Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so if you don’t skip it, you’re ahead of the pack. But in our rush to get going in the morning, we often grab the quickest or most convenient thing to eat instead of focusing on nutrition.

That means that we still don’t get all of the nutrients we need to get our day off to a good start.
The good news is that you don’t have to get up two hours early to put together a nutritious meal. Here are some tips that will make it easy to eat a healthier breakfast.

• Keep it balanced. Ideally, we should all eat a nutritionally balanced breakfast each and every day. In reality, that doesn’t always happen, but you should strive for as much balance as possible. A balanced breakfast should include one serving of bread or cereal, one serving of dairy (or a non-dairy item that’s high in calcium) and a serving of fruit. Protein is optional, but it’s a good thing to include since it’s nice and filling.

• Don’t be afraid of eggs. Many people steer clear of eggs because they are rather high in cholesterol, but they’re actually quite good for you when eaten in moderation. They contain high levels of vitamins A and D, and they’re packed with protein. There are lots of ways to prepare them, and they’re filling enough to easily get you through to lunchtime.

• Choose the right kinds of grains. Cereal is a nice, quick breakfast, but many cereals are high in sugar and low on nutrients. Look for whole grain varieties without added sugar, and avoid adding sugar before you eat it. Instead, throw in some berries or banana slices to add natural sweetness and a nutritional boost. When it comes to bread, choose a whole wheat or multigrain variety.

• Keep fruit on hand. If you’re pressed for time, it’s tempting to grab a single-serve cereal bar or toaster pastry on the way out the door. But these items usually have very little in the way of nutritional value. Why not keep a bowl of fruit on the table? Apples, oranges and bananas are just as portable as, and much healthier than, anything in a wrapper.

• Have a smoothie. A good smoothie contains all the nutrition you need for breakfast in a tasty and drinkable form. Smoothies are also simple to make – just toss some yogurt and fruit in the blender with a little ground flax seed and give it a quick spin.

When it comes to breakfast, quick and healthy are not mutually exclusive. There are lots of ways that you can get the nutrition you need even on the busiest of mornings.

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