Healthy Breakfast Recipe: Learning to Enjoy Whole Grains without added Sugars


Uncle Sam Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal with Bananas and Pomegranate

When it comes to creating new healthy lifestyle habits, I work in stages, to avoid overwhelming myself and to hopefully encourage permanent change. For diet that means starting with what comes first, breakfast.

My goal for the New Year is to continue cutting back on added sugars, whether in the form of honey, maple, or plain old sugar. I want to enjoy a daily sweet treat, but keep the sugars where they belong, in dessert. For my first step, I’ve enacted a no added sugars before noon policy to help me avoid a crash early in the day, and start my day off right with a healthy breakfast.

Added sugars hide in many breakfast foods, including that so-called “healthy” breakfast cereal. That said, switching from a sweetened cereal to unsweetened whole grains can be a shock to the taste buds. To ease into it, I add fresh fruit, cinnamon, dried fruit when I need an extra sweet-hit, and sometimes a wee bit of stevia to unsweetened milk alternative. This livens up the flavors, and sometimes makes me forget that I’m eating a healthy breakfast!

If you aren’t quite ready for the low sugar, fruit-sweetened option in my recipe below, then I have a few other ease-into-it solutions for you:


  • Buy unsweetened rice or grain milk, which naturally contains more sugars and is sweeter, or try the “original” version of a milk alternative (almond, coconut, soy, flax, sunflower seed, or hemp). They are usually lightly sweetened (6 grams of sugars per cup seems to be the norm), but still contain less sugars than dairy milk (yes, the lactose in milk is a type of sugar!).
  • Add just 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of your favorite sweetener to the cereal. Using an unsweetened cereal allows you to control the sugars on your own. You can gradually reduce the amount of added sugars you have as your taste buds adapt. One teaspoon of plain old sugar contains 4 grams of sugars.
  • Try a “starter” cereal. The cereal aisle holds a wide range of sugars, so if you aren’t ready for sugar-free, start with a low sugar option. I like the Uncle Sam Honey Almond Cereal, but they have two other entry-level healthy breakfast cereal like Strawberry.


Uncle Sam Whole Grain Cereal with Bananas and Cinnamon

Do you crave sweet or savory in the morning? What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas and tips?

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