An Energy Bar and a Latte?

If you have a busy day ahead, that won't cut it!

Mornings may be crazy, but you should make time for nutrition. Why? Research shows that a healthy breakfast improves concentration, problem-solving ability and job performance.

So broaden your breakfast horizons with these eight nutrient-packed, prep-ahead breakfast options. They'll help you get off to a better (and tastier!) start each morning:

Overnight Oats

  • Oats (use old-fashioned oats or steel-cut, for more texture)
  • Milk
  • Sugar or sweetener of your choice
  • Nuts and/or dried fruit

The night before: Mix 1 part milk to 1 part oats in a small container, plus other ingredients you prefer. The oatmeal "cooks" overnight in the refrigerator, absorbing the milk and softening.

In the morning: It's ready to enjoy!

Breakfast Cupcakes (12)

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 strips cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

The night before: Whisk the eggs and milk together first. Next, stir in the remaining ingredients. Spray a cupcake tin with nonstick spray, and then divide the mixture evenly into cups. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the egg has set. These keep for several days in the refrigerator!

In the morning: Microwave a few for 60 seconds to warm up.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 1 banana, peeled and frozen
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter,
  • 1 cup milk (cow's, almond or soy)

The night before: Put peanut butter and milk your blender.

In the morning: Add frozen banana and a few ice cubes, and blend! Add yogurt or protein powder to give your smoothie a boost.

Zappable Eggs and Veggies

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 handful of your favorite veggies, chopped
  • Sprinkle of cheese

The night before: Beat eggs in a microwave-safe container, and then stir in veggies and cheese.

In the morning: Zap the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook another 30 seconds (or until eggs are solid).

Fruit and Nut Butter Wafflewich

  • 3-4 strawberries
  • 2-3 tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond or soy)
  • 1 whole grain toaster waffle

The night before: Wash and slice strawberries.

In the morning: Toast waffles and spread with nut butter. Layer strawberries in between, and your wafflewich is ready to go.

Apple Surprise

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon granola

The night before: Wash, core and cut apple in half. Spread nut butter between the two halves, and sprinkle on the granola. Put the two halves back together and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

In the morning: Enjoy!

Berry and Oat Microwave Muffin

  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • Sprinkle of brown sugar
  • Handful of berries
  • 1 egg, beaten

The night before: Place the first three ingredients in a microwaveable mug.

In the morning: Add the beaten egg and mix until evenly combined. Microwave on high for one minute, check, and keep cooking for 30 seconds at a time until the muffin looks firm.

Pumpkin, Granola and Yogurt Parfait

  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • Handful of granola
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

The night before: Layer Greek yogurt with pumpkin puree and a handful of granola, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.

In the morning: Top with an extra handful of granola for extra crunch.


Reprinted with permission courtesy of
Alkar Human Resources