40 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

by lydia on October 25, 2011

I tend towards serving a good healthy protein and fat based breakfast to my family on a daily basis.  Once a week we will have a sweet breakfast, such as homemade muffins with coconut flour and some honey, or a sweet bread like apple bread or perhaps some coconut flour pancakes or waffles always served with a side of meat. I don’t like to do that often because I have found that a breakfast that is on the sweeter side does not serve us optimally like a fat/protein based breakfast will. The kids do better with protein it sustains them longer and keeps them more even and less hyperactive. We almost always have some form of eggs or breakfast meat. This type of breakfast in turn keeps me from craving sweets all day long and from crashing later in the day.

I have four  boys all with different preferences and all leaving at different times in the morning, so it can be crazy. I tend to offer everyone the same meal and some take parts and some take it all. It really varies. Often times my oldest won’t be awake enough to really be hungry but I know he needs some sustenance (please do not skip breakfast folks!), so he will have a banana and a glass of raw milk and his cod liver oil, or sometimes just a glass of milk. I feel that is actually a way better option than a bagel or cereal even though it’s a minimal breakfast, it’s a truly nourishing one. I also like to give my kids some type of live/raw food in the morning, so this is usually when they will have a serving of fruit. It might be a banana, some fruit that is in season, or their favorite is frozen wild blueberries. Occasionally I will fry up some hash browns in lard or serve up a bowl of rice along with a protein option. Leftovers can be a great breakfast, don’t be afraid to think outside the ‘breakfast’ box. Breakfast in most countries is typically savory, not sweet and for good reason! Ultimately, breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated and can take very little time, but does require planning and should be a top priority in making it healthy.

Overall ideas for an optimal breakfast 

Try to eat something with a good source of protein from pastured animals and some kind of healthy fat. Consuming something raw or fermented is a good idea to give you enzymes, probiotics, nutrients and will aid your digestion at the start of the day. That could include some raw milk, some fresh fruit or veggies,  a glass of kombucha, beet kvass, water kefir, kefir or coconut kefir,  or a lacto-fermented vegetable (I eat sauerkraut almost every morning!).  With these three items in place daily you will surely set yourself up for a more energy efficient day with no blood sugar crashes or afternoon cravings for sweets, as well as a more even and happy mood!

Take some time to plan ahead for what breakfasts you will have. Do a little prep work on the weekend for the upcoming week. Make large batches of things that you can pull from and gently reheat daily or grab on the go. Don’t settle for the simple fix of cereal, in the long term it will not have been worth the few minutes of time you save daily. You and your kids are worth it, and there is always time for things that are important enough. A healthy breakfast is not an option, your health depends on it! And you know what they say; ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!’ I couldn’t agree more!

Below I am including 40 breakfast ideas, some include gluten and grains, some have more sugar in them that I would prefer, I think 1/2 cup of sugar per recipe is plenty, breaking it down to just a couple teaspoons per serving. However, for those of you who may be transitioning from cereal to a homemade option, it’s still a better option overall. Just be sure to include ample good fats along with any grain or recipe with sugar added. Try to shoot for the majority of your breakfasts not to be starchy or sweet. I mean, who doesn’t love having an excuse to eat more bacon!


Breakfast Recipes/Ideas

Gluten/Grain Free Sourdough Pancakes

Transition from cereal/bagels/toast to other homemade baked options or soaked grain options

  • Soaked oatmeal – try the recipe from Nourishing Traditions!
  • Homemade Rice pudding
  • Sprouted grain toast with butter – maybe some fruit (we get our sprouted grain bread from Trader Joe’s, my boys are particularly fond of the cinnamon raisin Ezekiel Bread)
  • French toast with sprouted grain bread or true sourdough bread. Serve with fresh fruit and whipped cream or make a maple butter of 2 parts butter to one part maple syrup to reduce the sugar intake a bit!


