Nutrition Experts Share 7 Healthy Breakfasts That Cost Less Than $1

Avocado. Organic fruit. Protein powder. Fair-trade cacao. Microgreens. This is an era when the ingredients for a single breakfast smoothie can cost $14. But that is the norm of the privileged, not the experience for everyday Americans who are still struggling with pandemic ― and now wartime ― economies.

In response to what’s happening on the ground and in the wallet for most of us, we asked nutritionists, dietitians and other experts to rise to the challenge of designing tasty morning meals that cost a buck, give or take a couple of cents.

The breakfasts cater to all kinds of diets: flexitarian, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, diabetic. Some experts chose a batch-making approach to get the costs down; others highlighted single servings. Many looked at combos of hearty oatmeal, nutritious nuts and fiber-rich fruit as a way to supplement the meal and satisfy your hunger. But from the suggestions below ― we break down the ingredients, daily allowances and costs per meal or item (which vary according to store and location) ― you should be able to find a few that appeal to you and your family and fit in with your reality.

1. Yogurt, Bananas and Cheerios

Monica Auslander Moreno, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and founder of Essence Nutrition, says this breakfast provides “lots of good folate, prebiotic fibers, and a melange of textures and flavors to fill any belly until lunchtime.” She recommends the cherry orchard flavor of yogurt in particular.

  • 1 Yoplait single-serve yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Honey Nut Cheerios
  1. Slice the banana.
  2. Top the yogurt with the banana and Cheerios.
  • Whole grains: 12+ grams
  • Calcium: 30%
  • Vitamin D: 25%
  • Potassium: 15%
  • Yoplait $0.60
  • Banana $0.17
  • Cheerios $0.14

2. Oats, Blueberries and Walnuts

RDN Deanna Wolfe recommends using frozen blueberries because “frozen are just as healthful as fresh as they maintain all the nutrients when flash frozen!”

  • 1/2 cup Kodiak Cakes classic rolled oats
  • Handful frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  1. Cook oats according to instructions on package.
  2. Top oats with blueberries and walnuts.
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Iron: 15%
  • Oats $0.65
  • Blueberries $0.20
  • Walnuts $0.10

3. Oatmeal, Greek Yogurt and Apples

Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education at Simply Good Foods Co., recommends this as an Atkins 100 healthy breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup cooked oats
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 medium Gala apple, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Cook oats according to instructions on package.
  2. Stir in yogurt.
  3. Top with apple and cinnamon.
  • Calories: 254
  • Calcium: 17%
  • Potassium: 13%
  • Vitamin C: 10%
  • Phosphorus: 10%
  • Magnesium: 10%
  • Thiamin: 15%
  • Net Carbs: 27 grams
  • Protein: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Oats $0.08
  • Yogurt $0.46
  • Apple $0.32
  • Cinnamon $0.02

4. Protein Bread, Peanut Butter and Honey

Cristie Besu, registered nurse, certified sports nutritionist and founder of Eat Me Guilt Free, says, “protein-packed peanut butter and honey is for your inner child.” It can also be, of course, for your actual child. She notes that her breakfast fits into vegan, flex, dairy-free and low-carb meal plans.

  • 2 slices of protein bread
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  1. Spread the bread with peanut butter.
  2. Drizzle the honey on top.
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Fat: 18.5 grams
  • Carbs: 36 grams
  • Sodium: 15%
  • Fiber: 26%
  • Bread $0.54
  • Peanut butter $0.17
  • Honey $0.22

5. 3-Pepper Egg White Soufflé

Haylie Pomroy, a top Hollywood nutritionist and New York Times-bestselling author of “The Fast Metabolism Diet,” recommends her 3-pepper egg white soufflé.

  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, sauté the pepper and onion with 1 tablespoon water until soft. Stir in the cayenne pepper and salt. With a mixer, whip the egg whites and lemon juice until stiff peaks form. Divide the egg whites among four 12-ounce ramekins. Divide the sauteed vegetables equally among the ramekins and gently mix them in.
  3. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden.
  • Calores: 150
  • Carbs:12 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Protein: 23 grams
  • Vitamin C: 197%
  • Potassium: 28%
  • Riboflavin: 89%
  • Vitamin B6: 32%
  • Peppers $1.40
  • Onion $0.23
  • Cayenne pepper $0.27
  • Sea salt $0.01
  • Egg white $1.62
  • Lemon juice $0.12

6. Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Banana

Lisa Richards, nutritionist at The Candida Diet, combines the whole-grain goodness of oats with the protein of nuts and the potassium of banana in this well-rounded breakfast. Not only does this come in under $1, it comes in under 50 cents! Have a second helping!

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  1. Prepare oatmeal according to directions on package.
  2. Mix in peanut butter.
  3. Top with banana.
  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 11.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 53 grams
  • Protein: 9.5 grams
  • Total Sugar: 8.5 grams
  • Fiber: 23%
  • Oatmeal $0.20
  • Peanut butter $0.09
  • Banana $0.17

7. Oatmeal, Banana and Cinnamon-Sugar

Emmie Keefe, aka “Healthy Emmie,” likes to use oatmeal as a base. Here she doesn’t shy away from the flavor of a little brown sugar, and the cost per serving is low enough that you can double the portion and still make it for about a buck.

  • 1/2 cup oats cooked with water
  • 1 banana
  • Sprinkling of cinnamon
  • Sprinkling of brown sugar
  1. Prepare oatmeal according to directions on package.
  2. Top with sliced banana, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  • Calories: Under 300
  • Fiber: 7+ grams
  • Manganese: 100% daily value
  • Oats $0.19
  • Banana $0.25
  • Cinnamon $0.03
  • Brown sugar $0.05

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