Breakfast as a meal of convenience began long before Zoom calls and WFH routines started impeding on the first meal of the day. From the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, breakfast needed to be a quick meal for the early risers who tended to crops and livestock or travelled far distances for work. By the 19th century, Europeans and Americans began to prioritize breakfast for its health benefits, inspired largely by the Clean Living Movement, which gave way to the invention of the first cereal by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg in 1898.
Over a century later, and the two central tenants of breakfast remain—convenience and health. Studies repeatedly find that breakfast improves mental performance for children in school and plays a crucial role in maintaining adequate vitamin and mineral intake in the prevention of illness and disease.
Gone are the days when a healthy breakfast looked like a plain bowl of oatmeal—thanks, in part, to the rise of functional foods, breakfasts options are not only healthier than ever but they target specific health needs too.
From better-for-you cereals to adaptogenic oatmeal; superfood-infused protein powders to muffins made with vegetables, there are no shortage of healthy breakfasts to choose from. Better yet, breakfast brands continue to prioritize convenience by creating delicious, wholesome meals that are ready in mere minutes. Read on for some of the quickest and most nutritious breakfasts to kickstart your 2022.
Functional oatmeal is taking the breakfast market by storm and with heart-healthy flax, hemp and chia seeds, and ingredients used in Chinese medicine—like goji berries and red bean—Yishi is no exception. Each unique flavor—think, Taro Bubble Tea and Red Bean Berry—combines gluten-free oats with specific functional ingredients like turmeric for inflammation and osmanthus flower for relaxation, plus seven grams of plant-based protein.
With flavors like Fruity, Frosted and Cookies & Cream, Magic Spoon cereal satisfies cravings for childhood classics, but without the added sugar. Instead, they use a natural blend of monk fruit, stevia and allulose for a slightly sweet taste. Better yet, the first ingredient is a milk protein blend that dishes up 13 to 14 grams of protein per serving.
Nature’s Path Chia Plus Waffles
From superfood-infused oatmeal to organic toaster pastries—Nature’s Path has no shortage of nutritious breakfast options. These waffles are a standout option for gluten-free and carb-lovers alike. Made with brown rice flour, quinoa and chia seeds, they’re rich in omega-3s and deliver 12 grams of whole grains per serving. Kids will love the Penguin Party Cinnamon and Polar Beary Blueberry flavors too.
Ready in less than a minute in the microwave, these frittatas are ideal for those who like eggs for breakfast but are pressed for time. Seven flavors—including plant-based options made with Beyond Meat—deliver upwards of six grams of protein. Sweet tooth’s will want to check out their protein-rich muffins too, now available in keto-friendly flavors like Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Raspberry. With vegetables as the first ingredient in all their products, Veggies Made Great lives up to its name.
For over 35 years, Kashi has been a go-to for those who like their breakfasts organic, non-GMO and sustainable. Organic wheat berries are steamed, shred, weaved and baked resulting in a light, toasty biscuit that delivers almost a quarter of your daily fiber intake. For a hint of flavor, they make the whole wheat wonders in Berry, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Raisin too. Protein-lovers will want to check out their Protein Waffles and latest keto-friendly spin on their popular Kashi GO cereals.
For those who don’t have the time to blend their protein shake, Huel’s Ready-to-Drink line makes for a complete meal on the go. Each bottle delivers 27 essential vitamins and minerals, balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, six grams of fiber and 22 grams of protein. Better yet, they recently added four new flavours to the lineup—Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Roll, Strawberry Shortcake and Iced Coffee Caramel.
While most granolas are packed with sugar, this seed-powered blend contains no more than seven grams per serving. Sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds are combined with organic oats for a crunchy cluster rich in vitamins and protein. Whether you’re mixing it with yogurt or eating it straight, five unique flavors—think, Chocolate Mocha and Ginger Apple—are sure to satisfy your granola cravings.
With 80% less sugar than your typical Greek yogurt, This slightly sweet Greek yogurt uses a unique slow straining process that removes sugar from the milk, resulting in a slightly sweet yogurt that has just 2 grams of sugar per cup. Better yet, each serving delivers 12 grams of protein. With several flavors to choose from—like the new Mandarin Orange and a limited edition Pumpkin made from rescued pumpkins—the creamy yogurt makes a nutritious addition to granola and oatmeal.
The latest better-for-you cereal to hit the market, Surreal is ideal for those craving a more nutritious spin on the childhood classics. Each bowl dishes up 13 grams of soy protein and a hearty dose of fiber. With four nostalgic flavors to choose from—Frosted, Cinnamon, Cocoa and Peanut Butter—Surreal swaps the sugar for natural sweeteners and inulin from blue agave.
