It is well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast means “breaking the fast.” This meal can help jumpstart your metabolism and provide you with energy to start your day.

One benefit of eating breakfast is improved mood. When this meal is made up of healthy nutrients like complex carbohydrates that fuel your brain, it can improve memory, cognitive ability and attention span. Research shows that people who regularly consume breakfast also have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and stroke.

It is recommended to eat breakfast within a few hours of waking up. We are all different and unique. The important part is to listen to our bodies. Lack of time is a common barrier for people who don’t eat breakfast. Time is a precious commodity in today’s busy world, but with a little planning and prepping, adding breakfast to your routine can be worth it.

Simple menu items can make eating breakfast easier than you think. A slice of high-fiber whole wheat toast can be topped with a plethora of options like peanut butter or any nut butter and a piece of fruit. Avocado toast (avocado spread on toast topped with a poached egg) is a popular menu item that’s also easy to prepare. Another alternative is a high-fiber bagel with low-fat cream cheese and fruit.

Recipes and grab-n-go options

Looking for an option you can eat on the run? Turn plain oatmeal into a bowl of hearty goodness by adding nuts, chia or flax seeds, berries, or a few tablespoons of dried fruit. Overnight oats are a popular way to add breakfast to your day. Here’s a fun recipe to try.

Smoothies are another grab-n-go option and a great way to increase fiber intake by adding fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. The Healthy Teaching Kitchen playlist on YouTube has some great smoothie recipes to get you started. For more inspiration, check out the Nutrition and Food Services Recipes and Cookbooks website.

If you need to add vegetables to your diet, a quick omelet is a delicious way to do this. Cutting up vegetables the night before is a good way to prepare for whipping up a healthy meal in the morning, or you can try using frozen vegetables to save time.

VA dietitian can help you make healthier food choices

Get creative! You can swap the eggs for tofu or add some beans and salsa and wrap in a tortilla for a healthy plant-based breakfast burrito.

Making small yet intentional dietary changes leads to a healthier lifestyle. One simple way to do this is to add breakfast to your daily routine. Be inspired and try new ideas to add flavor, color, and nutrient dense foods to your day.

It’s time to make a little time for breakfast! Your PACT dietitian can help with making healthier food choices and your local Healthy Teaching Kitchen classes can help you learn new skills to practice at home.

By Cheryl Monroe

PACT team dietitian at Tulsa VA outpatient clinic

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Published on Oct. 1, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.5 min.

Views to date: 8,143


  1. Leonard L Copeland sr October 12, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Very interested and helpful post.

  2. james vansant October 12, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    This has been debunked, so much diet advice I see at the VA is out of date and still being controlled by the food manufacturers.

  3. Michael Lapointe October 10, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Great ideas!

  4. Larry October 6, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Hello, Another viewpoint. I was born in 1938; 30 months as a combat engineer in Vietnam; VA enrollee for tinnitus, potential Agent Orange issues, chronic pain (93 jumps), hyperthyroidism. I walk 2 miles every day; daily HIIT routine; hiker, climber, kayaker, skier, up, out and about early.. After much research, I went on the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet in January 2022 in an attempt to address inflammation. I cut out all refined sugars, reduced consumption of red meat, started with probiotic foods (mostly Kimchi and sauerkraut), increased consumption of fish, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables. I did not reduce daily calories. Notably, my FIRST MEAL of the day is at Noon: a ‘breakfast’ consisting of oat cereal, raisins, walnuts, sliced apples, peaches, pears, banana, yogurt, milk and one hard boiled egg. Works for me. I love the Washington DC VA Medical Center, where I receive outstanding care. Thank you VA.

  5. Claude Willis October 2, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Great advice!!

  6. Ian Blissett October 1, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Well done VA. I already have a similarly breakfast as in your post. I am 83yrs and a US Army vet. and very fit (I think) for my age. I told my kids Im going to live to be 100. son said “Dad if you dont, at your funeral I shall stand up and say Dad. lied. Breakfast is very important to me. also you might add (I’m talking retired Brothers and Sisters) exercise is important. My wife and myself go to sit and be fit class every week. all helps to keep your brain active too….. Peace and blessings to all Veterans where ever you are. Ian Blissett. life member of both VFW and KWVA

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