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24 Expert Moms on What They Eat for Breakfast

Photograph by Twenty20

A few weeks ago, Time magazine ran a slideshow on their website titled "38 Nutrition Experts on What They Eat for Breakfast." The piece caught my eye, mainly because I eat three cups of coffee for breakfast, a practice both my primary care physician and my mother frown upon. I wondered if the experts might have some tips on how I could up my game, so I began to click through.

The first expert, Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD mentioned that she ate eggs with avocado and salsa in a soft corn tortilla. She mentioned the antioxidants in the avocado, which I did not give a crap about, but I do love avocados. This is so helpful, I thought to myself.

The second expert mentioned, among other things, "three to six chopped whole almonds," which I thought was a bit fussy, but I decided to soldier on anyway.

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The third expert included in her list "sautéed vegetables... topped with cubed tofu or shredded mozzarella cheese..." At which point I was just:

After that, I wondered: what are actual mothers eating? Are they all, like me, foregoing their own breakfasts in order to semi-consciously feed their children? Or do they actually have their shit together? So I decided to ask them.

And the answer?


First, there are the mothers eating your basic, simple breakfast (which is more than I can say for myself):

"Cereal with almond milk and a cup of half-caff. I need the caffeine, but not the anxious feeling too much caffeine can give me." - Kristy Lawton, mother of one of the most adorable children on earth

"Cheerios with soy milk and blueberries." - Brette Sember

"First thing upon waking a cup of water with fresh squeezed lemon (on an empty stomach) then 2 cups of coffee, 2 eggs and rye toast." - Stacey Myers-Smith

"Coffee and Greek yogurt." - Heather Primm Salameh

"3 cups of coffee & usually a Nutri-Grain bar during the week, bagel or eggs on the weekend!" -Andrea Sap

"Oatmeal + peanut butter and half a banana ... lots and lots of coffee." - Adaeze Esiobu

"Cold cereal or toast with jelly or an English muffin. And coffee, obviously." - Sarah Johnson Perry

"A granola bar and orange juice. I eat yogurt sometimes too." - Diane Jansson

"Breakfast part 1: coffee, plain cake donut; part 2: mango smoothie (after the kids were up and I could use the blender safely)." - Aimee Ogden

Then there was a smaller group of moms in my circle of friends and acquaintances who were more of the grab-and-go sort:

"A cup of coffee with sugar and cream. Half an orange and apple, handful of pretzels and peanut butter off a knife. When I get get to my classroom I drink a pint of green tea." - Liz Kinney Primm

"Protein bar & cold, I mean 'iced' coffee." - Bryndis Davis

"Anything fast! Getting my toddler and me out of the house on time usually involves me grabbing a Kind Bar on the run... Or if I have some time a protein shake in my shaker bottle (ain't nobody got time to bust out a blender, or clean it for that matter)! Sometimes, to be completely honest, I just grab a latte on my way to work." - Christa Manneback Scott

Then things took a turn for the crazy. Or rather, the impressively healthy:

"I always start my day with coffee! For breakfast I'll either have avocado toast with cayenne, a smoothie (banana, frozen berries, flax, chia, turmeric, cinnamon, spinach, soy milk), tonight I might make overnight oats with apples and cinnamon for tomorrow's breakfast. In the past I have made awesome homemade granola bars which is an easy quick grab breakfast with a piece of fruit." - Kerry Flynn

Sometimes, to be completely honest, I just grab a latte on my way to work.

This response made me think that perhaps she was one of the nutrition experts having gone undercover to troll me, but I know her and she's lovely so all I can really do it sit back and sip my (third) coffee and be in awe of her. And it turns out I also have other friends who are far healthier than me:

"Coffee with coconut oil, which immediately cured all my ailments, made me clear-thinking and happy, and gave me endless energy for days. Plus I immediately dropped 5 pounds of belly fat. It literally fell on the floor after I took one sip." - Gillian McGarvey

"Overnight oats: oats with almond milk, chia seeds, raisins, walnuts, a boat load of cinnamon, a dash of unsweetened coconut and occasionally a splash of cocoa powder. In the morning after I heat them up I mix in a whole banana that has been thinly sliced into 1000 pieces. It's so good." -Heather Devine-Hansen

Who are these people?

"Coffee....sometimes a meal replacement when in a rush. Egg whites, and turkey bacon with wheat toast or oatmeal mixed with PBFit...yummms." - Raquel Rodriguez

"Fast and easy is key, so usually yogurt with some granola. Sometimes I will have a "muffin egg" with Bridget. We make eggs with veggies, cheese and sometimes a meat in muffin tins and then I can pull them out of the fridge and heat 'em up quickly in the morning for Bridget before the race to school and work." - Beth Leahy

I am so impressed by this and might steal this idea.

"I love Kodiak Cakes Power Protein Pancakes with a little real syrup and a banana. Also, Greek yogurt with berries and granola." - Susie Mae

"I have an egg over easy with home made salsa , cranberry juice and decaf coffee." - Claire Catanese

Clearly all of these people are Doing It Better Than Me.

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The next category of mom was one I related to—the moms who just pick off their children's plates. Observe:

"Two cups of coffee and yogurt. Normally, I share my yogurt with Connor." - Gina Mace

"It's coffee, coffee, then maybe one more coffee. Sometimes when I'm heating up leftovers to put in Maggie's lunch thermos I eat a few bites of that. So two spoonfuls of vegan chili. Or a quinoa thing. And I lick the knife if I make Shannon a PB & J for lunch."- Kim Stevens-Redstone

"First I take my medicine. Then I brew a liter of Irish breakfast tea. Then I drink that tea with copious amounts of sugar until I feel like a human being. Once an hour has passed, and I can eat, it's usually a quick bowl of cereal. This morning it was Rice Krispies, most of which I had to share with Elijah." - Theresa Batsford-Beiner

In the category of gross, my lovely editor admitted that she "had one bite of my kids' rubbery cold eggs before deeming them beneath me, and then, coffee."

I think I sense a pattern here...

And then there was my favorite response.

This mom made me feel better about myself, and about my health. Because if she could count her gummy vitamins as part of her breakfast, that meant I could, too.

The secret to a good mom breakfast? Anything that gets you moving.

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