12 Easy Ways to Sneak Veggies Into Your Morning Meal

With only one in 10 Americans meeting the daily recommended intake amount of vegetables, it's important to take every opportunity to get them into your diet. Not only do vegetables provide an array of nutrients including fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients, but eating vegetables (and fruits, which are also under consumed by 85 percent of Americans) is also closely associated with a multitude of health and well-being benefits.

Instead of neglecting your greens and the rest of the produce section, why not work to sneak veggies into larger meals? Breakfast is one meal where vegetables are often forgotten in favor of carb-heavy pastries or simple eggs. There are a variety of vegetables you can include at breakfast, though, including dark green vegetables like kale and spinach, red and orange vegetables like carrots and bell peppers, legumes, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.

In addition, per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fresh, frozen, canned and even dried count toward your daily recommended vegetables. If you're choosing canned, look for low sodium or drain and rinse your beans, as research shows that you can reduce the sodium by up to 40 percent. If you choose frozen vegetables, pick packages where the vegetable are the only ingredient listed; skip those with sauces or butter that contain extra calories and saturated fat.
It's time to skip the cereal, listen to your mama and the CDC, and use these 12 simple tips to add veggies to your morning meal.
 

1. Shakshuka


This Mediterranean dish from my "The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook" is traditionally made with canned tomatoes, peppers and onions, and is a step up from sunny-side up eggs. I often meal prep shakshuka at the beginning of the week and eat it every morning. You can increase the number of veggies used and add spinach, kale or even beans to up the nutrition even more.
 

2. Egg Bites


Seattle-based registered dietitian Ginger Hultin, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of ChampagneNutrition, incorporates veggies into her breakfast in the form of egg bites. "They're popular at coffee shops and incredibly easy to make at home, either in a machine made specifically for them or in muffin tins," explains Hultin. She recommends using chopped fresh broccoli or spinach, pre-chopped vegetables or frozen varieties to hide in your egg bites.
 

3. Smoothie


Smoothies are another easy way to up your veggies at breakfast if you're often on the go or in a rush. Cheryl Buckley, M.S., M.B.A., R.D.N., C.D.N., owner of Cheryl Buckley Nutrition, LLC recommends adding veggies like celery, cucumbers, spinach or frozen riced cauliflower to smoothies to amp up immunity while getting lots of fiber and other nutrients. With the right mix of healthy fats and protein powder, you won't even notice the extra veggie servings—but your body will!
 

4. Oatmeal


A favorite trick of New York-based Emily Abegglen, R.D.N., C.D.N., uses is to buy a few local zucchinis when they're in season and chop them as soon as she gets home in the food processor. She then adds them to her oatmeal while the oats are cooking with a little unsweetened cocoa powder, dry roasted nuts or seeds, and a splash of vanilla. In the fall, canned pumpkin can be swapped for the zucchini.
 

5. Breakfast Burrito


If you like something a little hearty to start your morning, Melissa Altman-Traub M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N., recommends a classic breakfast burrito. "Pop some chopped peppers, onions, leftover cooked sweet potatoes, a leafy green like baby kale and beans onto a grill to heat. Add chili powder, salsa and avocado slices, [then] and wrap in a warmed whole-wheat or corn tortilla." Boom. Breakfast.
 

6. Dinner for Breakfast


Think outside the box and enjoy dinner for breakfast. "Breakfast for dinner is already a thing but have you tried having dinner for breakfast [dinfast]?" suggests Samina Qureshi R.D.N., L.D., owner of Wholesome Start Nutrition Counseling. "Just the other day I enjoyed my leftover tofu veggie stir-fry with rice for breakfast," she says. "Not only does it provide my body with a variety of nutrients, but it saves me time and energy as I'm getting ready to start my day." 
 

7. Breakfast Pizza


"I keep a frozen, plain cauliflower crust in the freezer and load it up with the leftover veggies from the week such as bell peppers, onions and that last scoop of salsa," Meridan Zerner, M.S., R.D.N., a dietitian at the Cooper Clinic in Texas says. "Top with a little cheese and salt and pepper and you have a warm, non-traditional, nutrient-rich breakfast slice!"
 