Grain/Gluten Free Options


  • Homemade whole milk yogurt made with raw milk or store bought whole milk yogurt plain with fresh fruit and a touch of honey – or full fat Greek yogurt. Try this Spiced Yogurt recipe!
  • Fresh fruit with homemade whipped cream (or coconut cream), sour cream, yogurt. This makes a good simple breakfast in warmer months when fresh fruit is abundant and you may feel like eating a bit lighter anyway.
  • Glass of kefir – for a quick yet sustaining meal try a glass of milk kefir or coconut kefir. Make sure it’s homemade the store bought version is not even close to as good for you!
  • Crepes with fruit and some type of cream filling




  • Breakfast Sandwich – try a sandwich using a homemade drop biscuit recipe with a variety of options such as scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon or tomato, or sausage patty. The possibilities are endless. You could even make these in advance, freeze them, get them out the night before and reheat for a quick breakfast on the go. Or, try this bacon and avocado sandwich with hollandaise sauce!
  • Scrambled eggs with butter side of veggies or sauerkraut, or sourdough toast.
  • Fried eggs or poached eggs with side of veggies, or meat, or some toast, hash browns – or whatever you like really!
  • Hard Boiled Eggs -make up a batch on Sunday for quick simple breakfasts, turn some into;
  • Omelets – any combination of meats, cheeses and veggies you can think of!
  • Breakfast Wraps – Scrambled eggs with sauteed veggies or fresh chopped veggies or salsa, a dollop of sour cream or some shredded cheese or even salsa inside a sprouted grain tortilla, organic sprouted corn tortilla or a lettuce wrap. Or try these breakfast tacos!


Breakfast Meat Options


  • Pastured Bacon (with sourdough toast or sprouted grain bread if you can have it) or eggs and sauteed veggies. (here’s how to make bacon in the oven!)
  • Pastured Scrapple – serve alongside some eggs, or toast with butter or in an omelet.
  • Pastured Sausage Links – One of my kids favorite breakfasts is sausages and a bowl of wild blueberries that we get frozen. Takes no time at all.
  • Ham Steak, with hash browns, sauerkraut, sauteed veggies – the possibilities are endless!
  • Smoked Salmon – by itself, on a salad, with eggs, over sourdough toast, with some homemade cream cheese in a lettuce wrap. Or even Gravlax (stay tuned for my recipe). Salmon Jerky if you are in a hurry.
  • Smoked Kippers and sauerkraut – Try a variety of different fatty fishes with some kind of veggies alongside. A great way to get some omega 3’s along with your fat and protein requirement and something raw, fermented and loaded with enzymes!
  • Salmon Cakes or Roe Cakes – make some up in advance and freeze, pull out the night before and gently reheat in a toaster oven or a cast iron skillet.


Not Your Typical Breakfast


  • Leftovers from dinner – this could vary, but it’s a great quick already made option, just reheat and go!
  • Soup – Soup is actually a super nourishing option and we have soups and stews on hand most often. Use homemade bone broth. This is actually the crux of the GAPS diet, a healing diet to repair your gut health – something that is often harmed by the consumption of excessive processed foods with gluten including cereal. Most of us grew up on store bought cereal and now we can see the ramifications as many are having such health issues that require them to take on healing diets and avoid grains altogether. (See the Recipes Page for nourishing soups and stews to try!)


Beverage Ideas

  • Organic coffee  with heavy cream (preferably raw) – while coffee certainly is not ideal it’s inevitable there are many that love their coffee and it certainly can be prepared more healthfully. Opt for organic, grind it fresh if possible and if you buy it already ground keep it stored in the freezer. Try to wean to half caf and then decaf if at all possible. Use only full fat milk or cream, preferable raw and grass fed and definitely not homogenized or ultra pasteurized. A little touch of organic sugar with color in it is best, no white or refined sugar, or agave or sugar substitutes.
  • Organic teas with raw honey and some coconut oil -  So many people kind of balk at the idea of ‘oily’ tea, but try it sometime you may just get hooked and it’s one more way to consume a good health fat. Coconut oil is a great thing to start your day out with.
  • Raw milk or Raw milk protein drink – A glass of raw milk is a great way to get all three of my objectives for a healthy breakfast, granted you tolerate it. Try it with a few egg yolks stirred in for an even more nourishing quick breakfast.


I hope this list is a helpful tool for those of you who get stuck in figuring out what to serve for breakfast. If you have a real food blog that is WAPF/Traditional/Paleo/Primal/GAPS or SCD friendly, please feel free to link up your healthy breakfast recipe links in the comments so we can make this a very comprehensive real food resource for folks! Did I not list an idea – share it in the comments!

This post contributed to Real Food Wednesdays.

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LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health From The Inside Out in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Sign up for the Divine Health From The Inside Out newsletter! Pick up a copy of Lydia’s eBook; ‘Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals’.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Lydia also offers 3 online course: Heal Your Gut, Get Healthy To Lose Weight and A Calm Mind. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!



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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

JanaC2 October 25, 2011 at 7:01 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have been in a breakfast “slump” lately… and my children joined me. I used to make these amazing banana “cookies” for my daughter’s breakfast (mashed bananas and veggie puree with oats and chocolate chips or raisins for some sweetness), but we ran out and I’ve been trying to think of a new allergy-friendly alternative (preferably with some protein). You compiled the most amazing list of ideas! I have already printed out several to try… maybe even this morning!
GREAT JOB! Thanks for the thorough explanation of what a “good” breakfast should look like and then offering so many great alternatives to fit any lifestyle!


julie October 25, 2011 at 7:11 am

Yay! Great post, you made me very hungry so now I need some breakfast. I love breakfast!


Amanda Z October 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

My husband has been growing impatient with eggs every day – and yogurt & grapefruit just doesn’t cut it for me. Thanks for all these ideas!

I’m wondering about your suggestions for coffee. I’m desperately trying to get myself off of caffeine (again….) – but I’ve heard that decaffeinated coffee is processed with formaldehyde! YUCK!

In The Maker’s Diet, Jordan Rubin recommends organic, regular coffee because it is less processed than decaf. I know NT says to give up all caffeinated items (coffee, tea & chocolate…. sadness) – but I just can’t get tea to satisfy the coffee itch.

Do you know of a healthy, safe brand of decaf to try – preferably one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Would love your advice!


lydia October 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

Amanda ~ I hear you on the coffee issue! You could try swiss water process decaf coffee and make sure it’s organic fair trade too! I managed to wean myself from coffee a few years ago and it was so worth it – now I only let myself have it as a treat on the weekends here and there! You could also try tea as it is lower in caffeine, and try to wean yourself that way! I buy my coffee from a local place that roasts their beans fresh so no yucky formaldehyde – try searching in your area for something like that.


Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures October 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

Love this! I am in a horrible breakfast rut.

Here’s another, my Chia Banana Bread: http://www.naturalfamilyawareness.com/health/index.php/2011/10/23/chia-banana-bread/


Amanda Z October 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for your thoughts, Lydia. I’ll check with a couple of local coffee roasters – I just assumed theirs was treated the same way.


Kelly @ The Nourishing Home October 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Great post – so many delicious ideas! Thanks for sharing! I posted it to my FB page so I hope it brings you many new friends! Blessings, Kelly :)


Emma @ Craving Fresh October 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

This is such a great resource. I’ll be coming back to it often.


Barb @ A Life in Balance October 26, 2011 at 7:44 am

Thank you! Thank you! I tweeted and shared this on Facebook because it’s so helpful!

One question – what’s your local place for coffee? We’ve been ordering organic French Roast through Amazon however, I’m reworking my grocery shopping. I’m thinking about making a weekly trip to the Swarthmore coop for eggs, butter, produce, meat, and raw milk.


lydia October 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

Barb – I get my coffee from Burlap and Bean. I think they sell it in other places, they may have it at the Swarthmore Coop!


Cody October 26, 2011 at 8:17 am

Amanda, have you ever tried dandy blend? It is ground roasted root of dandelion and chicory. Has a very similar taste to coffee. I think even better, w no caffeine and the benefits of those wonderful roots;) also yerba mate tea is delicious and has much less caffeine than coffee.


