January 27, 2021

Are you getting enough protein in the morning?

Here’s what you can do to start the day on a protein power trip

What’s your typical breakfast look like? Toast? Cereal? Nothing at all? You’re probably tired of hearing about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but studies continue to show that consuming between 10 and 20 grams of protein in the morning can help you feel full for longer and help prevent overeating later in the day. If you’re not sure if you’re hitting that mark, here’s a few tweaks you can make to your morning meal.


If you’re enjoying the avocado toast trend, check to see how much protein is in the bread you’re using. Breads made with whole grains will naturally be higher in protein (and fiber, too, which also helps you feel full). In fact, many whole grain breads can have between 3 and 6 grams of protein per slice. Topping avocado toast with slices of a hard cooked egg can add 6 more grams of protein. Another idea is to top your toast with light cream cheese (about 2 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons) and smoked salmon (about 8 grams of protein per ounce).


While oatmeal is a great source of fiber and other beneficial nutrients found in whole grains, a typical 1/2 cup (before cooking) contains 4 to 5 grams of protein. Stirring in a tablespoon of peanut butter can add about 4 more grams of protein. And preparing it with milk or soy milk instead of water can add an additional 7 or 8 grams of protein. There’s also the option of choosing oat-based products that have added protein, like the Kodiak Cakes oatmeal packets found in the HealthMarket section at Hy-Vee. One packet contains 12 grams of protein and fewer than 200 calories.


Many popular cereals contain about 2 to 3 grams of protein per serving. Now let’s say you add 1/2 cup of milk, which is about 4 more grams of protein. That’s still less than 10 total grams of protein for the morning. Instead, you could turn your favorite cereal into a parfait, layering it with Greek yogurt and toasted nuts.

Pancakes & Waffles

When you think of a protein-packed breakfast, pancakes probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind. But they can be. Try making your batter with Greek yogurt or soy yogurt, ricotta cheese, or even cottage cheese. If that’s not your thing, you can also try the Kodiak Cakes toaster power waffles, which have 12 grams of protein for two waffles, which can get an extra protein boost by adding a little peanut butter or ricotta cheese on top.