Breakfast Trends: Goodbye, Cold Cereal Carbs. Hello, Hot and Savory Protein!

As mornings become busier and busier, and health information (and healthy recipes) are more readily available today than ever before, our breakfast routine seems to be changing swiftly.

According to data collected by Nielsen and Natural Marketing Instititue late this summer, although cold breakfast cereals remain a large market, sales have been dwindling over recent years. And at the same time, ready-to-cook breakfasts are on the rise. Surely in part because we, as moms and caregivers, continue to learn more and more about the shocking amounts of added sugars found in our cereals – deterring us from such traditional options (see this post from a fellow dietitian, “Should we rethink kids cereal?”) – while also learning more about the benefits of including protein as we greet the day. In fact, according to this data the desire for protein has increased 6% over the past five years (the push for organic ingredients has also gone up!).

So, what’s trending that is easy to prepare and includes more protein?

  • Hot cereals
  • Granola
  • Yogurt bars (particularly those featuring protein on the label)
  • Frozen French toast
  • Frozen breakfast sandwiches
  • Eggs

In my own home, we are a diverse palate in the morning. I am a tried-and-true oatmeal or quinoa lover for my morning meal, while my munchkin prefers my homemade protein packed and whole grain French toast or pumpkin pancakes, and the hubs sticks with granola – both store-bought and homemade. Thankfully each one of us includes a serving of fruit as well! But I must admit, I still keep frozen homemade muffins, store-bought waffles, and breakfast bars on hand for those mornings where time is simply not on our side.

Nutrition tip: If you are choosing to stock up on some healthier options, be sure to hone in on the nutrition facts panel (4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon) and ingredient listing (watch out for partially hydrogenated oils (aka. Trans fat) and one of 50+ names for added sugar). This way at least you hold the power to know exactly what enters your home.

As one who loves to cook (most days), I was pleasantly surprised to see that “some consumers still cook” as shown by the rise in hot cereal and eggs. Interested in doing something more with whole grains and eggs? Check out these links for a few of my favorites!

Okay, mouth is watering and tummy is grumbling. Think I may have to whip up a frittata to kickstart tomorrow’s busy day!

What will you be serving tomorrow morning??

Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN

Follow me on Twitter @JesicaLeaRD

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