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  • Serves to jumpstart your metabolism for the day by BREAKING the FAST that your body undergoes overnight.
  • Provides an opportunity to fit in important nutrients (think produce!) and set you up for more healthy choices throughout the day.

A healthy breakfast contains a balance of nutrients, just like any other meal or snack.  Think of the Balanced Plate when planning your breakfast, and aim for a balance of 50%


non-starchy veggies, 25% lean protein, and 25%


carbs.  See examples from each plate section below:



Non-starchy Vegetables

  • Fresh, frozen, canned, sun-dried, freeze-dried,
  • sauteed
  • sautéed, roasted, raw,
  • steamed–veggies
  • steamed, non-starchy veggies can be eaten plain on the side, seasoned and mixed into egg or meat-based dishes, or added as condiments to breakfast sandwiches. They key is to make sure they are 50% of your plate.


  • Eggs or egg whites: boiled, poached, cooked over-easy to over-hard, scrambled, omelet-style, frittata, quiche
  • Meat/Fish: turkey or Canadian bacon, chicken sausage, lunch meat, lean ground meat, lox
      • If you have high blood pressure, be sure to take note of sodium content here
  • Plant-based: tofu (mixed in smoothies, casseroles, or scrambled as an egg substitute), tempeh, seitan, dried beans, refried beans, nuts and nut butters, seeds, soy meat substitutes

Whole Grain (100% whole grain, 100% of the time!)

      • If you have diabetes, be sure to include the carb content of the beans as well


Carbs (whole grains, starchy veggies, fruit, dairy)

  • Whole Grains: breads, English muffins,
  • Mini
  • mini-bagels, tortillas, crackers,
  • whole grain
  • pancakes and waffles
  • Cold cereals: look for 3 or more grams of protein and fiber and less than 10g of sugar per serving (and stick to the listed serving size!)
  • Hot cereals: step aside, cream of wheat!  Most whole grains can be eaten as a hot cereal, including oatmeal (try old-fashioned, steel-cut, or Irish-cut), brown rice, barley, buckwheat, farro, quinoa, millet, teff, amaranth, or polenta.  Many food companies sell hot cereal mixes with a combination of several whole grains.
  • Fruits: small apple (4 oz), ¾ cup blueberries, 12 cherries, ½ large banana, ½ grapefruits, 1 cup of raspberries or blackberries
  • Starchy veggies: ½ cup sweet potato, ½ cup corn, 1 cup winter squash
  • Dairy: 6 oz (3/4 cup) Greek yogurt, low fat or non-fat, 1 cup milk (nonfat cow’s milk, unsweetened almond milk, kefir)

Check out the breakfast section of the Retrofit Jumpstart Recipe Book for a few other easy ideas!

Sample QUICK breakfast ideas (mix and match)

  • Trail mix / nuts and dried fruit
    • Time saver: make 5 bags at the start of the week, grab and go each morning.
    • Purchase dried fruit without any added sugar.
  • Hard boiled eggs plus a whole fruittomato
    • Time saver: cook & peel eggs on Sunday for the week, or buy pre-boiled eggs.
    • Grab-n-go fruit carb options to add — small apple,1/2 banana, clementines, grapes or berriesslice of whole grain bread. (portioned in bags or Tupperware)
  • Steel cut oats
    • Time saver: make in a pan or Crockpot on the weekend; reheat single servings.
    • For more balance/satiety: mix in 1-2 Tbsp of peanut butter or almond butter or chopped nuts & fruit, and/or add 1-2 Tbsp of ground flax seed (flax seed meal).
    • Grab a cup of carrot or celery sticks for a side snack with breakfast or later in the morning.
  • Corn or whole wheat tortilla with fillings:
    • Savory version: vegetarian refried beans, cheese & 1 cup salsa rolled up and microwaved to heat through.
    • Sweet version: roll the tortilla around 1 Tbsp peanut butter and 1 small banana or ½ large banana
    • Grab a cup of carrot or celery sticks for a side snack with breakfast or later in the morning.
    • Time saver: make several burritos ahead of time, store in refrigerator, and heat as they are used. Pack veggies for the week on Sunday/Monday, in single-serving baggies.
  • Cottage cheese or Greek Yogurt and fruit
    • Eat at home or buy any of these in single serving cups and take with you.
  • Mashed avocado or spreadable cheese (e.g. laughing cow or baby bell) and whole wheat toast or whole grain crackers
  • Top with 1 cup steamed spinach or other non-starchy veggie.
  • Scrambled eggs in a mug: top with salsa or add a handful of cherry tomatoes on the side
  • Breakfast bars
    •  Nutrition Facts: For 100-220 calorie bars, look for <2g sat fat, >4g protein, >2g fiber, <10g sugar. For 220-350 calorie bars, look for <4g sat fat, >9g protein, >4g fiber, <20g sugar.
      •  Barring whole fruit, sugar in any form should not be the first or second ingredient listed.
      •  Sample acceptable brands (not all-inclusive): Fiber One, Kashi, Kind, Clif, Lara, Luna, Rickland Orchards, Rise, Soyjoy
    • Grab a cup of carrot or celery sticks for a side snack with breakfast or later in the morning.

***Remember that breakfast doesn’t have to consist of typical breakfast foods–it can be veggies and hummus, soup, salad, leftovers… anything you want…keeping the balanced plate in mind!

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