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Do you feel like everyone is going crazy over protein lately?

It seems like all the food blogs I follow are shouting this message: "YOU AREN'T EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN".

And everyone wants to fix that problem by selling (really expensive) protein powder.

I disagree.

And I never buy protein powder.


I learned in my college nutrition classes that the ideal protein level for most adults is .8 grams per kg of body weight.

I weigh 145 pounds, so my ideal protein intake is 52 grams per day.

To find your own protein needs, multiply your weight (in pounds) by 0.358

Most adults need between 50 and 70 grams per day.

It's really easy to get eat 50 grams protein.

It's especially easy if you eat meat, which has about 20 grams protein per serving.

Check out the protein content of foods I ate yesterday:

breakfast: oats with berries total (22 grams protein):

7 grams = 1/4 cup almonds

8 grams = 1 cup milk

5 grams = 1/2 cup oats

2 grams = 1 cup berries

lunch: green smoothie + tuna on crackers (45 grams protein):

8 grams = 1 cup milk

7 grams = 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

1.5 grams = 1 cup collard greens

1.5 grams = 1 banana

24 grams = 1 can tuna

3 grams = 6 triscuit crackers

snack: raspberry smoothie (17 grams protein):

8 grams = 1/2 cup cottage cheese

8 grams = 1 cup milk

1 gram = 1/2 cup raspberries

1 gram = 1 banana

dinner: soup + salad (28 grams protein):

8 grams = sausage kale soup

6 grams = whole wheat bread

14 grams = 1 cup beans

2 grams = green salad

0.5 grams = 1 apple

My total protein intake for the day = 112 grams protein

(which equates to 1.69 g/kg....double what I need for the day)

See, it's really easy to get enough protein.

It's also really easy for toddlers to get enough protein.

Toddlers (age 1-3) only need 13 grams of protein each day.

Here's an estimated 3 year old's daily intake:

breakfast (10.5 grams protein)

8 grams = 1 cup milk

2.5 grams = 1/2 cup cheerios

snack (9 grams protein)

7 grams = 1 cheese stick

2 grams = handful of crackers

lunch (6 grams protein)

5 grams = 2 chicken nuggets

1 gram = 2 pieces of broccoli

0 grams = apple sauce

snack (6 grams protein)

3 grams = 1 slice toast

3 grams = 1 Tablespoon peanut butter

dinner (5 grams protein)

1.5 grams = 1/2 tortilla

3.5 grams = 1/2 oz cheese

total for the day = 36 grams protein

Remember, a toddler only needs 13 grams protein per day

This is about 3 times what they need in a day.

So if you feel like you aren't getting enough protein, don't worry.

You probably are.

And your toddler is too.

That being said, it's important to eat protein at breakfast.

Eating a good source of protein at breakfast keeps you (and your little people) full longer, so you don't have to worry about feeding people again for at least a few hours.

Eating protein with breakfast also keeps your blood sugars from going up too fast, which can help you feel your best the rest of the day.

While it's good to aim for about 15 grams of protein at each meal (for adults) and 5 grams (for kids age 1-3), I never count protein grams.

In fact, I had to look up how much protein is in the foods I ate yesterday to make this post.

I simply make sure to include at least 1 protein source in every meal + snack I eat, and by the end of the day I know it will add up to enough.

So at breakfast, I usually eat one of the following high protein foods:


nuts (or nut butter)



cottage cheese


Things like bread and oatmeal have a little bit too, but not as much as animal foods and nuts.

Here are a few of my favorite breakfasts and their protein content (which I had to look up).

Eggs in a Mug (18 grams protein, 2 minutes to make)

  • Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup cottage cheese

  • Directions: wisk eggs + cheese in a mug. Microwave 1 minute, stir with a fork. Microwave 1 more minute. stir with a fork and eat.

2 Minute Microwave Oats (16 grams protein, 2 minutes to make)

  • Ingredients: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

  • How: put all in bowl, microwave for 2 minutes, stir and eat

Cottage Cheese Pancakes (20 grams for the entire batch, 6 minutes to make)

  • Ingredients: 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 3/4 cup milk

  • How: wisk all ingrdients in a bowl, cook in a skillet 2.5 minutes each side

Raspberry Smoothie (21 grams protein, 2 minutes to make)

  • Ingredients: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1 frozen banana

  • How: blend all ingredients in a blender

Looking for more healthy breakfast ideas that don't include protein powder?

Check out the breakfast section on my website:

Thanks for reading! I'll be back in 2 weeks with a new nutrition topic!

If you want to be sure to get all my blog posts to your email, click here to subscribe:

My favorite breakfast as child was deep pocketed Belgian waffles. I loved to fill every square to the top with maple syrup and watch it soak into the bread.

image source:

Then I'd top the entire thing with whipped cream.


As an adult, I still love a syrup soaked waffle covered in whipped cream.

But I save that type of waffle for special occasions.


Eating too much sugar makes me feel yucky, especially at breakfast when the rush of sugar can give me a headache.

I also know that eating too much sugar causes heart disease, cancer and diabetes, so I try to limit how much sugar I eat every day.

Don't get me wrong, I still love sweet treats.

But I treat them as just that: treats. Not something I eat every day for breakfast.

The American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend limiting ADDED sugar to 25 grams/day for kids.

Added sugars are listed on food labels as "added sugars." Natural sugars in milk and fruit are not "added sugars" and don't count toward the 25 grams. Don't limit the amount of fresh fruit your child eats!

