healthy breakfast ideas

Breaking the Fast

After a day of meals and snacking, sleep is a welcome rest for the muscles. It’s also an extended time of not eating or drinking. The morning gives the opportunity to “break the fast,” with breakfast! Take our quiz, then learn the “3 out of 5” breakfast model for the best breakfasts.

Quiz! Click on the breakfast that you think is the most balanced choice:


A. Piece of fruit and hard-boiled egg
B. Granola bar and glass of milk
C. Yogurt with fruit and toast

This is a great start to a balanced breakfast - just add grains and you'll have a winning "3 out of 5" meal!

This is a great start to a balanced breakfast - just add a fruit or vegetable and you'll have a winning "3 out of 5" meal!

Yes! This breakfast gives the best combination of foods the "3 out of 5" way to ensure that energy lasts until lunch.

Remember "3 out of 5" for a healthy breakfast

Eating the right combination of 3 of the 5 food groups provides you with a healthy breakfast that will keep you energized until lunch, whether you are actively learning in the classroom or preparing for a big game.

the best way to eat a healthy breakfast model

What Can You Add To Your Breakfast To Make It "3 Out of 5"?

the best healthy breakfasts

Download the Weekly Breakfast Planner

healthy breakfast plannerClick on the image to download the planner, then fill in what you plan to serve for breakfast each day. As you make your plan, check-off the food groups to include the "3 Out of 5" that will provide energy to last until lunch!

What time do you eat your first meal of the day? When is your last meal or snack of the day? What foods are you more tempted to eat when? Many different eating patterns exist, and there’s no one “right” answer. Yet, how much and when you sleep can have something to do with it. 

According to most sleep experts, only about one in three teens gets the recommended number of hours of sleep each night—9 to 10 hours. Biologically, teens tend to feel more alert later in the evening and may not feel sleepy until around 11:00 P.M. Yet, in most communities, high schools have the earliest start times. So it’s not unusual to have to be up at 6:00 or 6:30 A.M. Early school start times are among the many challenges teens face in getting enough sleep. 

What else is keeping teens awake? Teens who report a moderate to high caffeine use also report difficulty falling asleep at night and sleepiness during the day. Use of electronics after 9:00 P.M. is also a factor. Screen time in the later hours—whether TV, computer, or phone—can lower the amount and quality of sleep you will get. 

Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning can reduce the odds of eating breakfast. Excessive snacking late at night can reduce your appetite in the morning too. Research also shows those late-night snacks are often less nutritious as well, which can contribute to other health concerns.

Tips for Making Healthier Breakfasts for Your Kids
  1. Get off to a good start.

    Make sure your child has time for breakfast at home or take advantage of the School Breakfast Program if your school has one.
  2. Keep breakfast simple.

    Have items available in your kitchen that can easily be put together in the morning: cereal, milk, toast or bagels, cheese, fruit and yogurt.
  3. Join your child for breakfast.

    Be a positive role model—eat breakfast yourself and share breakfast with your child when you can.

Attention, Attendance and Academic Achievement Improve With Breakfast

The proven benefits of breakfast for your child include: 

  • Better overall nutrition and healthy body weight
  • Fewer absences and reduced tardiness
  • Higher scores on achievement tests

Try our healthy breakfast recipes.

  1. Rampersaud GC et al. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5):743-60.
  2. Leidy JH et al. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, "breakfast-skipping," late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):677-88.
  3. Betts JA et al. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Proc Nutr Soc. 2016 Jun 13:1-11.
  4. Mahoney CR et al. Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children. Physiol Behav. 2005 Aug 7;85(5):635-45.