Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Seniors: Boring or Bountiful?

Posted on: February 16, 2023

Kathie H Resident Blogger

By Otterbein Granville resident Kathie H.

The new year is a perfect time to evaluate eating habits. Otterbein Granville chefs do an amazing job offering a wide selection of healthy options. But breakfast is an overlooked meal on days other than Sunday Brunch. 

Nutritionists tell us this meal is the MOST IMPORTANT one each day. What needs to change?

Coffee Mug and Book

Pre-Breakfast Wake-Up

Are you on autopilot when you wake up? Do you grab your coffee mug and settle in to read another chapter in your novel, or put your feet up to catch the early news and weather? 

How do you choose foods to start the day, boost your energy, and keep you satisfied throughout the morning activities?

If you are in a rut, as I am, enjoy a few fresh options to add some excitement to your breakfast plate.

 Fresh fruits and berries add color and fiber Fresh fruits and berries add color and fiber

What’s for Breakfast?

General suggestions from nutritionists tell us that breakfast should include:

  • At least 20 grams of protein – 3/4 cup cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, or three eggs
  • Eight grams of fiber – One cup of raspberries or oatmeal or ALL-BRAN BUDS (1/2 cup has five grams of soluble fiber and twelve grams of insoluble fiber, ensuring that you stay full for hours) 
  • About 10 grams of healthy fats – One tablespoon of nut butter, two teaspoons of olive oil, or 1/3 of an avocado

Did you know that breakfast should be about the same size as lunch and dinner? We remember that this IS the most important meal of the day, right? Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Protein-packed pancakes, served with turkey bacon and blueberriesProtein-packed pancakes served with turkey bacon and blueberries

Pancakes With a Twist

Zucchini Protein Pancakes

A breakfast favorite with a savory twist, zucchini protein pancakes can contain fiber and slow-digesting carbs, instead of the sugar load that comes with traditional pancakes. Top with Greek yogurt for extra tang. Use your favorite pancake mix, and add shredded zucchini and your choice of flavorings – herbs, onion flakes, protein powder, or chia seeds.

Blueberry Protein Pancakes

Blueberry protein pancakes are dairy-free, gluten-free, and have no added sugars. Made with

ripe bananas, these pancakes may be sweet enough, although a small drizzle of Vermont maple syrup is the perfect flourish. Add Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts, and fresh berries for even more protein and fiber. 

Eggs or egg substitutes with veggies and whole grainEggs or egg substitutes with veggies and whole grain

Eggs Many Ways

Veggie Fritatta Muffins

Make-ahead mini frittatas are ready to heat and eat. Put sautéed veggies, like spinach, onions, and peppers, in the bottom of six muffin tins. Whisk three eggs, 1/8 cup of milk, and a dash of salt and pepper, and evenly pour the mixture over the veggies. Sprinkle shredded 2% cheddar cheese on top. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350ºF. For extra fiber, wrap in a flatbread for a breakfast sandwich. 

Egg English Muffins 

A homemade egg muffin is an easy-to-fix, almost-instant breakfast. Break an egg into a bowl and microwave for 60 seconds (stab yolk with a fork first so it doesn’t explode), then sandwich it inside a toasted 100% whole-wheat English muffin with a slice of low-fat cheese and a quarter of mashed avocado. You can flavor the avocado with salsa or garlic for a little wake-up zest. 

Egg Avocado Toast 

Top two slices of whole-wheat or sprouted grain bread with half mashed avocado, and one egg, any style, adds protein. A crumbled turkey bacon slice can also add just the right amount of crunch. 

Turkey Avocado Toast 

Top your avocado toast with a few slices of turkey breast for low-fat protein and drizzle with balsamic vinegar for extra zing. Fresh fruit or berries complete the meal with extra fiber. 

Veggie Omelet 

Our chefs do a great job with these, so maybe save this treat for your Sunday brunch choice. On your own, it’s easy enough to fold your favorite veggies into a two-egg omelet. A side of fruit, avocado, or salad makes it even healthier. 

Nutritional boosts!Nutritional boosts!

Protein Box

For this on-the-go breakfast, pack a reusable container with two hardboiled eggs, 1/4 cup of roasted, unsalted nuts, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a small container of Greek yogurt (0% to cut down on calories and saturated fat). Protein boxes also work well for a lunch treat or snack.

Oats nut butter milk optionsAllBran and Cottage cheese

Steel-cut oats, nut butter (try almond and cashew, too) – Milk options, dairy and non-dairy – Calcium and fiber, important components of a healthy breakfast

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Oatmeal and More

Overnight Oats

Make several in small jars if you want to repeat this breakfast over a few days. For one serving, pour in 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, one to two teaspoons of chia seeds, and two tablespoons of whey or plant-based protein powder. Mix together, let it sit in the fridge overnight (or at least six hours), and top with 1/2 cup of berries and some chopped nuts.

BananaBerry Oatmeal

Cook 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled or steel-cut oats, slice up half a banana, and toss it in with a handful of berries. Top it off with one tablespoon of almond butter and one to two tablespoons of flaxseeds, plus a dash of cinnamon. Rich in soluble fiber, thanks to the flaxseeds, fruit, and oatmeal, here’s a breakfast that helps lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

Power Oatmeal

Make one cup of oatmeal and mix in one scoop of whey protein powder or one egg white, plus one to two tablespoons of chopped nuts or peanut butter. Top with berries or sliced bananas for a touch of sweetness.

Chia Pudding

For this great low-calorie breakfast with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium, use two tablespoons of chia seeds, one cup of milk, and a scoop of protein powder or powdered peanut butter. Top with blueberries, apricots, bananas, nuts, raisins, or even some shaved dark chocolate. 

Yogurt Parfait

Top one cup of plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of fiber-rich berries or fruits, 1/4 cup granola or Kellogg’s Bran Buds, and a tablespoon of chopped walnuts or chia seeds for extra protein.

Strawberry Chia Yogurt

Even easier than chia pudding, just add one tablespoon of chia seeds to your cup of Greek yogurt. Top with sliced strawberries or other berries. Almonds, sliced or whole, add healthy fats and vitamin E, an antioxidant.

BananaAlmond Butter Toast

Top high-fiber dark rye pumpernickel bread or a slice of whole grain or sprouted grain bread with a tablespoon of almond butter and banana slices for a quick, nourishing, and satisfying low-calorie breakfast. 

Whole Grain Cereal and Milk

For a filling yet low-calorie breakfast cereal, choose a whole grain option like FiberOne Honey Clusters with reduced-fat or almond milk. Add a cup of berries or sliced bananas, and one to two tablespoons of sliced almonds for healthy fats. 

Chia seed and flaxseed meal, pantry staplesChia seed and flaxseed meal, pantry staples

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What Is Chia Seed?

Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about 140 calories, four grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, seven grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA for calcium, and trace minerals, including zinc and copper. They are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. 

What Is Flaxseed?

Today, flaxseed is available in the form of seeds, oils, powder, tablets, capsules, and flour. The nutrients in flaxseed include lignans, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) or omega-3. 

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