Adolescence is perhaps the most crucial part of one’s life. It marks puberty changes and growth spurts. The body undergoes major transformations. Thus, giving adequate nutrition at this time ensures that a teenager grows up to be a healthy adult, both physically and mentally.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the most important one. It fuels your body for the rest of the day, and activities that one might undertake in the course of it. And it is never a good idea to go about your daily routine empty stomach. It can make you bloat and invite several digestive complications. Hence, having breakfast is absolutely necessary for teenagers.
It can be difficult to prepare an elaborate breakfast morning. But the good news is there are several quick ways to have a healthy breakfast before the kid hits school.
Why is Breakfast Important?
“An adequate breakfast not only keeps the teenager physically fit, but studies have also shown that it helps them concentrate better in class, improving their performance and grades.”
- Jane Gilbert, child nutrition specialist and writer
The literal meaning of breakfast is to ‘break a fast’. So this means you will be having the first meal of your day after a long gap. This gap can be anywhere between 10 to 15 hours. It is at this stage that you must supply your body with one-fourth of the daily energy requirement. The body is most receptive to the nutrients at this part of the day than any other.
Children who have nutritious breakfast have healthy body weights, lower cholesterol levels, more energy, and culminate better understanding and problem-solving skills. It must provide all important nutrients (or at least a part) like carbs, calcium, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Breakfast is often neglected due to time crunch or ignorance of its importance. If you are wondering what to eat for breakfast as a teenager, we have a bunch of healthy ideas we will be discussing shortly.
Healthy Breakfast Habits
Healthy breakfast habits should be incorporated in children from a young age. It is important for the body to be familiarized with a healthy eating and sleeping schedule. We have listed some of the important breakfast habits that you must inculcate if you have not yet.
Have a well-rounded breakfast
The triad for a good breakfast is complex carbs, protein, and healthy fat. Have small portions of foods containing all these three nutrients. Also, try to avoid having the same meal every day. In case you are clueless about what is a healthy breakfast for a teenager, we have listed some healthy yet easy-to-make recipes that you can check out down below.
A fruit or vegetable
Fruits and veggies are the most convenient form of food and give you wholesome nutrition without requiring much prep. Thus, to save time without compromising your health, incorporate either of the two in your breakfast.
Keep it simple
Keep your breakfast simple yet filling on weekdays and go for decadent and time-consuming ones on the weekends. There are several easy breakfast recipes to choose from.
Fiber helps in maintaining your gut health. Oats and seeds are good fiber sources and can be had in different ways. However, do not overdo the fiber content as it may lead to constipation.
Do not try to cover up your lunch by overeating at breakfast. This may result in lethargy and bloating. It also increases the gap between meals which means you fast twice a day and that can never be good for the body.
|Have healthy food||Skip breakfast|
|Have adequate amount||overeat|
|Include fruits and vegetables||Indulge too much junk food|
|Maintain a rough time for your meals||Have too heavy a breakfast|
One-Minute Breakfast Ideas
Teenagers hardly have the time to prepare an elaborate meal for breakfast. They are either always on their toes or in perpetual contact with their phones. They barely get enough sleep and thus are often late for school. In that case, what is the best breakfast for a teenager who always runs short on time? Luckily, there are several options at your disposal.
Make your mix of favorite berries, dry fruits, nuts, cereal, and dark chocolate. You can simply put them in a bag and get on your school bus. It will supply you with the protein and healthy fat that you need and does not even take a minute.
Throw in some greek yogurt, chia seeds, peanut butter, honey, and banana into your blender and blend it in until smooth. Pour it in your bottle and head towards the school or playground. You can be creative and use any fruit or veggies you like. Mangoes, peach, apple, melon cherries, cucumber, avocado, spinach, and kale are popular choices for a smoothie. You can also use coconut water, soy milk, or almond milk as your base. No matter what, make sure that you are using healthy natural sweeteners.
Put ¼ cup of low-fat cheese, bell peppers, and sweet corn on a flour tortilla and microwave it for 30 seconds. Roll and have it with a glass of juice. If you feel like having some meat, feel free to add some shredded turkey or chicken. Tacos can be made with almost anything leftover from the previous night.
Peanut butter toast
This one is the classic breakfast. Add your desired helping of unsweetened peanut butter on slices of whole-grain bread and voila! You have your breakfast. Sip a glass of warm milk as an accompaniment.
Five-minute Breakfast Ideas
Peanut Butter Oats
Set aside 5 minutes of your time the previous night and soak your oats in milk. The next morning, slice bananas, peanut butter and add a dash of honey to your oats. You can also add dates, apples, and berries if you feel decadent.
