While it may still be August and in my mind summer just began, all over the country kids are already heading back to school! While a balanced breakfast is important for all children and adults, it’s even more essential that student-athletes are fitting in this important meal before they head to use their brains for most of the day.
After a long night (hopefully) of sleep with your body working hard to recover from the previous day, your energy stores are low and so is your protein reserve (think the building blocks you have to make what your body needs). Your morning meal is crucial to rev up your energy reserves. Think of it like adding logs to a fire that’s about to fizzle out. Now that your furnace is running, it can fuel all of your bodies processes like heightened brain activity during school and work as well as continued muscle recovery from your exercise routine.
If breakfast is missing any of it’s important components though, it can mean low physical and mental energy levels, plus poor muscle recovery. That in turn can result in poor cognition and low productivity while seriously compromising the effectiveness of an afternoon workout. Plus, low energy and protein intake early in the day often leads to over-eating later in the day. I see this over and over again with clients.
So, what are those components? Quality carbohydrates, protein, and a fruit or veggie. I know, I know. You are thinking Seriously, Kelly? In the morning when I’m barely awake and running out of the house?
I have your back so you can begin your crazy day in an easy, tasty way. What is easier and more portable than breakfast muffins? No, I’m not telling you to stop at a coffee shop to get theirs or buy the bulk ones at Costco. and so do about 20 other dietitians who have awesome make-ahead recipes to start your day! Don’t use having celiac’s disease or a gluten intolerance as a reason to leave this page. Most of these recipes are gluten-free (see “GF” below) and a handful are also vegan.
Pro tip: make 2 batches and freeze so you can easily heat up different ones every other morning.
Some of these are more rich in protein and provide vegetables, like the egg muffins, and most others are more rich in quality carbohydrates with whole grains and fruit. How can you quickly find the balance you need?
- Pair egg muffins with a whole grain muffin & a piece of fruit!
- Pair non-egg muffins with a hard boiled egg & fruit
- Pair non-egg muffins with a drinkable yogurt (like Siggi’s)
Greek Yogurt Raspberry Muffins (pictured above) from Kelli Shallal, RD, CPT of Hungry Hobby
Chocolate Cherry Muffins (GF) from Shannon A. Garcia, MDS, RD, LD with KISS in the Kitchen
Shannon recommends pairing with a single serve nut butter packet that you can take anywhere!
Ricotta Berry Oatmeal Muffins (GF) from Jessica Levinson MS, RDN, CDN of Small Bites
Paleo Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins (GF) via EA Stewart, MBA, RD at The Spicy RD
Secret Healthy Ingredient Muffins
Matcha Green Tea Energy Muffins from Amy Gorin, RDN
Get an energy and antioxidant boost from the matcha green tea!
Chocolate Lentil Protein Muffins (GF) from Sarah Remmer, RD
No one will know these contain lentils, a great source of fiber, protein and iron.
Kid Friendly Bran Muffins from Jodi Danen, RDN author of Create Kids Club
The bran muffins everyone will love! Cheers to fiber!
Chocolate Chip Cashew Butter Oatmeal Muffins (GF) from dietitian and chef, Katie Cavuto, RD
No one will miss the peanut butter with iron, magnesium and zinc rich cashew butter.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Muffins from Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN of CitNutritionally
Blueberry Banana Muffins from Laura Lomax, MS, RD, LD
Laura says on-the-go they’re “Perfect with a glass of milk, low fat string cheese, or drinkable yogurt!”
Banana Bread Muffins (GF) from Julie Harrington, RD, Culinary Nutrition Consultant of RDelicious Kitchen
Banana Nut Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins (GF) from Brittany Poulson, RD of Your Choice Nutrition
Chickpea Flour Banana Muffins (GF) (that you can also transform into healthy cupcakes!)
Banana Raisin Oatmeal Cups (GF) via Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD blogging at Better is the New Perfect
Double Banana Coconut Muffins (GF) from Sharon Palmer, RD The Plant Powered Dietitian
Pair with some roasted edamame or a soy-based yogurt to keep vegan, but boost protein!
Spelt and Oat Pumpkin Muffins by yours truly, pictured above
Honey Pumpkin Whole Wheat Muffins from Jenna Braddock, MSH, CSSD, RD, LDN
Zucchini Pumpkin Muffins from Nicole Eichinger RD, LD
These are a perfect way to transition from summer to fall!
Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins (GF) from Julie Harrington, RD, Culinary Nutrition Consultant at RDelicious Kitchen
Mini Pumpkin Muffins from Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RDN of Hälsa Nutrition
Maria recommends pairing with Skyr and berries or a serving of nuts!
Gluten Free Almond Meal Pumpkin Muffins (GF) – another of my recipes
Easy Veggie Egg Muffins (GF) from Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN of Small Bites
As you can see in the photo above, they work well as a protein source in a school lunch, too!
Make Ahead Broccoli Cheddar Egg Muffins (GF) from Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN of Lively Table