Guests often ask how to eat healthy when traveling and a common question is how to navigate continental breakfasts at hotels. Breakfast is the most important meal, and starting with a healthy one will set the tone for the rest of the day. I have seen A LOT of hotel breakfasts and they all seem to have some of the same foods in common. Ideally, as always, you should try to make 1/2 your plate fruits/vegetables, 1/4 whole grain and 1/4 lean protein.

Best Options:

  • Fruit – you typically find bananas, apples and oranges.
  • Whole grain cereals – typically cheerios or bran flakes.
  • Whole grain toast, bagels or english muffins. The toast has a higher likelihood of actually being whole grain.
  • Plain 0atmeal
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Skim milk
Mediocre Options:
  • Yogurts – typically they stock brands that have a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • Fruit juice or fruit cocktail (may be sweetened)
  • Prepared eggs which may have added butter, oil or cheese
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Waffles or pancakes
  • White flour toast, bagels or english muffins
  • Oatmeal with added sugar
  • 2% milk
Unwise Options:
  • Donuts
  • Pastries
  • Muffins
  • Sausages, ham or bacon
  • Biscuits
  • Gravy
  • Added condiments like cream cheese, jams and butter
  • Whole milk
In any situation, you are going to have an unwise choice, a mediocre choice and a best choice. Just remember to make the most of it and steer toward the better choice. That is all you can ask of yourself!
How do you do breakfast when you travel?
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD