For Teens Only: Breakfast Beyond Eggs

Non-egg-breakfasts-w-color-(c)Eggs are a great breakfast choice for teens with acne-zapping, brain-fueling, immune-boosting nutrients, not to mention all that muscle-building protein (for details see For Teens Only: Egg-Cellent News!). But you may not eat eggs or just like to enjoy them occasionally. If so, not to worry. There are plenty of egg-free breakfast options to help fuel even your busiest day.

Need inspiration? Here are six breakfast ideas to power up your morning without eggs:

1. Make time for tasty tofu.

Tofu is actually bland; it’s what you add to it that gives it pizzazz. Marinades infuse savory flavor. Garlic, dill, basil and other herbs give it earthly goodness. Turmeric, paprika, and other spices impart a mildly pungent flavor, while cinnamon gives it sweetness. Tofu is made from soymilk much like cheese is made from milk. Each 1-cup serving provides about 20 grams of protein and is a rich source of calcium and iron. For a tasty recipe, check out Tofu Scramble with 28 grams of protein per serving. Add one cup of milk, and it becomes a high-protein breakfast with targeted benefits for overweight teens (for details, see Overweight Teens: A Breakfast with Serious Benefits).

2. Serve up yummy yogurt for meal (or snack time).

I just love yogurt, especially Greek-style yogurt that packs in more protein per serving. It’s creamy and satisfying, and a great way to get bone-building calcium. Yogurt is perfect as a breakfast staple, but don’t overlook its versatility as a handy snack. For a fast meal (or snack) idea, try Greek Yogurt Parfait and Hearty Toast.

3. Calling all peanut butter fans.

Everything tastes better with peanut butter, or at least that’s how I feel. However, my teens are split on this one: one loves it; the other, can’t stand it. If you’re a fan, you’ll be happy to know that peanut butter is rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats, which help keep your ticker in top-notch condition. Pair it with yogurt like I did for the Greek Yogurt Parfait & Hearty Toast meal suggestion, or enjoy it by itself. With just three ingredients – whole wheat bread, applesauce and peanut butter – it’s a fast and easy choice for breakfast.

4. Reach for better bacon, Canadian style.

When you think bacon, you probably think fat. In fact, if you were to look at food exchange lists, you would find bacon in the fat group with butter, oils and other pure fats rather than with meats. But, Canadian bacon is different. It not only has significantly less fat and calories than regular bacon, but provides 18 grams protein per 3-ounce serving. So, if you have a hankering for bacon, choose this more ham-like choice.

5. All aboard for nuts and seeds.

Almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts and other nuts as well as sunflower, pumpkin and other seeds give meals a crunchy texture whether sprinkled on cereal, added to a smoothie or eaten right out of the bag. Every time I eat peanuts, I feel like I’m eating little golden nuggets. They are just that good. Each 2-tablespoon serving provides about 4½ grams of protein, along with manganese, zinc and other immune-enhancing minerals.

6. Power up with grains.

Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast choice that helps you feel full well beyond mid-morning. Another good choice is quinoa, an ancient South American grain. It’s a favorite in our house with its nutty flavor and nutrient power (for details, see Quinoa: A Tower of Power). Try it with a dash of cinnamon for more flavor and add a few chopped nuts and a splash of milk to boost the protein content.

Nutrition Nugget

Starting your day with a hearty breakfast is easier with a little planning the night before. Before you go to bed, give it some thought and make sure you have everything you need at the ready. This way, morning prep time will be faster, giving you more time to enjoy a delicious breakfast to fuel your day.

Here’s to the power of (morning) protein!

Lorna Williams, MPH, RD
Co-author of Eating for A’s

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PS – Teens, we’re here to help you on your quest to be the best you. If you have any questions or need additional information, just join us on Facebook and drop us a note. Take it one day at a time. Soon you’ll reach your goal.  Work hard, play hard, study hard, and have fun! Good luck, the EatingFor Team is cheering you on!