What a Healthy 300-Calorie Breakfast Really Looks Like

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Breakfast has a big job. It has to kick-start your metabolism, fuel your body with energy to carry you through the day, help your brain to focus and concentrate, and control your blood sugar—all while keeping you full and satisfied until lunch. That’s a tall order for a meal that is usually prepared and consumed quickly—sometimes even on the go.
Of course, some breakfasts do their jobs better than others.
For those on a weight-loss journey, registered dietitians and nutritionists say it’s best to start the morning with a healthy, well-balanced meal, ideally containing at least 15 grams of protein and no more than 300 calories. But when time is tight and you’ve already used up all of your meal-planning brainpower on lunches and dinners, it can be tough to find the time and creativity to come up with early-morning edibles that fit that criteria.
To save you from succumbing to sugary cereal or a drive-thru donut, we’ve done most of the legwork for you. Let these six healthy, hearty breakfasts designed by SparkPeople’s registered dietitian Becky Hand serve as examples of what a healthy breakfast looks like. Each combination will help you get your day off to a delicious and nutritious start, while keeping you well within your target calorie range.

Grab & Go

Energy Bar, 300 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • Grab an energy bar that contains 180 to 200 calories and at least 12 grams of protein.
  • Round out your 300-calorie breakfast with ½ cup skim milk and a small apple.

Open & Add

Chocolate-Banana Mousse, 297 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • Begin with ¾ cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt.
  • Stir in one packet of sugar-free chocolate instant breakfast mix, such as Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder drink mix.
  • Slowly stir in one to two tablespoons of skim milk until desired mousse-like texture is achieved.
  • Top with cubed banana.                                                              
Other flavor suggestions:

Vanilla powder drink mix with blueberries or strawberries
Strawberry powder drink mix with peach cubes

Hand Held

Mexican Breakfast Burrito, 300 Calories 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (28 grams) whole-wheat tortilla
  • ¼ cup canned, low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
Makes 1 serving.
  • Coat a small skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  • Sauté the beans, chili powder and cumin for two minutes.
  • Add eggs, stir quickly to combine and cook until they are set, about two minutes.
  • While eggs are cooking, heat one tortilla in the microwave for 20 seconds.
  • Fill the center of the tortilla with the egg mixture. Top with cheese and salsa.
  • To wrap, fold up bottom end of tortilla one inch, then fold in each side one inch. Roll tortilla to form a wrap.             
Note: Expand recipe and freeze for later use. Allow burritos to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap or place each in a small zip-lock bag. To reheat, microwave on high for three to four minutes.

Overnight Magic

PB & J Jar, 313 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free strawberry preserves
  • ¼ cup sliced strawberries 
  • In a small bowl, stir together the oats, yogurt, water, peanut butter, vanilla and preserves.
  • Spoon into a pint-size canning jar.
  • Place sliced strawberries on top of oat mixture.
  • Cover jar with metal lid and screw on metal band.
  • Place jar in refrigerator until ready to eat. This mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Shake and Sip

Carrot Cake Shake, 287 Calories
Makes 1 serving.
  • ¾ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup canned carrots, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 large handful of raw spinach (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar-free cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
  • Place first eight ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Add cheesecake flavored pudding mix to desired sweetness. Blend until smooth.  
Which of these would you like to try? What are your favorite healthy meals to start the day?