Fill your whole wheat wrap with shredded turkey from last night, cheese, and jalapenos. You can also use some tomatoes and lettuce if you do not want to have cheese in the morning. Wrap it and pack in a foil for your way to school. It keeps you filled up for a long time.
Scrambled eggs and toast
Drop your bread in the toaster and heat a pan with some unsalted butter. Put eggs and milk on it. Season your scrambled eggs with fresh ground pepper and there you have the simplest classic breakfast. You can also microwave your eggs if you like them that way. In that case, whisk the milk and eggs well before it goes into the microwave. Have a glass of juice as an accompaniment.
Avocado toasts are extremely nutritious and can keep you going all day. They are also super easy to make. Mash your avocado and bring it to a creamy consistency. Smear it on your whole grain bread toast and you have the basic layout. You can either have it just like that or add a sunny-side-up egg or cucumber and seeds to infuse it with more nutrients. The call is yours.
Ten-minutes Breakfast Ideas
Combine your pancake mix, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and molasses together. Add some water and whisk until you have got the desired consistency. Pour this batter on a hot griddle and wait for the surface to bubble slightly. Flip over for the other side to cook. Once the pancakes are uniformly golden brown, take them off the heat and serve with syrup.
Vanilla French Toast
Take a large bowl and whisk the milk, egg, cinnamon and pudding until all the ingredients are well blended. This is the dip your bread will go in. Now melt some unsalted butter in a heavy skillet and cook the dipped bread on both sides. It will give your body all the energy that you need before lunchtime.
Boil two eggs and cut them up in slices. Season with salt and pepper and assemble in a sandwich. You may also add some mustard to play around with the taste.
Whisk milk, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla to a smooth consistency. Heat a non-stick frying pan and grease it with 2 to 3 drops of olive oil. Take 1/2 cup crepe batter and spread it on the pan. Cook both sides until golden brown. Let the down-facing side cook completely before turning it over.
Fifteen-minutes Breakfast Ideas
Mermaid Smoothie Bowl
If on a certain morning you are feeling particularly decadent, make this smoothie bowl. Blend the coconut milk, put butter and bananas along with some blue algae powder. Now chop apples, bananas, and cherries to go as toppings. You can customize the topping as you wish and have your smoothie bowl in under fifteen minutes.
Quinoa in Milk and Applesauce
Cook some quinoa and add it to a bowl of almond or coconut milk and applesauce. Now add your favorite toppings and you shall have a delicious bowl of goodness right in the morning.
Homemade sausage and toast
Saute your homemade sausages while toasting a pair of whole wheat bread. Sprinkle some pepper on your sausage and you are good to go. It is best to avoid store-bought sausage. Instead, make them in batches and freeze.
Prepare ¼ cup of black beans overnight and heat it in the morning before you assemble all the ingredients on your bun. Fry an egg and afterward saute some spinach in the same oil. There you have your protein packed sandwich in under 15 minutes.
Healthy Indian Breakfast for a Teenage Girl
Cauliflower greens and besan muthia
Teenage girls need a lot more iron than boys do and that is why introducing iron in their diet every now and then is necessary.
Cauliflower greens and besan muthia is a famous Indian breakfast dish that requires you to knead the dough with cauliflower greens, besan, chili powder, turmeric powder, whole wheat flour, sugar, oil, salt, coriander, and water.
Divide your dough into smaller pieces and toss them in hot oil tempered with asafoetida, sesame seeds, and mustard seeds. And you gave your iron-rich breakfast.
Veggies stuffed paratha
Parathas are the favorite bread of Indians, and kids love them even more when they are stuffed. Making parathas with veggies also keeps one satiated for a long time. This eliminates the scope of eating junk food or snacks before lunch.
Whole wheat dosa
Mix together flour, sooji, sugar, salt, black pepper, ajwain, and baking soda in a bowl. Add water and bring it to a pouring consistency. Heat your non-stick pan and spread a thin but even layer of batter on it. Let both sides cook before taking it off the flame. The carbs and protein in wheat will help boost metabolism in teens making them more active.
Make your Idli mix and keep it covered for 10 mins. You can also get an instant mix from the supermarket and make a batter if you do not have enough time. Put it in an Idli maker or steamer and let it steam for 15 or 20 mins. Serve with sambar and chutney or just any sauce you like.
The Benefits of a Healthy Breakfast
Energy and Brain Functioning
Glucose is the energy source of the body. It’s absorbed from carbs and broken down. Most of the body’s energy comes from fat but some glucose is also stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.
After dinner, when your body is fasting at a stretch, the liver is responsible for breaking down glycogen (the glucose stored) to prevent your blood sugar levels from taking a dip.
Thus, in the morning your glycogen levels are low because your body has used up a lot of the energy stored in the liver. This will eventually lead to your body breaking down fatty acids to produce energy. But without carbs, this can reduce your energy levels.
