Banana, walnuts, vanilla extract, cinnamon
- Cocoa powder, coconut flakes and plain Greek yogurt
- Blueberries and almond butter
Nutritional information (using 1% milk fat): Calories 200, Calories from Fat 25, Total Fat 4g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 55mg, Carbohydrates 32g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 6g, Protein 11g.
Arepas with a Healthy Twist
Eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner, Arepas are a staple of Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine. They are easy to make and filling. When topped with a fried egg, sliced avocado or black beans with cheese and tomato, you have a healthy satisfying meal everyone in the family can enjoy.
- 2 tablespoons Chia seeds
- ½ cup steel-cut rolled oats
- 1 cup cornmeal flour “Harina Pan”
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Heat water in a pot.
- Transfer water to a mixing bowl.
- Add chia seeds, oatmeal and pinch of salt.
- Mix for 5 minutes until chia seeds and oats expand.
- Gradually add the Arepa flour, mixing continuously to avoid lumps.
- Knead dough a few times in bowl.
- The dough should not be dry nor sticky, knead until finding the perfect balance by adding more water or corn flour as needed.
- Divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece on work surface into a ball, and gently flatten to about ½” thick.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 arepas and cook until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes
- Flip and cook until other side is golden brown, 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.
- Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes, split, fill, and serve with desired fillings.
Nutritional information (per serving): Calories 150, Calories from Fat 20, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 100g,Carbohydrates 27g, Dietary Fiber 4gm, Protein 5g.
Meet the Author
Carla Duenas is a registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and Care Specialist (CDCES) with Community Health  at Baptist Health South Florida. A passionate promoter of wellness and prevention, and nutrition’s role in managing chronic diseases, Ms. Duenas’ expert tips and advice have been featured in print and broadcast media, including Miami Herald, CNN, CNN en Español, NBC and Univision. She has consulted with the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade to help local restaurants offer healthy meals. Ms. Duenas is also an avid endurance athlete, competing regularly in races and marathons.