Back at It Breakfast Boxes

by Christina Meyer-Jax, Tastemaker in Residence

photo-1565538810656-1ae3ba0b9dd0.jpeg

Moms and health professionals often talk about “breakfast being the most important meal of the day”, but is it really?  And even if it is, as a dietitian I often hear, “dude there is enough scrambling in the morning I don’t have time to do that with eggs too!”

I feel ya folks, with back to school and other fall madness it’s a challenge to get something more creative than a granola bar in backpacks and workbags.  But the key is simplified, nutritionally balanced components that you literally just drop in the box!

I won’t get too “sciencey” (is that a word?) on the why breakfast is good for you.  Suffice it to say most research indicates benefits such as: 

-eating more nutrient dense foods (increased overall intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber)

-having more energy throughout the day

-eating less overall daily calories due to being less hungry

-better focus and ability to think

But there isn’t a one-size fits all type of approach to healthy eating, so building breakfast boxes could work for late morning mini-meals or lunches too.

The key is choosing nutritionally well-balanced components that are easy to assemble and hold up well in compartmental box (ie. Bento Box style).  Build them up at the start of the week and store in the refrigerator.  No more excuses ☺

Step One:

Buy at least 6-12 compartment or bento style boxes, so you have enough to prep for the week.

Step Two:

Buy nutritionally balanced components and/or make simple recipes to fill the boxes.

Pick a protein-type element

Egg muffins (see my favorite recipe here)

Hardboiled eggs (make at least a dozen at the start of each week)

Cheese stick or Baby Bells

Protein baked oatmeal muffin (see recipe here)

Veggie hummus (to make a wrap)

Greek yogurt (preferably plain and add fruit for sweetness)

Scoop of nut butter for dipping/spreading/wrap (or single serve packet will work too)

Scoop of chocolate hummus for dipping fruit (see recipe here)

Cottage Cheese

Pick 2-3 fruits and veggies

* the sky is the limit here, but here are some options (and don’t be afraid to get them pre-cut)

berries

orange slices

clementine oranges

grapes

grapefruit pieces

mango slices

pineapple slices

peach slices

melon sticks (watermelon, cantelope, etc)

cucumber

jicama sticks

carrots

celery

cherry tomatoes

snap peas

Pick a high quality grains/carbs (optional depending on diet preference)

Pita bread wedges

whole grain crackers 

mini  whole grain bagel

whole grain (low-sugar) dry cereal

granola

mini granola bar

mini whole grain or paleo waffles or pancakes

Pick some healthy fats

nuts/seeds (almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts etc)

olives

avocado slices