When it comes to breakfast, the options are endless. Pancakes or waffles? Bacon and eggs? Muffin followed by a pastry? So why limit those delicious dishes to the morning hours? Here are 34 healthier snack options to satisfy those breakfast food cravings all day long.
Try this superfood twist on classic PB and toast with 1/2 a banana (sliced) and a sprinkle of chia, which is packed with vitamins and minerals (like six times more calcium than milk!).
Here’s a simple and delicious smoothie for the morning rush. Blend frozen fruit (banana and berries work well) with Greek yogurt and a liquid of your choice (milk, juice, coconut water—whatever you like). Freeze overnight and thaw throughout the day to enjoy in the afternoon or blend up in the morning.
Take oatmeal to a whole new level by making it savory. Prepare as usual with milk or water, but add a pinch of salt and pepper instead of any cinnamon or sugar. Then top with an over-easy or poached egg and sprinkle on a little cheese for an extra tasty kick.
Spice up a plain old fruit cup with a scoop of quinoa. Toss the whole shebang around until the quinoa is evenly distributed. Add a dressing of honey, lime, and basil for a little extra body.
Here’s a healthier take on a classic breakfast sandwich: Take 2 slices of a hearty whole-grain bread, spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of homemade macadamia ricotta cheese, and sprinkle with shiso or basil, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Add 1-2 hearty slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes (blotted with paper towel to remove excess liquid) and enjoy.
Cooking quinoa in milk (cow, soy, or almond) and adding some sweet spices and fruit makes for a great substitute for classic hot breakfast cereals. Plus, it’s high in protein and essential amino acids like lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Simply put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer, stir, top with your favorite add-ons, and enjoy!
Sometimes simple is just better. Top two lightly toasted slices of whole-grain bread with smashed avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Layer on two sunny-side up eggs for a healthy dose of protein, and you've got a well-rounded breakfast. Stack 'em in a tupperware container for easy transport or cook the yolks a bit more and make the whole thing into a sandwich.
Here’s a healthy way to have chocolate for breakfast. A bowlful of quinoa makes for a filling, protein-rich base, and the banana and berries add a few servings of fruit.
Stuck with last night’s leftovers? Place a scoop of leftover roasted veggies, potatoes, or meat in a container; top with a cracked egg; and heat in the microwave until the egg white is cooked through, 30 to 45 seconds. (Or just prep in the oven.) Feeling fancy? Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Craving dessert for breakfast? Or breakfast for dessert? This gluten-free bowl should hit the spot. Simply bake a berry blend in the oven, sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings, and add a cup of milk.
Turn a classic baked loaf into oatmeal with this recipe. Adding shredded zucchini is a great way to fit in an extra serving of veggies. Throw on a handful of toasted walnuts for some added crunch.
Finally, a muffin without all the carbs. Plus these guys are simple to make ahead of time. Just zap them for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
Who doesn’t love an egg sandwich? Simply toss arugula with olive oil and lemon juice before frying eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. Place on top of whole-wheat toast layered with ricotta and a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Wrap in foil and enjoy whenever the craving hits!
Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go snack any time of day. Blend frozen bananas, peanut butter, soy milk, Greek yogurt, honey, and a few ice cubes. If this is a morning snack, keep it in a tight-sealing container and throw it in a gym or work bag. For an afternoon boost, prep it the night before and freeze. Remove in the morning, and it will be thawed and ready to enjoy after lunch. Tip: Add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein for an extra protein boost.
Try this sweet take on a classic breakfast sandwich the next time you're eating on the go. Prepare a whole-grain toaster waffle and slice in half. Spread with 2 tablespoons nut butter and jelly of your choice, and layer sliced strawberries on top.
Breakfast burritos are a great, easy snack to keep on hand. Make a bunch, wrap in foil, and keep in the freezer for whenever the craving hits. Protein from the eggs and black beans keeps you fuller longer, and the sweet potato keeps things interesting.
This is a perfect pick for apple season. Cut 1 apple in half and remove the core (plus a bit of the extra flesh around the core). Drop 2 teaspoons nut butter between the two holes, and sprinkle in 1 teaspoon oats or granola. Wrap up the whole apple in foil or plastic wrap to save for later or enjoy as is.