Whether you’re looking for a protein-boost at breakfast or post-workout recovery, these smooth ready-to-drink shakes replenish the body and mind with 18 grams of protein sourced from brown rice, peas and chickpeas. Six unique flavors—like Cinnamon Horchata and Cold Brew—satisfy sweet tooth cravings without the excess sugar.
Rich in vitamin D, this granola is sure to energize you through the dark, winter months. Coconuts, cashews, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds combine for a crunchy cereal that can be used as a topping on desserts, yogurt or even eaten straight from the bag. Available in Chocolate and Vanilla flavors, you would never guess it contains vegetables too—like spinach, broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.
Earnest Eats Protein & Probiotic Oatmeal
Earnest Eats classic superfood oatmeal blend gets an upgrade with the addition of one billion cfu of probiotics and over 15 grams of protein. Whole rolled oats are combined with quinoa and amaranth, plus grass-fed whey protein for a high-fiber, hunger-crushing oatmeal that provides lasting energy. The protein and probiotic blend is available in Maple, Apple and Coconut, while the traditional Superfood Oatmeal cups come in five flavors, like Pumpkin Spice and Cocoa Cashew.
These crunchy o’s swap typical cereal ingredients like wheat, rice and corn for chickpeas, tapioca and pea protein for a nourishing crunch that delivers 8 grams of protein per bowl. With less than 10 ingredients and just three grams of sugar per serving, the slightly sweet cereal satisfies cravings for childhood flavors—like Frosted and Fruity—without the sugar crash.
With 13 raw, organic sprouted ingredients—think, quinoa, chia and buckwheat—providing 20 grams of plant-based protein and 44 superfoods—like wheatgrass and spirulina—delivering 21 vitamins and minerals, this meal replacement makes for an energizing breakfast shake. Available in four flavors, each serving contains seven grams of fiber plus digestive enzymes and 1.5 billion CFU of probiotics to ensure the tummy stays balanced and satiated all morning.
With seven unique flavors—think, Pancakes N’Syrup and Cereal Milk—plus a seasonal limited edition Vegan Peppermint Cocoa, it’s no surprise ONO has sold out six times since launching in 2020. Better yet, it’s super convenient—all you have to do is pour milk into the bag and let it sit overnight. Whey protein delivers upwards of 25 grams of protein per serving and lions mane provides stress-relief, while organic flax and chia seeds offer a hearty dose of fiber.
Packaged in glass and terra cotta pots instead of plastic and hand-crafted using artisanal Greek techniques, this is certainly not your average Greek yogurt. The two whole milk varieties—Plain and Vanilla Bean—are packaged in an elegant biodegradable clay jar while the single-serve strained yogurts come in nine sweet flavors like Orange Blossom Honey and Cherry Vanilla. With 14 grams of protein per serving, they make a satiating addition to your morning cereal or standalone breakfast snack.
A leader in plant-based products for over 25 years, it’s no surprise Silk makes some of the most planet-friendly milks on the market. Made with less water and greenhouse gases than your typical dairy milk, plus more calcium and less sugar, it’s a breakfast milk you can feel good about. Those looking to add protein to their cereal, coffee or smoothie, will want to try Silk’s Protein line. Available in four flavors, each serving delivers 10 grams of pea protein.
From S’mores to Caramel Cold Brew; Birthday Cake to Maple Pancakes—Oats Overnight has no shortage of oatmeal flavors to choose from. With 20 grams of protein, plus functional ingredients like maca root and hemp hearts, each bowl of gluten-free, whole grain oats provides lasting energy to power your day. All you have to do is add milk and shake in their complimentary blender bottle.
Base Culture Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Made from eggs, cashew and almond butter, and flaxseed, this grain-free bread is ideal for those on the keto or paleo diet. Applesauce, raisins and cinnamon give it a slightly sweet taste, without the added sugar, while psyllium husks deliver three grams of fiber per serving. Cinnamon-lovers will want to top it with Base Culture’s Cinnamon Almond Butter.
While Mooala milk alone isn’t enough for breakfast, they certainly give a flavor and energy boost to your less exciting cereals. Banana milk—available in plain banana, chocolate or strawberry flavors—adds sweet banana flavor to cereals and smoothies, while those looking for sustained energy will want to try the Keto Mylk, which delivers five grams of MCTs per serving. With four flavors to choose from—like Chocolaty Chip and Cinnamon Roll—the silky milk makes a nutritious breakfast addition, regardless of whether you follow the keto diet.