It's important to pay attention to how much added sugar you have at breakfast so you can balance it out the rest of the day.

So if you really love to eat a syrup soaked waffle for breakfast, you should probably avoid packing dessert in your lunch too.

Here's a list of the added sugar content of common breakfast foods.

Remember, the limit is 25 grams per day

2 Pop Tarts = 30 grams sugar

1 Blueberry muffin = 25 grams sugar

1 packet hot coco = 23 grams sugar

2 Tablespoons maple syrup = 22 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon Nutella = 19 grams sugar

1 cup chocolate milk = 16 grams sugar

1 glazed donut = 15 grams sugar

1 container strawberry yogurt (6oz) = 13 grams sugar

1 cup Lucky Charms = 12 grams sugar

1 cup Honey Nut Cherrios = 12 grams sugar

1 cup Frosted Flakes = 12 grams sugar

1 capri sun juice pouch = 12 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon grape jelly = 12 grams sugar

1 packet sweetened applesauce = 9 grams sugar

1 cup honey bunches of oats = 9 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon strawberry jam = 9 grams sugar

rice chex, rice crispies, corn flakes = 2 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter = 2 grams sugar

Plain Cherrios = 1 gram sugar

Eggs, plain milk, plain oatmeal, plain yogurt, fruit = 0 grams added sugar!

My childhood waffle probably had at least 1/4 syrup, which equates to 60 grams of added sugar!

Remember, the limit is 25 grams per day.

See how easy it is to go overboard with sugar at breakfast?

I really hate counting calories or sugar grams, but I do think it's important to be aware of what you are eating.

I still buy syrup and jam, but I almost never buy pop tarts, boxed cereal, or chocolate milk.

They are just too concentrated with sugar, so we save them for special treats.

So if we don't we cold cereal for breakfast, what do we eat?

Here are my top 4 family breakfasts:

#1 Peanut Butter Oatmeal

2 grams added sugar from the peanut butter

2 minutes to make in the microwave

#2 Green Smoothie

2g added sugar from the peanut butter

3 minutes to make in a blender

#3 Raspberry Smoothie

0 grams added sugar

2 minutes in a blender

#4 Scrambled Eggs

0 grams added sugar

5 minutes in a frying pan

Want more healthy breakfast ideas?

Join me for a virtual healthy breakfast cooking class next Tuesday March 26th @ 5:30. Send me an email ( if you want to join and I'll send you the shopping list.

Thanks for reading, I'll be back next week to talk about more healthy breakfast ideas!

Everyone needs something to get them out of bed in the morning: a job, a pet or maybe a beautiful baby to snuggle.

The thing that gets me out of bed every morning is.....eating.

Eating is my favorite.

I love getting up and into the kitchen every morning to whip up something delicious to eat.

But I'm also a Registered Dietitian.

So when I say whip up something delicious, it's not donuts and cinnamon rolls.

To me, something delicious must be:

  1. high in fiber

  2. low in added sugars

  3. high in vegetables or fruits

  4. high in protein

I know that to most people, fiber and veggies don't actually sound delicious at all.😂 But I'm hoping to convince you otherwise.

On the blog this month, I am going to share 4 better breakfast building tips along with recipes I make all the time.

Let's start with FIBER.

Why Fiber?

  • keeps you regular (prevents constipation)

  • keeps you full longer (so you don't overeat)

  • feeds healthy bacteria in your gut (extremely important for overall health)

  • prevents cancer (especially colon cancer)

  • lowers cholesterol (thus preventing heart disease)

  • controls blood sugars (thus preventing diabetes)

How Much Fiber?

Kids age 1-3 need 19 grams per day.

Kids age 4-13 need 25 grams per day

Kids and adults 14+ need between 30 and 40 grams of fiber every day,

Fiber content of common breakfast foods

(click links for recipes):

0 grams fiber

all animal foods (fish, meat, eggs, dairy, butter, oil)

0-1 grams of fiber

white bread, white bagels, white tortillas, white english muffins, corn chex, rice chex, rice crispies, corn flakes, white rice

2-3 grams fiber

3-4 grams fiber

1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 slice whole wheat bread, 2-3 whole wheat pancakes or 1 whole wheat waffle, 1/4 cup nuts, 2 Tablespoons nut butter, whole grain muffins

4+ grams fiber

cold cereals with added fiber, beans (7g per 1/2 cup)

Ways to increase fiber:

  • Always use whole wheat flour for pancakes

  • Look for recipes that use at least 1/2 whole grain, preferably 100% whole grain

  • Eat more oatmeal!

  • Add vegetables to eggs

  • Only buy 100% whole wheat bread

  • Use whole wheat tortillas for breakfast burritos

  • add beans to breakfast burritos

  • Add fruit and nuts to yogurt, granola and oatmeal

  • Buy cereal that is high in fiber

High Fiber Recipes I've made in the past week:

Whole Wheat Waffles from King Arthur Flour (5 grams fiber per waffle)

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies (2 grams per cookie)

Berry Oatmeal (7 grams fiber & my son's favorite when he was a baby)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal (6 grams fiber & our most eaten breakfast)

Pumpkin Muffins (4g fiber, I cut the sugar down to 1/3 cup)

Spinach Smoothie (5g fiber)

My Favorite Blogs with High Fiber Breakfast Recipes:

I hope this gets you started on high fiber foods!

Remember, kids need 19 grams of fiber every day, and adults need around 30 grams. Start comparing food labels and choosing higher fiber options today!

Next time on the blog we will talk about lower sugar breakfast options.

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