A healthy breakfast restores your glycogen levels resulting in boosting your energy. And that is why breakfast is important for both the body and the brain to function well.
Helps in Controlling Weight
Research shows that there can be a significant difference in weight gain between people who have breakfast and those who do not. The reasons being:
- It controls your appetite by preventing large fluctuations in glucose levels.
- A well-planned healthy dinner will fill you up sufficiently and restrict cravings for high-fat foods.
May Reduce Your Risk of Illness
People who have healthy breakfast regularly are at a lower risk of having cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Protein at Breakfast
Protein is perhaps the most important nutrient when it comes to growing children. Protein helps in the building of tissues and muscles, and the production of hormones and enzymes.
The adolescent age is the age of development. Children have their growth spurt and thus keeping the body supplied with protein ensures that your child grows and performs the best. Breakfast is a good way to include some of the protein content.
Can Teenagers Eat a High Protein Breakfast?
The ideal protein intake depends on the bodyweight of the teen. As a rule of thumb, one must consume 0.85 gm of protein for each kilogram. Although it is not necessary to abide by it very strictly because a little more protein can be handled by the body in most cases. But, do not go overboard as it may cause you several health issues like:
- Increased cancer risk
- Weight gain
- Heart disease kidney damage
Thus, a high-protein breakfast is not harmful in itself if you are careful enough to regulate the other meals. What you should keep in mind is that the daily intake of protein is balanced out.
Foods High in Protein
You can get your protein either from animal sources or plant sources. The former includes chicken, eggs, fish, meat, etc. while the latter comes majorly from beans and pulses. It is best to incorporate both the sources to ensure that you do not have too less or too much of it.
|Turkey lamb||3 oz||25|
|Black beans||½ cup||8|
|Kidney beans||½ cup||8|
|Soy nuts||1 oz||12|
|Pumpkin seeds||1 oz||9|
|Flax seeds||1 oz||6|
|Greek yogurt||6 oz||18|
These are some of the best protein-rich foods that can be included in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Having a chart of planned meals for a week beforehand makes it much easier to execute even when you are having a time crunch. It also gives you the chance of including the right amount of all nutrients.
What are the 14 worst breakfast foods?
It is no news that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It must also be noted that having the wrong kind of food can do you more harm than good. We have listed some of the worst breakfast choices that you should avoid
- Store-bought fruit juice and drinks
- Breakfast cereals
- Toast with margarine
- Cupcakes and muffins
- Sweetened yogurt
- Bottled smoothies
- White bread
- Cream rolls
What is a good breakfast for a 14-year-old?
Anything that has adequate nutrients in it is a good breakfast for a 14-year-old. It should have a good balance of protein, carbs and fat. If you are an athlete, you must be more cautious about your diet, and chart it out according to the time of your workout. Avoid packaged food and drinks that have artificial colors and sweeteners.
Is Rice a Good Breakfast?
Rice may not be extremely famous in the west, but in several parts of the world, it is a staple. Newer studies are beginning to show that unpolished rice may be a good breakfast. It’s easy to digest, unrefined, and full of carbs which makes it an excellent choice for any meal of the day, even breakfast.
What are the 10 best foods for teenagers to eat?
The nutrient requirement of every teenager is different but there are some foods that can benefit every body type and sex out there.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Diary products
How many eggs should a teenager have for breakfast?
Eggs come packed with several nutrients. It can be extremely beneficial for teens who need all the proteins, fat, iron, vitamin, and minerals it has to offer. However, having too much can invite serious health issues. A teenager can ideally have 2 eggs each day for breakfast. If you are involved in strenuous physical activity, you may also have 3 eggs.
What is the healthiest breakfast for teenagers?
There are several healthy breakfast options for teenagers like bread toast, eggs, milk, smoothie, etc. All of these have their nutritional merits and will only do good to the body. What you choose as your healthiest option depends upon a lot of factors like your body weight, nutritional needs, sex, and the intensity of physical activity you are involved in. The best way to ensure that you get all the goodness is to keep altering your options every day or two.
- Breakfast is an essential meal of the day and must not be skipped.
- A teenager’s body is in a growing phase and needs all the adequate nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- A good breakfast typically consists of a good amount of protein, fats, and carbs.
- Kicking your day off with a nutritious breakfast has several physical and mental benefits. It fuels your body for physical activity, and makes your mind sharper and more receptive.
- Since morning is the busiest time of the day, it is best to keep your breakfast program minimal yet healthy and filling. Try to prep your food the previous night or whip up a simple recipe.
- Do not skip your breakfast or overeat.
- It is best to stay away from junk foods, canned or packet foods, and bottled juices that have artificial colors and preservatives in them.