Genuine Health Fermented Organic Vegan Protein
While many plant-based protein powders can be difficult to digest, Genuine Health makes theirs in small batches with non-dairy probiotics and enzymes to prevent gas and bloating. With 20 grams of protein sourced from seven plants—think, spirulina, mung bean and hemp–it’s the ideal protein powder for vegans. Available in Vanilla, Unflavored and Chocolate, it provides a protein boost to breakfast smoothies, oatmeal and baked goods.
Whether you need to wind up or wind down, this line of functional granola has a cereal for you. With adaptogenic ingredients like ashwagandha and medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, each granola is designed to target a specific need. Matcha fans won’t want to miss the Matcha Cookie Crunch: an energizing blend of sprouted buckwheat, coconut chips and pumpkin seeds, lightly sweetened with maple syrup and elevated with lion’s mane and matcha to improve focus.
With just three grams of net carbs and over 30 grams of fiber per serving, these bagels are ideal for followers of a gluten-free or keto diet. Available in three flavors—Plain, Lemon Blueberry and Seed Herb and Garlic—the doughy bagel is the perfect base for cream cheese or your favorite breakfast spread. Low-carb loaves come in Oat, Seeded and White, as well as gluten-free options too.
Made from whole grain brown rice and oats, these crunchy squares deliver on fiber and energy. With six flavors to choose from, like Cinnamon and Chocolate Peanut Butter, it’s no wonder the Puffins line is one of their most popular. Their organic cereals—think, healthy renditions of corn flakes and cheerios—and Shredded Wheat make nutritious options too.
With eight sweet flavors—think, Banana and Mint Chocolate—and a creamy, smooth texture, Soylent’s ready-to-drink line makes for a sweet treat, with just one gram of sugar per serving. With each bottle delivering 20 grams of plant-based protein and 28 vitamins and minerals, it’s a satiating on-the-go breakfast that provides lasting energy.
With the first ingredient being eggs, these light crepes deliver three grams of protein per serving. Made without gluten or sugar, they’re the ideal breakfast addition for those following a keto, paleo or gluten-free diet. The large size comes in Egg and Cauliflower flavors—perfect for making breakfast burritos, wraps and fluffy crepes.
Seven protein-packed and gut-friendly plants are combined to keep your stomach balanced and satiated all through the morning. Monk fruit and stevia replace regular sugar while chicory root delivers upwards of nine grams of fiber per serving. Available in eight unique flavors—think, Mint Chocolate Chip and Honey Graham—the gluten- and grain-free cereal satisfies keto and non-keto eaters a like.
Soft, fluffy brioche dough makes for a light waffle inspired by the city of Liege in Belgium. Available in plain or chocolate-coated, the non-GMO waffles swap corn syrup for pearl sugar, making them a healthier option than your typical frozen waffles. European breakfast lovers will also want to check out Belgian Boys’ Bite-Sized Pancakes, Crêpes and Stroopwafels.
Calling themselves the “Beyond Meat of grains,” this Asian female-founded brand is leading the way in grain-changing technology. Their bagel swaps the carbs and sugar for protein, with the equivalent sugar of a celery stalk and net carb content of two banana slices. As they would say, it “gets better”—each bagel delivers 26 grams of protein to keep you energized and satiated longer.
Having donated more than 29 million packets of life-saving food to starving children since launching nine years ago, this snack food brand co-founded by actress Kristen Bell is a breakfast brand you can feel good about. Their kids oatmeal is no exception, with each serving containing a full serving of fruits and vegetables and five grams of protein. Free of gluten, nuts and dairy, the instant oatmeal comes in five flavors: Blueberry, Apple Cinnamon, Strawberry, Chocolate and Rainbow Sprinkles.
Egglife swaps flour for cage free eggs for a gluten-free, keto-friendly wrap perfect for making breakfast burritos and crepes. Each ready-to-eat wrap consists of 95% egg whites, delivering 5 grams of protein per serving. With five flavors to choose from—think, Everything Bagel and Sweet Cinnamon—there’s a wrap for every breakfast taste.
These ready-to-drink protein shakes make a convenient on-the-go breakfast for those pressed for time. With each shake delivering upwards of 30 grams of protein and 24 vitamins and minerals, they provide a boost of energy and immune support. They come in 13 unique flavors, like Cinnamon Roll and Cake Batter, but those seeking a morning pick-me-up will want to opt for the Cafe Latte, which contains the caffeine equivalent of one cup of coffee.