These healthy aging breakfasts are packed with nutrients that support overall health. Start your day off right with these nutritious options!
Healthy Aging Benefits of Breakfast
- Increases your energy levels
- Improves your focus & concentration / brain power
- Decreases your risk of chronic diseases (Diabetes & Heart Disease)
- Lowers your risk of being overweight or obese
- Helps you make better choices throughout the day
Components of a Healthy Aging Breakfast
Include a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in your healthy aging breakfasts! A combination of these macro nutrients makes you feel fuller longer.
Another benefit of a balanced breakfast is stable blood sugars, which in turn promotes healthy digestion, improves focus and concentration, and increases energy.
Calorie Content at Breakfast
I’m often asked “how many calories should I eat at meals?”. This really depends on an individual’s preferences and energy needs.
A general calorie recommendation for breakfast is about 300-500 calories. Find out your calorie needs using this calorie calculator from the Mayo Clinic.
Timing of Breakfast
There isn’t a perfect time to eat breakfast. Some people wake up hungry, and others need a little time to feel like eating.
With older adults, I find that timing of breakfast often coincides with medication regimens.
Try out different breakfast times to figure out what works best for you!
Convenience Foods in your Healthy Aging Breakfast
Creating a consistent breakfast routine often relies on options that are ready to eat.
Cereal, oatmeal, frozen waffles, yogurt, and protein shakes are some healthy packaged food options.
Frozen prepared foods, such as breakfast sandwiches can also work, just be mindful of the sodium content.
Limit your sodium intake to 600 mg or less per meal.
Knowing how to read a food label will really empower you! Check out the FDA’s resource on how to read a food label.
Healthy Aging Breakfast Options
Cereal is a quick and easy breakfast option! Whole grain cereals contain fiber and are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
A fortified food has extra nutrients added to it or has nutrients added that are not normally there. High fiber foods lower cholesterol and improve gut health.
Healthy Cereal Options
- All Bran
- Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets
- Banana Nut Crunch Great Grains
Suggested Portions & Pairings
Cereal ~ 1 cup, milk of choice half to 3/4 cup, fresh fruit (1 cup or 1 piece)
2. Oatmeal – a comforting healthy aging breakfast!
Is there anything better on a cold winter morning than oatmeal?
Oats have a nice flavor! They also make a great base for toppings like fruit and nuts. Oats are packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins & minerals.
Healthy Aging Benefits of Oatmeal
- Lowers cholesterol
- Improves digestive health
- Lowers blood sugar
- Promotes a healthy weight
Types of Oatmeal
- Rolled; rolled flat removing bran. They have less fiber, and cook faster.
- Quick; rolled thinner. These cook even faster than rolled oats.
- Instant; come in packets and are typically flavored. They cook the fastest, but contain less fiber and added sugar.
- Steel Cut; least processed with highest fiber content. These take the longest to cook; may be prepared in a slow cooker.
Suggested Oatmeal Portions & Pairings
1 cup of oatmeal is a healthy serving size. Add additional flavors and textures with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and/or nut butters.
Yogurt provides protein, calcium, vitamins, and Probiotics.
Greek yogurt contains more protein than traditional yogurt which can leave you feeling more satisfied throughout the morning.
Healthy Aging Benefits of Yogurt
- Protects bones and teeth
- Prevents digestive issues
- May boost immunity through Probiotics
Suggested Yogurt Portions & Pairings
A healthy portion of yogurt is about a cup. Individually portioned yogurts come in 6-8 ounce portion cups.
Be sure to check the added sugar content on the food label when choosing yogurt. Limit added sugar to 4 grams or less when choosing yogurt.
- Fresh fruits
- Nut butter
4. Eggs – so many options for healthy aging breakfasts!
If you lived through the 1980’s, you may have gotten the message that eggs are not a good choice due to their high cholesterol content.
However, we now know that the cholesterol in eggs does not raise the cholesterol in the body.
Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats. They also provide our bodies with Vitamins B6, B12, and D.
Healthy Aging Benefits of Eggs
- Reduces risk of heart disease
- Promotes eye health
- Aids in weight management
Suggested Portion for Eggs
A healthy portion is two eggs.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting eggs to one per day (or two egg whites) for individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes.
Egg Breakfast Options
- Hard boiled egg mashed up on toast (hard boiled eggs last in their shell in the fridge for up to 7 days)
- Egg Sandwich – eggs your way topped with cheese on toast or an English muffin
- Omelet with veggies & cheese
- Eggs your way with turkey bacon & fresh fruit
- Make ahead egg muffins; check out this mini egg muffin recipe from Dietetic Directions.
5. Toaster Waffles
Mix up your breakfast routine with a convenient toaster waffle!
Choose a high fiber waffle with minimal added sugars. High fiber waffles can help lower cholesterol and improve digestive health.
Healthy Waffle Options
- Kodiak Cakes Power Waffles Cinnamon
- Nature’s Path Flax Plus Waffles
- Kashi Golden Goodness Waffles
Suggested Toaster Waffle Portions & Pairings
A typical serving of toaster waffles is two waffles. Top with nut butters, cream cheese, whipped butter, or yogurt.
A favorite toaster waffle topping of mine is peanut butter with sliced bananas!
6. Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are raw oats that have been soaked overnight in milk or yogurt. This option is super convenient for busy mornings.
As the name indicates, you make them ahead of time and they make for a great “grab & go” healthy aging breakfast!
Check out this recipe from Mind & Memory Nutrition – The creamiest peanut butter & jelly overnight oats.
It is packed full of nutrient dense foods including oatmeal, strawberries, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and Chia seeds.
Chia seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation and promote heart health.
7. Protein Shake
Protein powders and ready to drink protein shakes are another convenient, grab and go breakfast option!
Healthy Aging Benefits of Protein Shakes
- Support weight loss
- Helps maintain lean muscle mass
- Maintains bone mass
- Promotes muscle growth
Check out this make ahead peanut butter & banana protein drink from the Age-Defying Dietitian.
Ready to Drink Protein Shake Options
- Pure Protein Chocolate Shake; 30 grams of protein, <1 gram of added sugar
- Fair Life Nutrition Plan Protein Shake; 30 grams of protein, <1 gram of added sugar
- Premier Protein Shake; 30 grams of protein, <1 gram of added sugar. Offers a varied pack with 5 flavors.
Choosing a protein powder can be overwhelming and depends on your individual nutrition/health goals.
Check out Healthline’s 18 Best Protein Powders by Type, According to a Dietitian to find a powder that is right for you.
Protein powders can be mixed with water, milk, smoothies, and food.
Takeaways from Healthy Aging Breakfasts
Developing a consistent breakfast habit supports healthy aging.
The options above are packed with nutrients such as protein, calcium, healthy fats, and vitamins & minerals.
Benefits of a regular breakfast habit include increased energy, improved focus & concentration, minimized risk of chronic disease, and weight management.
Check out the nutrient-packed breakfast options above to support overall wellness, and healthy aging!
Hungry for more?
Interested in learning more? Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post “7 Anti-Aging Superfoods To Add To Your Diet Today“.
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also Certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management.