Fall is around the corner! Our schedules are starting to fill up, kids are going back to school, fall sports are starting, and the idea of planning meals in a hurry can send some of us into a frenzy.

For this week’s segment of On the Menu, Katie Francisco, registered dietitian, from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is here to provide some ideas for breakfast in a hurry.

Too often we skip breakfast as a way to save time in the morning, but this is a bad idea. If you skip breakfast, you are likely to be less productive, more irritable, less energetic and end up eating more later in the day, which can negatively affect your health and weight loss efforts.

Plan breakfast in advance. It sounds crazy but having a well-stocked kitchen and pantry, plus a weekly menu in mind will help to keep you on track.

  • Get organized the night before. Make a breakfast plan as you clean up from dinner. Don’t forget about breakfast options when you do your shopping.
  • Keep breakfast simple. It does not need to be a five-course meal, but rather a healthy mix of protein and complex carbohydrates. It can be as simple yogurt with granola and berries or peanut butter toast with banana, etc.
  • Pack your breakfast to go. If there's no time to eat at home, plan a nutritious option to eat in the car or once you arrive at work/school.

Start With Some Powerful Protein

Protein, a missing component in many morning meals, helps you stay focused until lunch. Eating a meal with protein slows down the digestion process so you feel full for longer. Good protein sources include: low fat dairy-string cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs, egg whites or even nuts.

Add in Nutrient-Rich Whole Grains

Healthy carbohydrates help energize both your body and brain. Whole grains provide extra nutrition with more fiber and nutrients, plus they tend to digest more slowly (like protein) than refined carbohydrates for longer-lasting energy. Try whole-grain cereals like oatmeal or whole-grain breads.

Don’t Forget the Fruits and Vegetables

With a goal of eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, why not start at breakfast? Fruits and vegetables add vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant power that help fight diseases and keep us healthy. Fruit-based smoothies, toast with peanut butter & bananas, berries mixed in your cereal or veggies in your eggs are just a few examples.

Make It Routine

Make breakfast a habit. According to research, forming a new habit may take as long as two months — so stick with it. Planning your menus and shopping in advance can set you up for success. Here are some recipe ideas to try to start your day off right!

Avocado Toast


  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 slices whole grain toast
  • 2/3 cup halved baby heirloom tomatoes
  • Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt, to taste


  1. Add avocado slices to each piece of toast, and use a fork to mash up so it is spreadable.
  2. Add tomatoes on top.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies with Chocolate Chips


  • 2 whole Ripe Bananas, Mashed Until Creamy
  • ⅓ cups Peanut Butter, Creamy Or Chunky
  • ⅔ cups Unsweetened Applesauce
  • ¼ cups Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ cup Oatmeal, Uncooked
  • ¼ cups Chopped Peanuts
  • ¼ cups Chocolate Chips (optional)


  1. Preheat heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, mix mashed banana and peanut butter until completely combined.
  3. Then mix in applesauce, vanilla protein powder and vanilla extract.
  4. Finally, add in the oatmeal,nuts and chips to the banana mixture. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies into circles, about a 1/3″ thick.
  6. Bake cookies approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.
  7. When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container.
  8. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats


  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey, optional
  • 1/4 cup diced apples or unsweetened applesauce


  1. In a 1 cup container (half pint jar), add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon and honey. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined.
  2. Remove lid, add apples or applesauce and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
  3. Eat chilled (also tastes great warmed).

Nutritional Info: 210 calories, 4g fat, 48g carbs, 8g fiber, 11g protein

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Makes 12 muffins, 80 kcal each


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • Sliced avocado, for serving
  • Salsa, (optional, for serving)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, nonfat milk and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the spinach, tomatoes and onions.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin pan cups and bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the egg is fully cooked. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan then use a knife to loosen the muffins from the cups.
  4. Top each muffin with sliced avocado and spoon of salsa, if desired. These can be made the night before and microwave well.


Courtesy: Mercy Health Saint Mary's