Food & Drink

Busy Morning? A Healthful Breakfast is Still Easy!

Here’s 4 suggestions that won’t let you compromise nutritional value, but are simple and easy!

Nutrition experts herald breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but a busy morning routine doesn’t leave much time for a nourishing meal. A common misconception is that if it’s a healthful breakfast, it’s complicated. Au contraire, says Kara Friel, registered dietitian at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Proof: This recipe for nutty coconut pancakes can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.

Nutty Coconut Pancakes {serves 4}

Night-before prep makes these flapjacks the morning star.


1 cup organic whole wheat flour

¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup organic unbleached white flour

1 tbs. ground flaxseed

3 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. sea salt

1 tbs. raw sugar

⅓ cup ground pecans

1 cup coconut milk (may substitute regular milk)

⅓ cup organic orange juice (reduce to ½ cup if using regular milk)

1 free range egg, beaten

2 tbs. sunflower oil (organic, expeller pressed)

Use a food processor to grind the pecans into small pieces. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl; add the ground pecans. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, orange juice and beaten egg. Make a well in the dry mix and pour in the milk mixture.  Stir together to lightly incorporate. Add oil and stir. Lightly oil a griddle by spreading the oil with a paper towel. Heat the griddle until water drops dance on it and spread pancake batter on the griddle. Flip when griddle side has browned. Brown the other side and serve with hot, sugar-free maple syrup.


Friel suggests going back to breakfast basics to get your family the sustenance they need in the morning without compromising nutrition value. Her four healthful breakfast suggestions might surprise you with their simplicity:

Oatmeal: I recommend old-fashioned oats in the cylinder containers. You can make one serving in minutes with 1 cup of milk or water. Add 2 tablespoons of raisins, a medium apple or half a banana for a full serving of fruit. If you need a little sweetness, add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar or cinnamon. Add 1/4 cup walnuts or almond for some crunch, good fat and protein. Honey is an option, but not for kids younger than 1.

Cereals: You probably don’t need a dietitian to know you should keep Lucky Charms out of the house, but to find good cereals, look for 5 or more grams of fiber per serving and less than 9 grams of sugar. Good picks are plain Cheerios, shredded wheat, Rice Krispies or Rice Chex. Fiber One is a fantastic option, too. For milk, 1 percent and skim are both low-fat and great accompaniments for cereal. If you have children younger than 2, that’s another story because whole milk can deliver the fat they need for brain development.

PB&J: Rethink this typical lunchbox option as a great source of protein and healthful carbohydrates in the morning. Go for the whole grain or whole wheat bread, and opt for the natural peanut butters that don’t have added sugar. The absence of sweetness can be offset with a jelly or jam, many of which are reduced-sugar.

Eggs: These deliver a protein-packed breakfast with little to no prep time. Grab a carton at the beginning of the week and hard-boil it so all that’s left to do is peel away the shell. Make a quick breakfast sandwich by sliding an over-medium egg between halves of an English muffin. Pair with yogurt, fruit or a glass of milk.