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.
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)
- Slivered Almonds
28 grams protein
- Sriracha Egg Toast
- Granola Bar Snack
25 grams protein
Wide-Awake Pancakes (recipe)
- Steel-cut oatmeal pancakes
32 grams protein
Fluffy Frittata (recipe)
- Fresh Veggies
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.