Breakfast should be a simple forkful (or spoonful) of yumminess in the morning. It is often described as the most important meal of the day, and rightfully so — it not only provides important daily nutrients such as protein, fiber, calcium, and carbohydrates, but it also helps improve school performance, allowing students to do better on tests, according to the Food and Nutrition Service. There is nothing better than finding edible serenity in a warm bowl of oatmeal, a plate of fluffy pancakes or crispy, avocado toast. Although you may think you’re eating breakfast the right way, there’s an even better alternative to eating your favorite foods. Here are eleven ways you’ve been doing breakfast wrong.
1. You fry eggs in a pan.
Scramble eggs in a microwave-safe mug instead and cook until firm (usually about one minute). You’ll get super-fluffy eggs without greasy cooking oil and extra dishes.
2. You open new cereal from the top of the bag.
Cereal settles. Flip the bag (or the entire box) before you open it to redistribute any clusters or larger pieces. Bonus: You won’t be stuck with a bowl full of crumbs when you reach the bottom of the bag.
3. You cook your oatmeal.
Even instant oatmeal takes time to cook and cool. Instead, make a no-cook version of old-fashioned oats, which are free of extraneous ingredients found in flavored oatmeal packets. In a small mason jar, combine equal amounts of oatmeal and any kind of milk. Add a drizzle of maple syrup and a couple of tablespoons of dried fruit. Then cover and pop it in the fridge. The oats soften overnight and taste perfectly good cold, so you can grab it and go in the morning.
4. You eat cereal in a bowl.
Because most bowls hold more than one serving of cereal, it’s easy to over-serve yourself. Teacups are smaller and therefore hold less cereal. And just like when you eat out of a bowl, you can always refill it if you’re still hungry when you get to the bottom.
5. You cook eggs every. Single. Morning.
That takes time and effort and produces dirty pans and dishes daily. Prep the whole dozen at one time: Just crack the eggs in a big bowl, scramble with a fork, and pour evenly into a greased muffin pan. Baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the centers are firm. Cover with foil and store in your fridge to reheat in the mornings. Then sleep in.
6. You eat yogurt with a spoon.
Stick a popsicle stick through the lid and freeze to create a yogurt pop you can eat with one hand. Or, if your yogurt has a foil lid, upcycle and use it to scoop the yogurt.
7. You cook pancakes on the stove.
The batter is super sloppy. And unless you’re cooking for a crowd, it’s rarely worth the mess. For a single-size serving that won’t muck up your kitchen, grab a mug or ramekin, and use a fork to whisk 1/4 cup Bisquick and 1/8 cup milk. Microwave for about a minute, then enjoy the fluffiest pancake ever.
8. You top your toast with jam.
Congratulations, your breakfast is 100 percent carbs. Top toast with peanut butter, avocado, cream cheese, or even deli meat-eating lunch food for breakfast never killed anyone — add some protein, a nutrient you should eat in the a.m. to stave off hunger and a mid-morning energy crash, says dietician Keri Glassman.
9. You eat fruit-flavored yogurt.
They often pack more sugar than protein, which means they’re basically misclassified desserts. Plain Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar than flavored stuff. If you can’t stand the taste of it straight-up, Glassman says to add three ingredients: a bit of fruit (try raisins, frozen berries, or a diced apple) for fiber and sweetness; a healthy fat (try almonds, peanut butter, or granola) to satiate you; and some sort of spice (think cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cocoa powder) for flavor.
10. You slice bananas for peanut butter toast.
Spread peanut butter on a hot dog bun and put the banana inside. You’ll get the perfect banana-bread-peanut-butter ratio in every bite.
11. You use a kettle to make a cup of tea.
This takes too long and makes tea that’s much too hot to drink. Put a teabag in the coffee pod compartment of your single-serving coffee maker. The tea will steep while the water drips and come out at the perfect temperature.
Which hack will you try first?