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BEEGIRL10PJ 8/25/2019
Thanks! Report
Thank you! Report
SUNSET09 8/17/2019
These are great options and information, SparkFriends. We don't know, what we don't know. Report
MSROZZIE 8/16/2019
Good info, thanks! Report
That black bean burrito caught my eye! My go to is 1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt w/1/4 tsp. vanilla flavored sugar, 1/2 cup fruit - usually blueberries - and a half cup cheerios. Or, 1 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup blueberries. Use almond milk in my coffee (half milk, half coffee). Report
-POOKIE- 8/16/2019
we have black bean burrito 4 days a week. Report
BEEGIRL10PJ 7/8/2019
That burrito looked amazing! Report
NANCYPAT1 3/24/2019
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NANCYPAT1 3/24/2019
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NANCYPAT1 3/24/2019
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ALUKOWSKY 3/21/2019
I agree with MISSALISSA1575. In fact, I'd take it a few points further. There are, in fact, very few "processed" ingredients in any of these meals. I went through the list and looked up the ingredients of the packaged foods: the artificial ingredients are just sugarless, 0-calorie sweeteners, and maybe artificial color in the gelatin (but even that depends on the brand you use.) That's it! As for the sweeteners -- there is, in fact, very little scientific evidence for all the claims of how they're "bad" for you, only anecdotal suggestions. Sugar is by far a bigger problem, and all of these recipes are low-sugar or sugar-free. Report
ANHELIC 3/21/2019
Thank you Report
JIACOLO 3/20/2019
Great suggestions! Affordable and easy to make! Report
MISSALISSA1575 3/20/2019
A new point if view for those criticisms about the use of less healthy and prepackaged ingredients in these recipes. For those of us just learning how to control our portions and break bad habits, these recipes seem like something quick and easy with ingredients and flavors I'm used to. I read the recipes and thought "I can do that!" And isn't that the point? Making it doable? Maybe the nutrient dense, super food laden breakfast will come, but for now I just want to quit my cereal from a box, and this to me is a good starting point. Stay supportive, my Spark friends!! Report
GETULLY 3/19/2019
When I travel by myself I often make overnight oats with milk and oatmeal, mix in yogurt and I am good to go. Report
Certainly agree with the comments that the suggested breakfasts have too many processed foods and don't seem very appetizing at all. Report
LEXIJO 3/19/2019
I'm SHOCKED that you consider some of these crappy food-LIKE products healthy breakfasts! Sugar-free Jello pudding? Really?! FULL of chemicals and artificial sweeteners (that are known to cause cancer) and artificial flavors, colors, and a bunch of crap? Where is the nutritional value in THAT?! And Carnation Instant Breakfast? Oh my gosh, say it isn't so. (Face palms self) Another one full of sugar and chemicals and all kinds of awful crap. I love SparkPeople for most of the tips and the community, but I will absolutely look elsewhere for all of my nutritional advice! I want to KEEP my health...not ruin it! Come on SparkPeople...you know better than THIS...don't you??? Report
MARITIMER3 3/19/2019
My go-to breakfast is 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup bran buds and 1/2 cup fresh of frozen fruit... raspberries and banana are especially tasty. I like to get about half my fibre in at breakfast. Report
BONDMANUS2002 3/9/2019
Interesting Report
2BDYNAMIC 3/6/2019
Thanks for the great information! Report
KATHYJO56 2/26/2019
Great ideas Report
SANS2SASSY1 2/24/2019
Thanks! Report
JIACOLO 2/22/2019
Some easy suggestions to grab for breakfast Report
SXB990 2/21/2019
Ty Report
CAROSLIMMER2 2/17/2019
I thought these ideas were a joke. But they are serious?? My go-to breakfasts: Mushroom and spinach omelette. Full fat greek yoghurt with defrosted raspberries and a scattering of walnuts. Not a tin or packet in sight. Report
CAROSLIMMER2 2/17/2019
I thought these ideas were a joke. But they are serious?? My go-to breakfasts: Mushroom and spinach omelette. Full fat greek yoghurt with defrosted raspberries and a scattering of walnuts. Not a tin or packet in sight. Report
If you are going to post something like this, at least make them actually healthy. So many processed ingredients. Come on Spark, you are better than that! Report
Wow, really a lot of better ideas in the member comments! Amazing how people with share faster when one-upping someone else! Report
I agree with people saying these ideas have too many processed food with unhealthy ingredents. None of them sounded healthy and/or appealing to me. Read some good ideas on the comments though, proving that it's not that hard to make a 300 cal breakfast from real food :) Report
SASWAN 2/5/2019
We have a rotation of quick and healthy breakfasts:

One slice whole grain toast + 1/4 avocado (sliced or mashed) + hard boiled egg (sliced)

One slice whole grain toast + 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter + banana

1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt + 1/4 cup granola + fresh fruit

1 serving whole grain cereal (Hodgson Mill has 7 g protein per serving) + fresh fruit + 1 cup milk or milk substitute

All of these take less than five minutes to put together, even the hot cereal. Makes it easy to eat a healthy breakfast every morning.
PWILLOW1 2/5/2019
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats(150 cals) made with 1 cup of unsweetened Almond milk (30), 1 small banana (72 cals), 1 tsp brown sugar (13 cals) = 265. Or swap out the Almond milk for skim milk (83 cals) = total 316 cals.

If you want more protein in your breakfast, try this.
1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (130 cals), 1 cup strawberries (46 cals), 1 tbsp honey (64 cals) = 240.

I agree that there are too many processed foods with unhealthy ingredients. I stay away from anything that says "sugar free". I, unfortunately, did eat a protein bar the other day that did not say that but had chemical sweeteners added. I was sick for 2 days after eating it. You can be just as creative with real foods. Report
CKLA333 2/5/2019
Agree with the comments that too much reliance on processed foods. Also, none of these are vegan friendly. I make a smoothie and have a "shot" over several mornings made of spinach, kale, an apple and if I want it a little sweeter, half a banana. I then add either soy milk or pea protein to it. I also have a cup of berries and some kind of grain like farro or barley. They have 5g of protein per serving. I tablespoon of nut butter swirled into oatmeal or chia seeds can also boost the protein count. It is harder to get enough protein if you don't have egg or dairy so you need to think about more than one source. Report
LQUEST4754 2/5/2019
Some of these sound very good. Another easy breakfast is to toast an English muffin. Spread with one wedge of low fat cheese spread. (The kind that comes in a round pkg. Aldi’s also has a store brand at less than half the price.) Fill with two eggs microwaved in a custard cup. Tasty, quick and satisfying. Ready in 5 minutes! Report
EVAG1209 2/5/2019
Gross. Too much processed food and combinations that look disgusting. Here's an idea that most dietitians would have come up with instead of protein bars or shakes involving instant-pudding mix: hard-boiled eggs. Report
I like some of these ideas. I would swap various items for healthier options. For instance, I would not be using carnation instant breakfast, but my protein powder that I enjoy and is loaded with great things. The carrot cake type item sounds interesting, but i would most likely use shredded carrots. I prefer to get as many raw items as possible. I would have to find a different sub for the cheesecake mix as that would never be an option. Report
MNABOY 2/4/2019
Thanks Report
ANHELIC 2/3/2019
Great way to start my day. Thanks Report
thanks Report
CLEOALLEN 2/2/2019
Too many processed foods for me. No thanks. Report
REDROBIN47 2/2/2019
These are some great ideas. Thanks. Report
JAMER123 2/1/2019
The protein shakes and energy bars are not something I enjoy. I have time to make good breakfasts and do daily. Report
Not so sure there are that "healthy"... Report
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TRIMNUP 2/1/2019
I like the idea of the Mexican Breakfast Burrito. I know there are several recipes available to make our own salsa. I do not like to drink shakes of any kind. I prefer hot oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon for breakfast. Report
HRTBRKR2013 1/31/2019
these are some great ideas I am going to try all of them. thanks for sharing. Report
WHITEANGEL4 1/31/2019
Thanks so much for sharing Report
The article says: ..."Let these six healthy, hearty breakfasts designed by ..." but I'm only seeing 5 - am I missing a page or something?

As for whether these are "healthy" or not, I'll leave that to the others to decide.

These ideas could be a good inspiration for something to start working with. For myself, there is not a single option here that I would find satisfying as listed, and that would supply enough fibre and vitamins / minerals for my needs. They would each need a couple of more servings of fruits or vegetables, along with some healthy fats - and could skip the non-caloric sweetened additions. Report
HWNHMMBRD 1/31/2019
I work mid and night shift, so breakfast is not usually an issue, but if I am forced to work a day shift, I will set up some overnight oats. I like to mix all my "wet" ingredients together and then mix in the oats. One of my favorites is banana with PBFit (powdered peanut butter). Report