6 Old School Breakfasts Made Healthier

Morning comfort food: Biscuits & gravy, grits and four other surprisingly healthy ways to rise and shine.

Comfort Food Breakfasts - How to make healthy biscuits and gravy * How to make healthy grits * Which cereal is healthy * How to make a Sausage Breakfast Sandwich * How to make Pumpkin Waffles

{Disclosure: I am long-time lover of eggs. I’m also a member of the Health Professional Advisory Council of the Egg Nutrition Board. However I was not asked nor compensated to write this post.}

Everyone is telling you a big green smoothie is the best breakfast. But in honor of National Breakfast Month in September, here are six comfort food breakfasts that can be a healthy way to start the day. You may be surprised at what made the list.

1. Biscuits & Gravy

How to make healthy biscuits and gravy - light biscuits and gravy

This Southern classic can be heavy; it can also be healthy – especially when made with fat-free evaporated milk, whole wheat flour and lean meat. Growing up in Montana, we had biscuits and gravy for dinner not breakfast. But now I live about halfway between the North and the South – in the St. Louis area – so I serve these for brunch.

This recipe for Lightened Biscuits & Gravy via Christine @Food Done Light has 3 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein for 238 calories – so the nutritionals add up better than some breakfast protein bars.

2. Grits

How to Make Healthy Grits - Comfort Food Breakfasts

There are new healthier grits in town: Less butter and whole-grain cornmeal that contains around 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein in the grits alone; add milk and you’ll be adding more protein. Bob’s Red Mill corn grits are widely available and Anson Mills stone ground grits are in some stores or online. Make your grits with low-fat milk, a drizzle of salsa and some veggies like Rachael @Avocado A Day does here Southern Goat Cheese Grits & Vegetable Bowl.

3. Eggs

How to Make Jimmy Dean sausage egg sandwich copy cat

It’s pretty much old news that ‘An egg a day is OK.’ But here’s something new: Researchers have found that eggs are an especially good way to start the day if you want to stay on track to eat healthy throughout the day. In one study, researchers found that overweight teens who ate a protein-rich egg-based breakfast ate less throughout the day AND snacked less on sugary treats in the evening.

Stack up this breakfast with  30 grams of protein: Quick Sausage Egg & Cheese Sandwich and pair with your favorite fruit.

4. Bacon

How to make Breakfast Burritos for the Freezer - Comfort Food Breakfasts @tspcurry

Deanna and I have often professed our love of bacon; you only need a small amount to get that smoky yumminess throughout a recipe. Apparently we’re not the only dietitian to keep it on hand! Amanda over at @The Wholesome Dish starts her family’s day with a bit of bacon tucked into these freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

It’s my new favorite way to eat eggs AND bacon for breakfast: Southwest Breakfast Burritos

5. Bright Colored Cereal

Which cereals are healthy for kids - Comfort Food Breakfasts - sugar cereals @tspcurry

Dietitian’s Confession: I still can’t pass the cereal aisle without checking out the newest, flashiest-colored cereal box. My mom used to allow a quota of one-sugar-cereal-per-month; so my sisters and I spent long minutes agonizing over which bright box to pick.

Now with my own kids, I still buy one bright box a month – as long as sugar is the *second* ingredient and ‘whole grain’ is the *first* ingredient; often it’s also got ‘puffy’ freeze-dried real fruit. Then we mix and match that sugary cereal with other whole grain cereals: Cheerios, Brown Rice Krispies and Frosted Mini Wheats.

Since part of the appeal of sugary cereals is all the different textures and shapes, the resulting bowl of mixed up cereals is fun for my kids to create. Top it with protein-packed milk so the kids won’t be hungry an hour later.Southern grits, biscuits and gravy, eggs + bacon: 6 Old School Breakfasts Made Healthier via @tspcurry Click To Tweet

6. Frozen waffles

How to make Pumpkin Waffles - Which Frozen Waffles are Healthy

These aren’t from the freezer aisle. They are from your own the freezer. That’s because homemade waffles have way less sodium – like these Pumpkin Pecan Waffles – and are great to make, freeze and then toast up in the morning. And they will certainly make breakfast shine in terms of all-around good nutrition:

  • About 15% of the daily value for vitamin A
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 8 grams of protein

Top them with Greek Yogurt Whipped Topping and pile on toppings like more pecans, dried cranberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

What’s your favorite old school/comfort breakfast? Do you eat a different breakfast on the weekend vs. weekdays?

 

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We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

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