Wondering what vegetarians and vegans eat for breakfast or just need some quick vegan breakfast ideas for busy weekdays and school days?
If you've got a set amount of time in the morning to feed yourself and the kids and get everybody out the door on time, breakfast sometimes slips through the cracks! Going back to school (or transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet!) shouldn't mean skimping on nutrition—especially when it comes to breakfast. Long touted as the most important meal of the day, for most people, it's also the most rushed meal of the day.
Vegan and Vegetarian Breakfast Ideas
Here are some quick tips to help make sure all members of your vegetarian or vegan family start the day well-nourished with a quick, healthy breakfast on school days, even if you just have a few minutes to spare.
- Instead of the usual “milk and cereal” routine, try experimenting with vanilla rice milk, almond milk, or vanilla soymilk. Because these non-dairy milks are already sweet, your little ones may be enticed to trade in their “Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs” (the cereal of choice for my favorite comic book character) for something a bit more nutritious. If you avoid all animal products, be sure you find a vegan cereal. Or, instead of cereal, try some crunchy granola with soy yogurt.
- If you've never tried pre-packaged instant oatmeal, you absolutely must! Granted, it's not as healthy as plain oatmeal, but kids love the variety of flavors available. Or, spruce up your plain oatmeal with a handful of frozen fruit and some nuts. Use agave nectar or maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar. Add some healthy protein by mixing your oatmeal with quinoa flakes, or, try a high-protein oatmeal breakfast to fill you up fast.
- Think outside the box–cereal box, that is. Who says that breakfast has to consist of bacon and eggs, cereal and milk, or pancakes? Expand your breakfast options by including foods that you wouldn't normally think of eating for breakfast. A simple stir-fry with plenty of veggies can be a great breakfast, or, try chowing down on some leftover quinoa or leftover rice. Just re-heat and heat.
- Flour tortillas are your friend. They can be spread with peanut butter and jelly for a kid-approved wrap, or stuffed with hummus or baba ganoush, veggies, and lettuce for a quick wrap. Try to keep vegetarian deli slices on hand to toss into a flour tortilla as well. Wraps are much easier to munch on the run than a traditional sandwich with bread. Or, make a breakfast burrito! If you've got a can of beans, some salsa and maybe some soy cheese on hand, you've got the makings for a breakfast burrito. If you've got ten minutes or so to spare, you can also stuff a tortilla with tofu scramble to eat on the run.
- Pre-made breakfast cookies or breakfast bars are great to keep on hand and can last several days in the refrigerator.
- Keep it simple. An apple and a banana for breakfast take no time to prepare at all and will give you a head-start in getting in your 5 daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Cruise the freezer section of your grocery store to find vegetarian breakfast “sausage” patties or veggie “bacon”. Just heat and serve as you would with meat-based sausage patties. In the produce or refrigerator section of your grocery store, you might also be able to find veggie chorizo (“soyrizo”), Tofurky-brand sausages or GimmeLean sausages. Just heat and serve, or, incorporate into a breakfast burrito.
- Warm up some marinara sauce and soy cheese on a toasted English muffin or bagel for a perfect kid-sized pizza that can be eaten on the run.
- Prepare your lunch the night before. That's right–lunch. If you have lunch ready to go, you'll have a few extra minutes to spend thinking about breakfast in the morning.
- If you need ideas for a fast, high-protein vegetarian breakfast or anytime meal that usually can be prepared with what you have on hand, here's one to get you started. This easy vegetarian omelet with bell peppers is made with lots of vegetables and lends itself to a multitude of variations (mushrooms, peapods, etc.), including the addition of onion and garlic powder.
- If you're really eating on the go, here are a few meals that you can eat with one hand while steering with the other (not that we do that – nor would we recommend it!):
- Packaged smoothies or soy yogurt drinks. Look for Silk Live! brand ready-to-drink soymilk smoothies.
- Grab a Clif or Luna bar. Both are vegan, mostly organic, and, if you can find them on sale, much less expensive than other meal replacement bars.