Begin with Breakfast

Key Facts
  • Eating a balanced breakfast will help you perform your best at school and in sports.
  • Try to eat a variety of food groups for breakfast; this will help give you energy and make you feel full.
  • If you don’t have time to sit and eat, choose healthy options that you can eat on the go.
  • Esta guía en Español
  • Young men's version of this guide

Even though it can be hard to make time for breakfast when you’re rushing to school in the morning, there are many benefits to eating a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast will give you the energy you need to perform your best at school and in sports.

Why should I eat breakfast?

Research has shown that teens who eat breakfast regularly:

  • Do better in school
  • Get more important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber) throughout the day

What should I eat for breakfast?

When choosing a balanced breakfast, aim to include foods from a variety of food groups. Having a meal with all the types of macronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, will help you to stay full and feel satisfied. Whole grain carbohydrates typically eaten at breakfast include whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and whole grain bread. Foods such as eggs, peanut butter, nuts, and dairy are all great choices as they have both proteins and healthy fats.

Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas:


  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Plain yogurt
  • Sliced bananas or berries


  • Eggs scrambled with salsa and shredded cheese
  • Whole wheat English muffin or whole wheat tortilla


  • Banana Nut Smoothie (see recipe below)
  • Whole grain toast


  • Scrambled Egg & Tomato Sandwich (see recipe below)
  • Orange (or piece of your favorite fruit)


  • Rolled oats cooked with milk and topped with nuts
  • Fruit


  • String cheese
  • Granola bar
  • Banana

What if I don’t have time for breakfast?

Many teens struggle to find the time in the morning to make and eat a meal. If you’re running short on time, remember that some breakfast is better than no breakfast at all! Keep breakfast foods on hand that you can eat on the go. This may include foods such as granola bars, fruit, yogurt, smoothies, small cartons of milk, small boxes of whole grain cereal, or trail mix.

Below are some additional breakfast ideas that you can “grab & go” if you don’t have time to have sit down breakfast. You can pack nonperishable foods, such as granola bars or cereal, in your bag the night before and just grab anything perishable, such as fresh fruit or yogurt, out of the refrigerator in the morning on your way out the door.

  • Plain yogurt with granola and fruit
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Cottage cheese cup with a piece of fruit
  • Yogurt smoothie with a granola bar
  • English muffin with almond butter and a carton of milk
  • Whole grain cereal (in a to-go container) with milk and a piece of fruit

However, breakfast time is one of the best times to spend together as a family so you can chat and relax before a busy day of work or studying, so try to wake up a little bit earlier in order to have a relaxing breakfast if you can.

Breakfast Recipes

The following breakfast recipes are from our “Quick and Easy Recipes for Teens” Cookbook: