I love breakfast (check out my favorite breakfast of all time here). I'm a morning person, and after water and coffee (mmmmm, coffee), I pretty much always start my day with breakfast. The key to a good breakfast for me is it has to be satisfying. I don't want to deal with hanger just an hour later. That means enjoying a balance of protein, healthy fats and fiber most mornings. That might look like oatmeal with nuts and fruit, a yogurt parfait with berries and granola, a smoothie with some peanut butter toast or an egg and cheese sandwich (try these make-ahead high-protein breakfasts for inspiration). One place that never lets me down for all my go-to breakfast grocery needs is Costco. They have a great lineup of foods to help you start your day right. Check out my favorite breakfast foods to pickup at Costco (and if you need inspiration for other meals here are my favorite healthy foods from Costco and my favorite healthy snacks from Costco).
1. Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix
My dad loves making pancakes from scratch, but I need super easy. With Kodiak Cakes all you do is add water. And yet, they're made with all the ingredients I would use, like whole-wheat flour, oat flour, buttermilk powder and a little bit of sugar (just 2g of added sugar per serving, which is a 1/2 tsp). They do include protein as well, so there's 14g in a serving of pancakes. I think they taste light and fluffy (and almost as delicious as my dad's homemade pancakes) but they've got a leg up when it comes to nutrients and convenience. The mix is a great price at Costco and comes in a big box with three individually sealed bags inside.
2. Quaker Oats
Yes, it's possible to eat your way through a 5-lb box of oatmeal. We often make oatmeal for breakfasts (in the microwave on busy mornings, here's how to cook it). It's a whole-grain that has heart-healthy fiber. You can add your own flavors by topping these oats with blueberries, banana, apples or more. Overnight oats are another breakfast favorite.
3. Purely Elizabeth Organic Granola
My favorite granola is homemade (and EatingWell has some amazing recipes to try). But when I run out of time to make my own Purely Elizabeth delivers amazing taste and flavor in a store-bought package. It is a little more expensive, but Costco carries a 24-oz bag of Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Granola for $15.99 (which is much less per ounce than you'll pay for smaller bags at the regular store). It's made with nuts, seeds and coconut and adds a lovely crunch on top of yogurts or smoothies.
4. Dave's Killer Bread
I always try to keep a whole-grain bread on hand for quick breakfast sandwiches or toast. Dave's Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds is made with whole-wheat flour and boasts 5g of fiber and 5g of protein per slice. Those nutrients help fill you up since they take longer to digest. It comes in a 2-pack, so if you don't go through bread fast you can store it in your freezer and toast as needed. I love topping this with peanut butter and banana slices or eggs and avocado for a satisfying breakfast.
Eggs are a protein-rich breakfast staple and if you go through them fast in your house-Costco is the place to stock up. You will be buying 2-dozen at a time, but you can get cage-free and organic eggs for a very affordable price. Eggs also deliver the mineral choline and lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that are important for healthy eyes (learn more about the health benefits of eggs). Enjoy eggs scrambled, in a sandwich or get inspired with one of our make-ahead egg breakfasts.
6. Frozen Fruit
If you have space in your freezer, grab a bag of frozen fruit the next time you're at Costco. Frozen fruit is usually more affordable than fresh, and it's frozen at peak ripeness so it's just as nutritious. The varieties will vary by store but I usually see mango, berries, cherries and more. They're all perfect for adding to smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt parfaits for breakfast.
7. Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal Cups
Buying a large bag of oatmeal gives you more bang for your buck but if you never have time to eat breakfast these oatmeal cups might be a better option for you. There's no added sugar, just oats, chia seeds and flaxseed (with a pinch of sea salt). They deliver about 200 calories, 7g of protein and 7g of fiber. They're ready in 3 minutes, just add hot water. I like topping plain oatmeal with fruit and nut butter or enjoying these plain for a simple but hearty snack. Bonus, these oats are also gluten-free.
Costco sells a variety of yogurts but I like scooping up their plain Greek yogurt for breakfast. Yogurt is rich in protein and pairs so wonderfully with fruit and granola (or cereal). I also like adding it to smoothies to make them a little more filling. I advise skipping the flavored yogurts, which are high in added sugar, and sweetening them at home with fruit or a little bit of sweetener (you'll still probably use less when you add your own).
9. Baby spinach
This might not quite feel like a breakfast item but hear me out. Costco sells large tubs (or bags, I've seen both) of pre-washed baby spinach. It's perfect for salads or dinners but also wonderful in smoothies or eggs. Try this recipe for spinach & egg scramble or make my favorite peanut butter & jelly green smoothie.
Cereal on it's own doesn't usually fill me up for breakfast, but I do love having some for the mornings when cereal sounds best (it's also super kid friendly). Cheerios are made with whole-grain oats and have only 2g of sugar per serving (some cereals have much, much more!). Pair with yogurt, milk of choice or some fruit for a classic and healthy breakfast.
Welcome to The Beet. A weekly column where nutrition editor and registered dietitian Lisa Valente tackles buzzy nutrition topics and tells you what you need to know, with science and a little bit of sass.