A heaping dollop of pumpkin puree is a great way to squeeze in an extra dose of veggies. Plus, the super-orange superfood is packed with nutrients and a healthy dose of fiber. This recipe pairs the pumpkin with oats, chia seeds, cocoa, and almond milk for a quick and easy breakfast.
This is the ultimate lazy-person breakfast. Combine oats, chia seeds, blueberries, vanilla, and milk and yogurt of your choice in a sealed container the night before. By morning, you’ll have delicious overnight oats! These can be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if you're in the mood for something warm.
By this point, it's probably obvious we think quinoa makes anything better. So when it comes to muffins? It’s a no-brainer. Try these little bites for breakfast or an after-lunch treat.
Yes, it’s possible to make really good scrambled eggs in the microwave. And it’s easy! Beat 2 eggs, throw in a microwave-safe container, add 1 handful of your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves work well), and a sprinkle of cheese. Zap the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook another 30 seconds, or until eggs are solid. Throw a top on the container to eat later or store the raw mixture in a fridge until ready to heat and eat.
Oatmeal is a great option for a hearty snack or breakfast, but what’s the best way to make it into a more convenient and portable snack? Bake it into squares!
This oat-based muffin is packed with healthy carrots and zucchini and lightly sweetened with raisins and a pinch of sugar. Use a mini muffin tin for smaller portions, and eliminate or cut back on the brown sugar (you can also choose a healthier substitute).
This one’s perfect to try out as fall sets in. In your favorite small container (with a reliable lid!), top plain Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin puree and a handful of granola, then sprinkle with cinnamon. The best part? Pumpkin is a bonafide superfood rich in beta carotene, which is essential for eye health.
Any recipe that fits a serving of veggies into a delicious baked good is a winner in our book.
One of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest breakfasts out there is a classic fruit and yogurt parfait. The best part? It can be made with any toppings you like. Try choosing fruits that are in season for the most flavorful options.
Here’s a new way to enjoy quinoa: Make mini quinoa breakfast quiches! In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, 2 eggs, 1 cup of your favorite veggies (spinach or zucchini work well), 1 cup shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Portion into a lightly greased mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Say banan-yeah to this healthy snack. Cut 1 firm (but ripe) banana in half and unpeel, arrange on a small baking sheet or freezer-safe plate, and spread each half with 1 tablespoon almond butter (on the sides not touching the plate). Here’s the fun part: Stick whatever toppings you like on the almond butter—our favorites are granola, chia or flaxseeds, and cinnamon. Insert a popsicle stick or skewer into the cut end of each half and freeze until solid (at least 2-3 hours).
For anyone with a microwave or hot water at their disposal, these customized instant oatmeal packets are fantastic to have on hand. Instead of purchasing pre-made oatmeal packets, assemble your own in Ziploc baggies using whole rolled oats, cinnamon, and mix-ins, such as raisins and nuts.
Fried eggs are great, but what about baking a whole egg with veggies and cheese and skipping the added oil? Try making a pan of these babies at the beginning of the week and bringing one along each day. (Tip: If you use the individual silicone muffin molds, it makes the egg cups even more convenient for on-the-go snacking.)
Muffins from the microwave? Yep, it's possible! Add 1/4 cup quick oats, 1 egg, a handful of berries, and a sprinkling of brown sugar to a mug and mix until evenly combined. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove to take a look, and keep cooking for 30 seconds at a time until the muffin looks firm.
Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please. While Oreos or Chips Ahoy may not make a balanced breakfast, a cookie made of banana, peanut butter, protein powder, and oats is a top-notch choice. Plus, you can pick and choose what you like to mix—go for almond butter and raisins in one batch and peanut butter chocolate chip in another.
Here's a healthier take on the classic lemon-poppy seed muffin. Fiber-rich oat flour is paired with vanilla protein powder for a healthy, filling base. Yogurt lends moisture and some fat, and applesauce makes a great substitute for sugar. The best part? One bar contains about 54 calories and six grams of protein—much better than any muffin we've seen on the shelves lately.
Originally published October 2014. Updated March 2016.