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Beat the Breakfast Blues

Most mornings are never as leisurely as we would like. With the hassle of getting kids out of bed and ready for school AND making yourself look presentable for work, where is the time for a healthy breakfast in a snap?

Cooper Wellness Director of Nutrition, Kathy Duran-Thal, RD, provides these easy to prepare, healthy, and portable breakfast options for those busy mornings. Also, see below for a great weekend breakfast recipe when there’s less rush.

Burrito Madness
Making a wrap for breakfast is just as simple as it sounds. Start with a whole wheat tortilla (try La Tortilla Factory whole wheat with 50 calories and 8 grams fiber), and fill it with protein (chicken, fat-free refried beans, pinto or black beans, scrambled egg whites), dairy (two tablespoons or a slice of low-fat or fat-free cheese), and vegetable (tomatoes, zucchini, corn, onions, peppers) for a quick, out-the-door meal. These wraps can even be made and frozen ahead of time. Have fun and be experimental with your ingredients, but remember to include the three food groups mentioned above and stick with a whole-wheat tortilla that is high in fiber (5 grams or more) when preparing your burrito.

The Commuter
Begin with a large piece of fresh fruit. Pack one zip-close sandwich bag with assorted raw vegetables and another with low-fat granola cereal or trans-fat free crackers (Try Wasa Rye Crispbread or Ak Mak 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat Sesame Crackers) limited to 120 calories worth. Take along a container of low-fat or fat-free yogurt or a stick of low-fat string cheese and stir in two tablespoons of nuts or one tablespoon of peanut butter. With this breakfast, you receive two calcium-rich dairy, vegetable, and fruit servings for the day, and also get in a healthy dose of good fats and fiber-rich grains for about 400 calories and a minimal amount of fat.

For weekends, try this recipe from Cooper Clinic Nutrition:

Hashbrown Casserole


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1-2 pound bag frozen hash browns
  • 1 onion, chopped1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
  • 4 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups egg substitute
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded


Heat oil in a large skillet. Add hash browns, onions, and green peppers. Cook until potatoes begin to brown. Spread potato mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Add Canadian bacon, egg substitute, salt, and pepper; stir to coat all ingredients with egg. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night.
Bake, covered for 30 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes, or until egg mixture is set.

Yield: 8 servings

Per Serving:
195 calories
14 gm protein
5 gm fat (1 gm sat, 2 gm mono)
15 mg cholesterol
22 gm carbohydrate
4 gm fiber
550 mg sodium

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