The old adage says “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Some people may debate this, but no doubt what you choose to eat for breakfast is important.
It seems less and less people are eating breakfast at home. Gone are the days when families would gather around the kitchen table for a home cooked meal before work or even school. These days more and more people are eating on the go or in the car. Since the car is replacing the breakfast table, many people opt for easy to eat foods like smoothies, energy bars, or fast food.
Fast food breakfasts may be good to eat one handed, but that doesn’t mean they’re good. A typical fast food breakfast sandwich can pack on anywhere from 250-1,000 calories! Smoothies may be healthier for bariatric patients in terms of ingredients and calories, but lap band patients should think again. Although getting in a serving of vegetables at breakfast would be great, smoothies are not ideal for lap band patients as the liquid does not get retained in the stomach pouch, and does not create that feeling of fullness that can help you reduce your overall calorie intake and encourage weight loss. Protein bars may seem like the answer, but many have ingredients that seem more like they belong in a lab than in your breakfast.
We have another option for lap band patients who need to eat breakfast on the go: breakfast bites. Breakfast bites are protein and energy balls you make at home from your favorite ingredients and keep in the refrigerator until it’s time to go. Put a few breakfast bites in a portable container, and you can munch while you’re on your way to work. Recipes are usually no cook so they won’t take a lot of time or effort to make, and the balls usually will keep for a few days in the fridge. The internet is full of recipes of all flavors, so you shouldn’t get bored. A quick search turns up chocolate, coconut, cranberry orange, and nut based flavors, but a little searching and creativity can help you find the flavors and ingredients that work best for you.
We like Apple Almond Breakfast Bites. They include hemp hearts for extra protein, and chia seeds for fiber to help you feel fuller for longer. You may have the ingredients in your pantry already, or a quick trip to the grocery store will set you up for this recipe. 10 minutes and a food processor, and you’ll be all set for a few days of “on the go” breakfasts.
Apple Almond Breakfast Bites (makes about 25 balls)
2 cups regular rolled oats
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1 cup almond butter (or you could use peanut butter or cashew butter)
2 tbsp hemp hearts
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend/pulse until smooth and well mixed. If the mixture looks a little loose, and in a few more oats and blend. If it’s not sweet enough, you can all in a dash maple syrup or raw honey to sweeten.
- Roll the “dough” into balls or use a cookie scooper to drop the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Set the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Place the balls in a sealed container to keep them fresh in the frig.
- This on the go breakfast idea is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and bariatric surgery based in Boca Raton, Florida. Dr. Shillingford’s adjustable lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass patients come from all over South Florida including Delray Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Parkland, Coral Springs, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. His bariatric patients are often looking for healthier alternatives to fast food for eating on the go for their active lifestyles.