Now that September is here, most kids are back to school- leaving their parents or guardians scratching their heads about quick ideas for breakfast and snacks. Adults also benefit from breakfast to fuel their brains and bodies for a long day ahead.

I cringe when my daughter runs out the door empty handed. We try to keep bananas, dry cereal, string cheese and other quick food on hand when time is tight, but there are days when breakfast is simply skipped.

Granola bars are fast, but don’t offer much in the way of decent nutrition. Even the ones dubbed “high protein” can be high in saturated fat and sugar. If you buy them, look for ones that are nut or seed based with 5 to 7 grams of sugar per serving max. Ideally, the bars should have less than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving as well.

A recent client that frequents fast food restaurants asked if there’s “anything else out there” for breakfast that’s quick and healthy. There’s LOTS of things that fit that criteria including:

  • String cheese and whole grain crackers
  • Greek yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit
  • Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Hard cooked egg and toast
  • Trail mix with cold cereal, nuts and dried fruit

If you need another idea, try this quick breakfast or snack recipe. Chances are, you have most of the ingredients on hand and if you don’t- there is always room for improvisation.

When possible, include foods containing protein (nuts, seeds, eggs, low-fat dairy products) as well as fiber (rolled oats, whole wheat bread, whole grain crackers, whole grain pasta and rice) when possible. These help manage blood sugar and appetite and maintain long term energy.

If you’ve got someone with a nut allergy in your family, substitute sunflower butter for peanut butter. You can also use almond butter (not allergen free) if you prefer that over peanut butter. Raisins or chopped dried cherries can be used in place of chocolate chips.

I serve these with milk, but you can enjoy them with coffee, tea, water or whatever suits your fancy. I don’t advise alcohol, of course!


2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds or chia seeds

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter with the oil on the top)

2 Tablespoons soy, almond or cow’s milk

¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or raisins


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats with the chia or flax seeds.
  2. In a small, microwave safe bowl, combine the vanilla extract and peanut butter and heat for 30 seconds until sunflower butter is melted.
  3. Add the peanut butter mixture to the oat mixture, then stir in the soy milk and combine.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes to cool before adding the mini chocolate chips in.
  5. Form the mixture into 1” balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes 18 energy bites

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