The Protein-Rich Breakfast a Dietitian Eats for Fast Fuel

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With the demands of everyday life—such as work, getting the kids to school and back, and carving out time to exercise—it can feel as though there are hardly any hours left in our day to make a quality breakfast. Sure, you may not have time to prepare a whole spread, but there are still plenty of easy and healthy breakfast options that will fuel your morning and beyond. For days when you need quick fuel, registered dietitians applaud instant oatmeals with protein.

Most protein-rich oatmeals are packaged in a to-go cup or packet, require just water, and are microwaveable, making them a convenient and hassle-free breakfast option. Not only that, many are packed with fiber and protein. Eating a high-protein diet has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes and can also “help support muscle health, immune health, and more,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, a registered dietitian based in Charleston, South Carolina. While classically thought of as breakfast food, oatmeal can be consumed throughout the day as a snack, or as a part of your lunch, which is what makes oatmeal so great, adds Manaker.

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Without further ado, check out these protein-rich options that will give you a headstart in the morning and deliver “oat-standing” energy.

Instant oatmeals with protein to try

three kodiak cakes instant oatmeal cups
Kodiak Cakes, Instant Oatmeal Cup Variety Pack — $31.00

From pancake mix to muffin packs, Kodiak Cakes’ lineup of pantry staples is impressive. And the brand is adding to its portfolio with protein-rich oatmeal cups. Plain oatmeal is meh, but this variety pack is stocked with three mouthwatering flavors you’ll actually want to eat: peanut butter chocolate, maple and brown sugar, and chocolate chip. Each cup clocks in at 14 grams of protein, which is nearly half the 30 grams per day recommendation, per Manaker, and is easy to make. All you need is hot water and a spoon. Who said breakfast had to be difficult?

Protein: 14 grams per serving

quaker protein instant oatmeal
Quaker, Protein Instant Oatmeal Banana Nut — $4.00

Banana lovers, rejoice! Your favorite fruit now comes in oatmeal form. The nutty and fruity flavors of this mix will awaken your stomach with four grams of fiber per serving and 12 grams of protein. What’s great about this option is that you can prepare it with hot water on the spot, or add milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract for some overnight oats action. Whatever you decide, it’s going to be a hearty and healthy breakfast.

Protein: 12 grams per serving

rx am maple oat cup
RX, Oat Cup Maple — $4.00

RX’s oatmeal is no one-cup wonder—you know exactly what’s inside. For the maple flavor oat cup, there’s oats, one date, nine almonds, and an egg white (yup, that’s it), delivering fiber and protein with every bite. To prepare, add hot water and stir, microwave, or let it sit overnight to make overnight oats.

Protein: 12 grams per serving

nature's path brown sugar maple instant oatmeal
Nature’s Path, Organic Gluten Free Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal — $4.00

Gluten-free? Nature’s Path has got you covered. Their gluten-free rolled oats are combined with a hint of brown sugar, amaranth, and quinoa to deliver a filling and delicious breakfast. With each packet, you’ll get 160 calories and four grams of protein.

Protein: 4 grams per serving

qi'a superfood organic gluten free creamy coconut instant oatmeal
Qia’s Superfood, Gluten-Free Creamy Coconut Instant Oatmeal — $8.00

Another gluten-free option, Qia’s Superfood Instant Oatmeal is a must-try for those who love coconut. Made of organic rolled oats, dried coconut, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, this creamy oatmeal is sure to give you long-lasting energy for the day ahead. Additionally, each serving clocks in at five grams of fiber and six grams of protein to boost energy levels and aid in muscle recovery after a workout. All in all, it’s delicious, easy to prepare, and a great pick-me up meal or snack.

Protein: 6 grams per serving

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