Amanda Z October 26, 2011 at 8:39 am

Cody – thanks for the suggestion. I’ve never heard of it Dandy Blend. I’ll see if I can get my hands on some. I love to drink tea of all kinds, although Mate isn’t my favorite. I’ve tried replacing my coffee with black tea, green tea, red tea, white tea, herbal tea – I enjoy them all, but when that desire for coffee hits there’s just nothing that seems to fix it except a cup of joe. The problem is once I drink one – I need more and more – it never just stops with one cup! I had the same problem when I switched to decaf, so I’m not sure its the caffeine – but not I’m hesitant to drink decaf.

I’ve read some things about the Mood Cure that suggests amino acids may help. Now to get my hands on a copy of that book.


lydia October 26, 2011 at 8:41 am

Amanda – I was gonna say, check out the Mood Cure! It may be a simple solve!


Barb @ A Life in Balance October 26, 2011 at 9:16 am

I second checking out the Mood Cure. I’ve been working on a number of issues for the past few years. Nothing serious, and yet I still hadn’t gotten all the way to completely healthy. After meeting Lydia last week, I picked up a copy of The Mood Cure and started reading it. I definitely fit the irritable profile so I found GABA at my local pharmacy (a more extensive one than CVS). I’m already feeling a difference with the GABA. I need to incorporate the other 3 main amino acids into my supplements and see if that’s the missing key.

Lydia – They do have B & B at the coop. Thanks!


lydia October 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

That’s great Barb! So if you find you are needing multiple aminos (which we really all do!), may I suggest you look for a balanced amino acid supplement, that way you don’t get ‘off’ and unbalanced – hey you want a life in balance after all, right?! sorry, couldn’t resist the pun 😉 Anyway, just my 2 cents and it’s more affordable that way! You can email me if you need specific brand suggestions.


JanaC2 November 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I made the coconut flour pancakes today… fabulous!


lydia November 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Oh awesome! I LOVE coconut flour pancakes!


Kami November 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Is lard a healthy fat, I seriously can’t keep up! I thought it was a big no-no, I swear I must live under a rock! 😉


Valerie H November 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm

This is a fabulous breakfast list. I have been serving my kids the same food for breakfast and lunch every day. Some of them are getting tired of scrambled eggs with bacon bits. I tried soaked and baked oatmeal for one daughter. Shortly thereafter she had some kind of allergic inflammation on her ears. I cut out the oatmeal to see if it made a difference. We got a new ice cream maker this year. I have been making raw, pastured ice cream in various flavors. Won’t they be surprised if I give it to them for breakfast! Maybe I’ll sneak some kefir in. They only like commercial, flavored yogurt. I was like that too as a kid.


lydia January 19, 2012 at 7:38 am
jennifer April 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

I love the idea of “Homemade Ice Cream with real cream and egg yolks”. A friend of mine just shared with me the ebook from http://just-making-noise.blogspot.com/2011/08/now-available-just-making-ice-cream.html. This has some great recipes for whole food ice cream and it explains the different ways to make ice cream from a hand turned crank to electric makers. It is worth the donation!


melanie April 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm

GREAT list. I’m always in need of a little inspiration in the breakfast department… Looking forward to trying the almond/coconut flour cereal!

A few that I have come up with over the years are:

Sweet eggs – scrambling eggs with a stir-fried fruit like bananas or apples, and cinnamon with a little stevia. It’s basically a breadless banana bread or apple fritter.

Breakfast hash – if I have leftover baked potatoes, I stir-fry onions, bell pepper, garlic, etc then chop up the potatoes and scramble a couple of eggs sometimes throwing in frozen spinach at the end. Kind of like a last minute frittata and a great way to stretch your last couple of eggs…

“Egg” rolls – you can use rice wrappers to wrap a scrambled egg meal for a little more fun and variety.

Mochi – in a pinch we cut up the squares of rice-based mochi, cook them and shmear them with homemade cultured cream cheese and a dab of raw honey. It’s the gluten-free bagel bite!

Nut cereal – My paleo chiropractor turned me on to this instant delicious cereal. Any combination of crispy nuts and seeds (I chop them up finely) then add shredded coconut, frozen blueberries, banana slices and poor raw or coconut milk over it. My kids love it!



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