If your childhood was anything like mine (pretty darn good), your parents taught you to eat the rainbow. Or maybe you always had to have a meat, a starch and a vegetable. Either way, I grew up eating multi-part balanced meals, and that training carries over into the way I eat today.
For example, I can’t just eat a turkey sandwich for lunch. I have to have tomatoes and lettuce and other veggies with the turkey, and I also need a piece of fruit and/or yogurt on the side. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with the amount of food, but rather that I’ve always felt the need to get a wide variety of nutrients at every meal. Chicken breast for dinner? Add some roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus and I’m happy.
This doesn’t translate quite as well to a morning meal. For example, cereal isn’t all that colorful, and it’s rare that anyone has time on a normal day to prep and cook lots of components to satisfy each food group requirement. But it is possible to accomplish in just a few minutes if you have some simple ingredients on hand.
Marc and I split a veggie omelet, an “everything” bagel and a peach for a healthy and colorful meal, and the total time required was about 15 minutes. We had carbs (the bagel), fruit, veggies (spinach and onion in the omelet), protein (eggs and cheese) and dairy (cheese and cream cheese) all on one plate, and because we split each component it was just filling enough without being too much–or too high in calories.
This is not to say you have to go all out and include every food group in every meal. But think about eating more than just buttered toast or Cheerios and milk. Cut a banana onto your cereal, or have yogurt and strawberries alongside your toast. The more colorful, the better. Your mom would be proud.