Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!

Healthy Diabetes Breakfast Ideas, Products & Recipes

diabetes breakfast products recipes and ideas

Whether you’re looking for a quick and simple store bought diabetes breakfast idea, or a fun go to recipe to meal prep, I’ve got you covered!

Let’s dive into what we need to include in breakfast when living with diabetes. And, then I’ll share my favorite diabetes breakfast ideas as a registered dietitian living with diabetes myself. 

*This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.*

Diabetes breakfast options – key things to factor in

There are so many ways to approach breakfast when you have diabetes:

  • Meal prep something ahead of time
  • Quick and simple store bought diabetes breakfast ideas
  • Diabetes friendly fast food breakfast options

And, there’s not a right or wrong option in that list. The best option for you will be the option that works best for your lifestyle and allows you to enjoy a balanced breakfast without increasing your stress levels, or having to drastically change your daily routine.

The most important thing though? Do not skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast can lead to unstable blood sugars throughout the rest of the day. And, we know from years of research, that eating a breakfast with balanced macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates), can lead to better blood sugar management, improved HgbA1c and more. 

Curious about how to lower fasting blood sugar numbers? Read this post on bedtime snacks for more information

What can people with diabetes eat for breakfast?

There are a ton of breakfast options for people with diabetes. Whether you want a quick and simple blood sugar friendly breakfast cereal, or a delicious diabetes friendly casserole recipe, I promise you can find something you enjoy!

mediterranean omelette diabetes breakfast idea
Colorful Mediterranean Omelette with Feta

What to include in a healthy breakfast for diabetes

Ideally, a good breakfast for diabetes should:

  • Be low in added sugar
  • Have a decent amount of fiber
  • Have at least 15-20g protein
  • Include a source of plant based fat

Type 2 diabetes breakfast

If you or a loved one is living with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, breakfast should include plant based fat, fiber, and protein. You’ll want to avoid large amounts of added sugar, especially in the morning time.

Many people experience increased insulin resistance right after waking up so it can be harder to regulate blood sugar levels if we’re eating too much sugar early in the day.

Breakfast for type 1 diabetes

Breakfast recommendations for people with type 1 diabetes are similar to those I gave above for type 2 diabetes, but I want to especially mention the importance of protein. Including adequate protein in the morning meal, can help prevent low blood sugars throughout your morning until your next meal.

Remember, it takes our bodies longer to digest protein than it does carbohydrate alone, so protein can help sustain blood sugar levels until the next meal.

Gestational diabetes breakfast

Gestational diabetes breakfast ideas should include lower amounts of carbohydrate (15-30g depending on what your personal healthcare team has advised you to do), adequate protein as discussed previously, and plant bases fat.

And, nutritional needs and recommendations will change as pregnancy progresses, so it’s important to check in with your health care team for updated breakfast options as your blood sugar levels change.

Spirulina smoothie with coconut flakes banana and a paper straw
Blood Sugar Friendly Spirulina Smoothie

Ideas for breakfast foods for diabetes

Some of my favorite foods for diabetes breakfast ideas are probably things you already have on hand at home.

  • Eggs
  • Whole grain toast
  • Peanut butter
  • Low sugar granola
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Low sugar yogurt
  • Protein balls/bites
  • Low sugar breakfast bars
  • Fruit & veggie packed protein shakes
  • Overnight oats
  • Berries
  • Breakfast tacos
  • Avocado
  • Veggies

Diabetes breakfast recommendation breakdown

Jump to one of these sections for my product and recipe recommendations for diabetes breakfast options!

  1. Breakfast cereal
  2. Drinks for diabetes
  3. Best breakfast bars
  4. Best yogurts
  5. Low carb recipes
  6. Breakfast casseroles
  7. Breakfast pastries, baked goods, and oatmeal
stack of oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies on bakers cooling rack
Easy Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Best breakfasts for diabetes that are quick and simple

Looking for some easy diabetes breakfast ideas you can buy at the grocery store? Here are some of my favorites.

1. Diabetes breakfast cereal

Breakfast cereal can be very hard to navigate when trying to manage blood sugars. Most mainstream options don’t offer much protein or fiber, but more and more brands are offering blood sugar friendly options available at your local store.

breakfast cereal for diabetes gr8nola kind healthy grains granola nature's path organic coconut and cashew butter granola magic spoon cereal catalina crunch cereal

2. Breakfast drinks for diabetes

Maybe you prefer a ready made smoothie or beverage? Here are my favorite breakfast shakes for diabetes:

breakfast drinks for diabetes core power high protein milk shake chobani complete yogurt shake ripple nutrition protein drink lifeway kefir with whole milk

3. Best breakfast bars for diabetes

Having some good go to bars on hand that are higher in protein and/or fiber can make busy mornings so much easier. These are some of my favorites:

breakfast bars for diabetes oatmega protein bars kind breakfast protein bars nature valley chewy protein bars good measure bars

Want more breakfast bars for diabetes options? Read: 28 Best Energy and Protein Bars for Diabetes.

4. Best yogurts for diabetes friendly breakfast

Yogurt offers protein, but can also be higher in sugar. Here are some of my favorite yogurts for people with diabetes.

breakfast yogurt for diabetes siggi's 4% skyr fage 2% Greek yogurt Chobani less sugar greek yogurt Two good yogurt

Diabetes breakfast recipes

If you prefer to meal prep or fix breakfast the morning of, try some of these great recipes for diabetes breakfast ideas!

5. Diabetes breakfast recipes low carb

These breakfasts offer a low carb start to your day.

two Starbucks egg bites for diabetes breakfast ideas
Copycat Baked Starbucks Bacon Egg Bites

6. Diabetes breakfast casseroles

I love breakfast casseroles! Prep one ahead of time on the weekend and you’ve got an easy and simple breakfast ready to go for the whole week!

breakfast casserole for diabetes
Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Sweet Potato Overnight Breakfast Bake

7. Diabetes breakfast pastries, baked goods, and oatmeal

Baking is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. It’s super easy to whip up some blood sugar friendly baked goods to have on hand for breakfast.

lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberries
Easy Gluten-Free Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Fast food breakfast for diabetes

What can people with diabetes eat for breakfast at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants? I actually have a whole separate blog post on my top fast food picks for diabetes and it includes a whole section on breakfast.

Generally speaking, you want to look for options that are not fried, offer a vegetable if possible, and have both protein and fiber.

healthy pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream
Low Carb Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

As you can see, finding a diabetes breakfast doesn’t have to be a challenging process. Keep this list handy and you’ll always have a nutritious and well-balanced breakfast option on hand.

More to explore...

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Homemade Black Grape Popsicles for Halloween

I don’t know about you, but Halloween is usually still pretty hot around here, so I’ve whipped up some deliciously spooky Halloween themed grape popsicles to celebrate!

low sugar gluten free apple crisp

Low Sugar Gluten Free Apple Crisp

My low sugar gluten free apple crisp recipe is so simple to make and loaded with delicious seasonal apple flavor!

One Response

  1. Siggi’s and Kind bars are a go to of mine, so good to see that you mention both of those on here. Love this write up!

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