8. Muffins


The easiest vegetables to incorporate into muffins are zucchini and carrots—either together or separately. Both work well with sweet flavors like cinnamon and maple syrup, and it's a great way to get some veggies at breakfast for anyone who is always on the go. Josten Fish, R.D., the owner of Muscle & Manna, adds shredded carrots to muffins to make them "carrot cake" style with an added kick of antioxidants.
 

9. Hummus and Veggie Breakfast


Another savory breakfast idea is from Cristina Svec, M.A., R.D.N., C.L.E., a dietitian working at West Oakland Health in California, who likes to use hummus as a spread for whole-wheat toast. She tops it with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers to get in lots of veggies without sacrificing any flavor. In addition, this combo provides "protein and fiber from hummus and lots of vitamins and minerals from the veggies (such as vitamin A, vitamin C), as well as phytochemicals that help fight cancer and keep the heart healthy, " she explains.
 

10. Savory Oat Bowl


Rather than always opting to sweeten your oats, how about a savory oat bowl? Lauren O'Connor, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Nutri Savvy Health, has a simple, but delicious recipe for giving her oats to some veggie love. "Sauté a little onion with bell pepper and mushrooms, add your favorite seasonings, and serve it over your bowl of warmed oats for a comforting and delicious morning meal."
 

11. Savory Yogurt Parfait


First oats, now we're coming for your yogurt parfait! "Savory yogurt parfaits are trending, and [they are] a fantastic way to add veggies into your breakfast meal," Lindsey Pine M.S., R.D., C.L.T., owner of TastyBalance Nutrition, says. "[First,] mix low-fat plain Greek yogurt with olive oil, black pepper and a small pinch of salt. Top with various vegetables, such as chopped Persian cucumber and dill, or roasted carrots, chickpeas and za'atar spice blend, then enjoy!" 
 

12. Green Onion Sourdough Pancakes


"I make a savory sourdough pancake and top it with green onions snipped from my windowsill herb garden," says Bri Bell, R.D., owner of Frugal Minimalist Kitchen. Bell's trick is to sprinkle the green onions on the pancake before you flip it so they stick, then allow them to caramelize when you cook the other side of the pancake. Serve it with sautéed greens and runny eggs for a balanced breakfast.

The days of sugar cereal and syrup-soaked pancakes are long gone. Start your day the healthier way with one of these veggie-packed alternatives and you'll feel the difference in overall health and energy levels in no time.
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Member Comments

I often do a veggie frittata or soufflé omelette for breakfast. Love the sound of the shakshuka and green onion topped pancakes, maybe I’ll try them with chickpea flour..... Report
Oh yes - it's green smoothies for me almost every day for breakfast - LOVE them! They help me get lots of veggies in, I throw in a little protein powder & some seeds it keeps me full for many hours! Report
I'm a big fan of the breakfast burrito and pack it with veggies. That said, I picked up some ideas here that I'll use, so thanks! Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thank you.
I like the idea of "Supfast", eating last night's meal leftovers the next morning.
Some of the recipes drove me to comment that if you are Already on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet then you really don't need to sneak veggies into any of your meals.
As an omnivore, the human body can get nutrition & protein regularly from a variety of sources. As a vegan you are limited to much less. Being that I live in poverty, I find tofu to be an expensive protein source, which also has no L-amino acids in it. L-amino acids are essential to human life.

I liked the twisted sunny-side up dish. I'll be making that tomorrow morning.
Thank you. Report
Add blueberries or strawberries to yogurt. Report
I love adding fruit to oatmeal, instant is ok but old fashion oats with fresh fruit is the best. Report
LOVE my green smoothies. So easy to get in several servings of fruits and veggies. Amazing how only the color changes w/ 2 handfuls of spinach added to my favorite recipe, not the taste. Report
I don't understand why people have a hard time with getting in their needed fruits and veggies... have them cut up and nibble on them when fixing meals or for snacks ... if you use them instead of chips and salty/sugary snacks, you wil get your needed allotment in without difficulty Report
ELRIDDICK
Thanks for sharing Report
Love these options Report
good ideas! Report


 

About The Author

Toby Amidor
Toby Amidor
Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition and the author of "The Greek Yogurt Kitchen" and "The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook."