Make-ahead Breakfast: Protein Boxes

I find that I’m the most successful at eating healthy throughout the day when I can start my day of with a healthy breakfast. Typically I don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, and I’m not really hungry yet when I have to leave the house for work. I drive right past a dunkin donuts on my way to work, and it’s too easy for me to stop there to pick up a breakfast if I don’t already have something ready to go in the morning. So it is a lot more benefitial for my waistline (and my budget) for me to prep breakfast the night before so I have no excuse to stop for something on my way to work.

My Make-Ahead Breakfast Plan

I try to plan and prep my breakfasts over the weekend and I plan on having the same thing every morning to save on prep time and to lesson my decision fatigue. Here are a few of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts:

  1. Individual Frittatas- I make these muffin tin frittatas a lot. I use whatever veggies I have on hand and i’ll often mix in some sliced ham, or cooked bacon. They also freeze well so I’ll double the recipe and keep them in the freezer to have for breakfast over a few weeks.
  2. Morning Glory Muffins– These muffins have some fruits and veggies packed in, as well as whole grains. I’ve also found these to freeze well.
  3. Yogurt with Fruit and Granola- This can’t really be eaten on the run, but if you can take your breakfast to the office this one will work! It’s a lot cheaper if you buy the larger yogurt container and just portion it out at home but you can also buy the individual yogurts.

Want a crazy easy hack for traveling with yogurt? Put it in a wide mouth mason jar but make sure to leave about 3 inches at the top. Add your granola to an empty plastic applesauce container and put it in the top of the mason jar. It fits right in! Then you can put the mason jar lid and ring on. It seals everything together and keeps your granola from getting soggy but you can still portion it in advance. Try this hack with veggies and dip as well!

Protein Boxes

Lately I’ve been having protein boxes inspired by the ones you get at Starbucks but for a FRACTION of the price. I sometimes adapt them to have for lunch as well. I try to put 2-3 boxes together at a time depending on my ingredients and whether or not they can be prepped in advance. Apples for example will brown quickly, so I slice those the night before and toss them with a little bit of lemon juice and water to minimize the browning.

Packing Your Ingredients: There are some great containers out there that are already broken up into sections like these glass containers. They work great for separating dips, peanut butter, or berries from things like eggs and veggies. These silicone muffin cups also work well to place inside dishes to separate ingredients.

Ingredient Inspiration: Here are some ideas of ingredients for your boxes, but the possibilities are virtually endless. Pick what you like and what you’ll be excited to eat.

  • Cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs- made in my instant pot using this method
  • Whole wheat sandwich thins
  • Sliced apple
  • Berries
  • Clementines
  • Grapes
  • Peanut butter
  • Veggies
  • Hummus
  • Crackers
  • Mixed nuts

My boxes for this week include a hard boiled egg, 1 oz of cheese, half of a whole wheat sandwich thin, a clementine, 1 TBSP of hummus, and some sugar snap peas. I end up eating this around 9:30-10:00 am so I don’t mind the more savory peas and hummus.

I try to fill my boxes with things that I’m excited to eat and that will provide me with fuel for my day. This box combines whole grains, proteins and natural sugars to help me feel satisfied and full, and I look forward to eating it! This helps me to say no to the temptations like donuts in the office 🙂

These boxes would also be great as snacks for kids when they get home from school, or something quick to grab as you’re walking out the door on your way to soccer practice.

What are some things that you make ahead for breakfast? What are your ideas for elements to incorporate into a breakfast/lunch protein box?