Energy bars, protein bars, cereal bars: We love our bars. Like bananas and apples, you can eat them with one hand, and they don't have much potential for making a mess. They can be good for you, too. But watch out for those that are so fatty and sugary that they're essentially candy bars. As with any packaged food, read the nutrition label.
Breakstone's Cottage Doubles
The container has cottage cheese in one well and fruit the other. You spoon the fruit into the cottage cheese, mix it, and presto -- breakfast. You would have to bring a spoon with you, however. One Cottage Double packs 14 grams of protein into 140-150 calories and 2.5 grams of fat total, although there's very little fiber.
Carnation Instant Breakfast
If you have time to chug a glass of orange juice in the morning, you have time to make a Carnation Instant Breakfast. Just add the powder to a glass of milk, stir, and drink. A packet of "No Sugar Added Rich Milk Chocolate" added to 8 ounces of skim milk yields 150 calories, one-quarter of your daily protein requirement, just half a gram of fat, and no saturated fat.
Morningstar Farms Breakfast Sandwich
If you like McMuffins, then you may like these little food units. Morningstar Farms has used the wonders of food science to create tasty alternatives to high-fat meats out of soy and other vegetable products.
Their healthy breakfast sandwiches are made with egg substitute, a meat substitute that looks and tastes like sausage, and American cheese on an English muffin. One of these will fill 20% of your daily fiber requirement, and it's loaded with protein -- 28 grams. The fat tops out at 3 grams, and only half a gram of that is saturated fat. It gives you 280 calories.
Compared with a McDonald's McMuffin, these sandwiches are obviously the healthier option. One Egg McMuffin has 290 calories, 12 grams of fat total, and 5 grams of saturated fat. A Sausage McMuffin has 360 calories and 23 grams of fat (8 grams saturated).
"You'd have to eat really low fat and really healthy the entire rest of the day in order to offset that Egg McMuffin," Finley says. And she sees another advantage to "nuke and go" breakfast sandwiches, besides how they stack up nutritionally. "You save time by packing it yourself rather than trying to go through a drive-thru," she says.