Q: I have been trying to make breakfast a priority at my house this summer, but with school starting up soon and activities beginning, I’m worried that our good habit will slip. I’m looking for some quick and healthy breakfast ideas for my whole family. My husband has high cholesterol, so foods that are heart-healthy would be a bonus.
A: A high-fiber diet is beneficial for those with high cholesterol and many people struggle to get the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber each day. If so, stocking the pantry with high-fiber foods will give you a head start in fulfilling your fiber needs for the day. Getting the recommended amount of fiber per day may provide our bodies with many health benefits including lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. Before your busy schedule gets back into full swing, stock up on high-fiber items such as oatmeal, whole grains, high-fiber cereal, beans, fruits and vegetables. Here are eight tasty high-fiber breakfast ideas the family will be sure to love:
• Fruit and Nutty Oatmeal: Make your favorite oatmeal with nonfat or low-fat milk. Then top it with a tablespoon of dried fruits and unsalted chopped nuts. Dried fruits with the most fiber are apricots, dates, plums and raisins. Add chia or flax seeds for crunch and even more fiber. 336 calories and 6 g fiber.
• Chunky Monkey English Muffin: Top a whole wheat English muffin with a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter. Add sliced banana and top with raisins. 303 calories and 8 g fiber.
• High-Fiber Cereal with Fruit: Berries top the list of fruits with the most fiber, so choose blackberries, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, either fresh or frozen. Choose a cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, such as bran flakes or shredded wheat. 242 calories and 10 g fiber.
• Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes or Waffles: Substitute whole wheat flour in your favorite pancake or waffle batter, then toss in fresh or frozen blueberries. 234 calories and 5 g fiber.
• Veggie Scramble and Whole Grain Toast: Scramble an egg, and toss in a handful of spinach leaves or broccoli to make a healthy scramble. Toast a slice of whole grain bread to serve with it. 234 calories and 6 g fiber.
• Blackberry Yogurt Breakfast Parfait: Layer blackberries and low-fat vanilla yogurt in a parfait glass or bowl and top with a tablespoon of granola. 272 calories and 6 g fiber.
• Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Start with one cup of strawberries. Add ½ cup plain, nonfat Greek-style yogurt, half a banana, ½ cup orange juice and a few ice cubes. Blend in the blender and you have a healthy meal in minutes. 234 calories and 5 g fiber.
• Breakfast Bean Burrito: Scramble one egg, toss in ¼ cup black beans, and place in the center of a warmed 5-inch whole grain tortilla. Top with a tablespoon of salsa and wrap it up for a high-fiber treat that you can eat on the go. 253 calories and 7 g fiber.
April Graff, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian at both Mankato Hy-Vee stores and can be reached at AGraff@hy-vee.com or call 625-1107 or 625-9070. Send her questions about food and nutrition, recipes, meal planning and healthy shopping.