How to Make Breakfast and Not Be Late for Work

Because there's nothing like eating an egg muffin on the highway, right?

Mid adult man using laptop and preparing breakfast on work surface with serious expression
Photo: 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

If you're not a breakfast eater, sure, skipping it might not be bad. In fact, you may have decided you prefer your shut-eye to your scrambled eggs a long time ago, so you haven't seen breakfast in ages. But if you are a breakfast eater, and if you feel all out of sorts without a morning meal, you certainly know the perils of skipping breakfast. But of course, breakfast often gets left behind as you're hitting snooze too many times, rushing to get your kids to school, or just don't feel like making time to sit down and eat something first thing in the morning.

If you've had to skip breakfast one too many times to count, rest assured you can get back into the breakfast habit. These tips for getting a hearty breakfast every morning will show you just how doable morning brekkie is. Here, dietitians share tips, tricks, and hacks for making breakfast happen in a matter of minutes so you will still be on time for all your day's needs.

1. Meal prep on Sundays.

Okay, so you can really choose any day of the week, but Sunday is seen as a lazy weekend day where you often have more hours to spare for adequate meal prep.

"Make something on Sunday you can eat all week," says Gabrielle McGrath, MS, RD, LDN, a dietitian for Baze. Think overnight oats, mini frittata muffins, homemade freezer burritos, or a healthy banana or zucchini quick bread. Just pre-portion ahead of time for the ultimate quick weekday breakfast. This keeps calories in check and saves time and energy. All you need to do is get it from the fridge or heat it up while you dress.

2. Prep the night before.

Instead of blocking out a day for cooking ahead, you can just do something the night before that can stay in the fridge or be made in seconds.

"A little breakfast prep the night before can make your mornings way smoother. If you're a fan of overnight oats, make those and put in the fridge for the morning, or if you like smoothie for breakfast, portion out the ingredients (banana, spinach, strawberries, and blueberries) in a bag and freeze them ahead of time so that all you have to do is pull one out and blend it with milk and protein powder when you're ready," says Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD.

3. Make a smoothie.

"If you're okay with smoothies in the wintertime, then they can be an easy time-saver in the morning," says McGrath. You can do this a few different ways:

  • Make your favorite smoothie in batches ahead of time and then pre-portion and freeze. The night before, move one smoothie from the freezer to the fridge, and it should be ready to enjoy the next morning.
  • Or, you can let it thaw in the morning. "Some people like to use their smoothie as their ice pack in their lunch bag on the way to work and then enjoy it as it's thawing out throughout the morning," McGrath says.
  • You can also place all smoothie ingredients in a ziplock bag so it's a pre-portioned smoothie pack. Then, dump the pack into your blender in the morning. All you have to do is press the power button, and you're good to go!

4. Go for a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Use your slow cooker or Instant-Pot to speed up breakfast. There's a treasure trove of healthy, balanced slow cooker breakfast options that can be easily made using one of these time-saving appliances.

"Steel-cut oats, breakfast casseroles, and even yogurt parfaits in the Instant Pot are all possible. You can then pre-portion things right after cooking or the night before so it's grab-and-go in the morning," says McGrath.

5. Make portable egg muffins.

"On Sundays, prep things like a frittata or egg muffins, or something as simple as hard-boiled eggs so that you have them ready for breakfast during the week," says Michalczyk. Make a big batch of egg cups to then keep and re-heat throughout the week. Eggs have great protein to keep you fuller longer and are easy to eat on the go.

6. Use the microwave for eggs.

You can also make microwave veggie-filled omelets. "Purchase a silicone omelet maker ($14; to make it super easy. Pour in liquid eggs, and add in any chopped veggies you want. Many groceries, like Trader Joe's, now sell pre-chopped onions and other veggies, which can be a huge time saver," says McGrath. In less than give minutes, you can have a high-quality, high-protein breakfast.

7. Eat leftovers.

Breakfast doesn't have to be breakfast foods — you can eat leftovers from the night before. "This is one of the easiest ways to get started with healthy breakfasts. Just pre-portion your healthy dinner from the night before, heat, and enjoy," says McGrath.

8. Do grab-and-go.

Quick and healthy grab-and-go pairings work just as well and can be easier depending on your routine. "There are more and more healthy on-the-go options than ever these days, so take advantage of that. Things like pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs can be found in the egg section at the grocery store; no-sugar-added oatmeal packets that you can add fruit and nuts to; there are even pre-made overnight oats that you can buy for a quick breakfast," says Michalczyk.

A few winning combinations you can make at home from what's in your pantry? Hard-boiled eggs that you can purchase from the deli section with an apple and peanut butter you can purchase in small grab-and-go packs. Or pre-packaged Greek yogurt with a banana and a 100-calorie pack of nuts, says McGrath. These all work.

9. Make breakfast sandwiches.

Make a frozen breakfast sandwich to keep on hand so you don't need to prepare a breakfast morning of. "There are many recipes and combinations out there for killer breakfast sandwiches that can easily be made ahead of time, frozen, and enjoyed at a later date," says McGrath.

"If you want to get a little fancy, you could make breakfast burritos and freeze them ahead of time to pull out and warm up in the morning when you're ready," says Michalcyzk.

"These are great because if done right, you're getting a high-protein, high-fiber start to your morning if you choose to incorporate eggs and whole-grain bread and veggies," McGrath says.

10. Know your options at your local coffee shop.

Need a back up plan when breakfast at home just doesn't happen? "Scope out your coffee shop for options like egg white bites, oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches, or avocado toast; these are healthy options you can grab when you're in a pinch and need to eat breakfast out," says Michalczyk. In many cases, even these restaurant options can be just as good as anything you make at home, as long as nutrition is up to par.

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