Get Big Results from this One Small Resolution

Every year, do you pledge you’ll find the right diet, the right exercise routine or that you’ll just be healthier? As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I find that small change is usually the most effective kind. So, instead of focusing on conquering your diet, perfecting your workout habits and boosting your productivity, I’d suggest a focus on one small change that could be very beneficial. And here it is: Remake your plate with more protein in the morning.

Protein 101

Research shows high-quality proteins, such as milk proteins, keep you fuller longer, help with weight maintenance, lead to new muscle creation and aid in blood sugar control.

Spreading your protein out throughout the day is also key. Many experts recommend getting between 25-30 grams of protein per meal. But on average, Americans get 10 grams of protein in the morning, 20 grams at lunch and 50 grams at dinner, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This could use a little adjustment. All that focus on protein in the evening is leaving our mornings deprived.

Milk Your Plate

Good news! One of our favorite breakfast foods, an 8-ounce glass of milk, provides 8 grams of high-quality protein. It also provides eight other essential nutrients you need each day. It can be enjoyed next to your eggs, on top of your cereal or as a midmorning snack to keep you full as you start your day!

Milk is also the foundation for a few of our favorite recipes like Overnight Oats, the Blues Buster Smoothie or the Layered Spinach Supreme. All are easy, family friendly recipes that can help your morning get off to a great start.

Add It Up

Tracking your protein can be a bit tricky. You want to get enough, but not too much. Here are some easy pairings to help you get to 25-30 grams throughout your morning. Feel free to break it up between a healthy breakfast and a mid-morning snack.

Oatmeal with Extra

  • Oatmeal (made with milk)
  • Milk
  • Berries
  • Slivered Almonds
    28 grams protein

Spicy Sunrise

  • Sriracha Egg Toast
  • Avocado
  • Milk
  • Granola Bar Snack
    25 grams protein

Wide-Awake Pancakes (recipe)

  • Steel-cut oatmeal pancakes
  • Milk
  • Almonds
    32 grams protein

Fluffy Frittata (recipe)

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Fresh Veggies
  • Milk
    30 grams protein

Practice Makes Perfect

Spend some time this year adding that perfect amount of protein to your plate. Who knows? One healthy habit could spark another. With one small step at a time, we can all reach our health and wellness goals.

Find more fun ways to incorporate dairy in your morning routine.

By Katie McKee, MCN, RDN, LD

Katie has always loved teaching others about the power of nutrition. She has a background in journalism as a reporter, writer and editor and has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2015. When she's not working, Katie enjoys cooking and spending time with her young son and family. Learn more about Katie

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