13 Healthy Breakfast Ideas For When You're Rushing Out The Door

Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
You're heard it time and again: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

But mornings can be hard enough without having to figure out something to eat — especially when it's 6 a.m. and you're still groggy from not getting enough sleep. If, like me, you prioritize your shut-eye over getting a decent bite to eat, breakfast can unfortunately turn into your most-skipped meal of the day.

However, the benefits of starting your day with a nutritious meal are pretty hard to ignore. In fact, study after study supports the idea that eating breakfast gears you up for your day and leads to better overall physical and mental performance. Luckily, you can have your sleep and eat a healthy breakfast with some quick and easy ideas.

Ahead, we spoke to some of our favorite registered dietitians for their favorite easy breakfast recipes.
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Illustrated by: Louisa Cannell.
Egg Frittatas

Don’t let the fancy name scare you off. Stephanie Middleberg, RD, loves this recipe for its three-step simplicity. Plus these egg frittatas are easy to take on the road and they'll give you a healthy dose of protein (from the eggs) and iron (from the spinach). Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:
6 cage free eggs (1 egg per muffin tin)
Spinach
Basil
Sea salt, pinch
Coconut oil (optional)
Muffin liners (optional)

Directions:

1. Whisk together eggs, spinach leaves, chopped basil and pinch sea salt.
2. Pour into muffin tins (lightly greased with coconut oil or lined with parchment paper muffin liners).
3. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes.

One serving is 2 small “muffins.”
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Yogurt

When it comes to something quick and healthy, yogurt is pretty fail-proof, says Jessica Crandall, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

If you can spring for Greek yogurt, even better, but in general, yogurt packs a ton of protein, and you can even blend it into a smoothie if you're so inclined.

One thing to watch out for is added sugar. It's hard because added sugars aren't clearly listed on the label (although that should change soon), but in general, the versions sweetened with fruit will pack more nutrients than vanilla or honey-sweetened ones, for example. You can also give plain yogurt a healthy boost by adding some fruit of your choice (blueberries and raspberries are tasty choices) and granola, too, if you want.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Hard Boiled Eggs

Don’t knock the power of a good grocery store staple. If you’ve opened your fridge only to discover that you’ve run out of readily prepared breakfasts, don’t worry. Crandall says it never hurts to go back to basics.

Crandall knows that hard boiled eggs may sound boring, but you can’t beat their convenience. If you’re running late, set your kitchen timer and boil a few eggs while you brush your teeth and get dressed, and they’ll be ready to hit the road when you are. Place in a plastic baggy and sprinkle in some salt and pepper to add some flavor.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Avocado Toast

When in doubt, there's always the ubiquitous avocado toast. There's a reason it's a beloved brunch dish: It's literally as easy as slicing an avocado and laying it over toast.

Crandall loves sliced or mashed avocado on whole-wheat toast. Not only do you get the healthy fatty acids that come with the avocado, she says, you also get the great fiber content that comes with whole-wheat bread.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Chia Pudding

In an ideal world, we would all designate time in the morning to make a fresh breakfast, but that doesn't always happen.

Middleberg is a big fan of meal prepping your breakfast the night before. If that sounds difficult, don't worry. You can start simple with her 3-ingredient chia pudding recipe:

Ingredients
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions
Combine ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Fast Green Smoothie

"If you have two minutes to blend a smoothie in the morning, you can drink it on your way to work!" Rieger suggests. "If you are really pressed for time. you can even put the ingredients in the blender the night before and refrigerate overnight, so all you have to do is blend it and put it in a to-go cup in the morning."

Her favorite recipe combines leafy greens with a bit of fruit and peanut butter, as well as almond milk (great for anyone who's lactose intolerant).

Recipe
1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 handful spinach or kale
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp chia seeds
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Almond Butter On Whole-Grain Toast

The quickest of quick breakfast ideas comes courtesy of Molly Rieger, RD, of Tovita Nutrition.

If you're pressed for time, Rieger recommends a bit of almond butter on whole-grain toast. The almond butter is a great source of vitamin E and the whole-grain toast will jump-start your daily fiber intake.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Egg Muffin Cups

If you happen to have a little extra time to meal-prep your breakfast, Middleberg recommends an easy egg muffin-cup recipe.

Ingredients:
5 eggs
Milk
Broccoli
Skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Beat 5 egg whites plus 2-3 yolks with a splash of milk. Spray muffin tin. Chop broccoli and add to the bottom of the tin. Add 1 tbsp part-skim mozzarella cheese, and then pour egg mixture on top. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
A Granola Bar

Okay, so you really should be getting an actual meal, but a little food is better than nothing. If you're really pressed for time and all that's within reach is a granola bar, at least make it a good one.

A few RD-approved bars? Luna Bars, RxBars, and Shanti Bars.

Rieger says she'll always recommend real food over granola bars, but these bars pack the most protein and nutrients.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Breakfast Burrito

For mornings when you have a bit more time, Crandall loves a simple breakfast burrito that you can take on the go.

Crandall usually uses a whole-grain wrap with scrambled eggs and black beans to jumpstart your protein intake. Add some chicken sausage for flavor and bell peppers and/or onions to get some veggies in. If this sounds like too much work, you can always use Crandall's recipe as your order at the bodega on your way to work.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Overnight Oats

Middleberg's recipe for overnight oats is packed full of high-fiber oats and nutritious chia seeds. Plus, it requires pretty minimal preparation — take 10 minutes to get it ready the night before, and you've got yourself a grab-and-go breakfast for the next morning.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk of choice
1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. nut butter of choice (almond, peanut, walnut, cashew)
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients into a jar with a lid.
2. Let sit overnight in refrigerator.
3. The next day, you can garnish with a variety of toppings (shredded coconut, cacao nibs, hemp, flax meal, fruit, etc.)
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Cereal

Cereal is basically a breakfast food group all on its own. If you don't have time to prep a breakfast the night before or cook something up in the morning, it can be a lifesaver.

To keep your cereal nutritious, Lara Metz, RD, says to look for a cereal with fiber to get yourself started on your daily fill. Metz suggests Nature's Path Cereal or Barbara's Puffins.
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Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts
Energy Bites

Energy bites don't require any baking, and they're super-portable, making it easier to take your breakfast on the go. Middleberg's favorite recipe is full of nutritious chia seeds and Goji berries.

Ingredients:
1 cup (dry) oatmeal
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. hemp hearts
2 tbsp. Goji berries
Sea salt — a sprinkle

Directions:
1. Mix together and roll into balls.
2. Refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours, and enjoy.
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