Even though the students are just now returning to school, Chad has been going for a few weeks, so we have had to discuss what he would like to do for breakfast. Since his lunch has been a challenge for him, both to eat at consistent times and even to eat at all, we wanted to be SURE breakfast was scheduled.
Given the choice, he would usually like to workout in the mornings, before the days gets too crazy, which is another reason not to skip breakfast; he needs to replace the energy he lost before the day starts and keep his metabolism going. (He often has after-school meetings, then sporting events or other school functions, so it is often most practical to get the workout done before he “punches the clock.”) I always eat breakfast, and am worthless until I do, so eating at home with me could keep him on track, but he chooses to eat in his office. Fortunately, his office is not far from the lounge, where there are utensils, a microwave and a refrigerator. Also, if he can get to the office before too many others arrive, he can eat while getting a few things done. Studies do show that eating at your desk is not ideal for sensing when you are full or getting the most enjoyment out of your food, but in choosing the best meal plan for Chad, this is a better alternative to skipping breakfast altogether, and relatively speaking, it is still a quiet time of day for him, even if he is in his office.
The next step was making him a menu of breakfasts he could keep at school and eat consistently with little preparation and would be near his breakfast calorie goal of less than 500-600 calories. We discussed a list of items he could keep on hand:
- Brown sugar
- Raisins and other dried fruit, such as blueberries and cherries
- Nuts (pre-portioned trail mixes)
- 100% Whole Wheat Bread
- Peanut butter
- Cream Cheese
- Hard Cooked Eggs
- String Cheese
- Cereal Bars (Trader Joe’s or Cliff Bars are his current favorites)
- Fruit (Apples, bananas, etc.)
With these groceries, he should be able to mix and match to get 5 unique breakfast meals per week, and also have some of these items work double-duty as snacks when needed!
Less than 600 calories may seem like a small calorie total for someone Chad’s size; with three meals this size and a 200 calorie snack, the total would be less than 2000 calories! However, we have planned for two snacks and have also given his lunch and dinner larger calorie amounts, since that is the meal plan that he naturally seems to follow.
So far, his breakfasts are going well; he has not been skipping breakfast, and his meals are made of fiber and protein and healthy fats. He is also getting fruit into his diet, which is great for fiber, vitamins and minerals and (other than the dried fruit,) have a high water content.
Here are a few of his breakfasts over the past few weeks. Like most people, his breakfasts tend to be repeated, with occasional changes, such as the type of fruit, or how he mixes his items. (NOTE: The estimated calorie amounts are from nutritional labels or myfitnesspal.)
|TOAST and PB||Calories|
|Smucker’s – Natural Peanut Butter Chunky, 2 Tbsp
|Brownberry Whole Grains – 100% Whole Wheat Bread, 2 slices||220|
|Eggs – Hard-boiled (whole egg), 2 large||155|
|Watermelon – 2 cups
|Trader Joe’s – Cinnamon Raisin Bagels, 1 Bagel
|Crystal Farms – Wisconsin Light Cream Cheese, 2 Tbsp.
|Simply Grapefruit – 100% Grapefruit Juice, 8 oz||100|
|NO COOK BREAKFAST
|Cliff Bar – Coconut Chocolate Chip Energy Bar, 2.4 oz
|Trader Joe’s – Go Raw Trek Mix (Just A Handful of), 1 bag||210|
|Generic – Banana, 2 banana 7″ – 7 7/8||210|
|Raisins – Seedless, 0.25 cup (not packed)||108|
|Coffee – Brewed from grounds, 5 cup
|Quaker Oats Old Fashioned – Oatmeal, 1 cup dry||300|
|Domino – Light Brown Sugar (Pure Cane), 8 gr||30|