Healthy Breakfast Tips from Chef Curtis Stone

Chef, television host, author Curtis Stone shares his thoughts on how we can make breakfast healthier

Tall, blonde and with an unmistakable Australian accent, Curtis Stone is best known as a judge on America’s Next Great Restaurant and Top Chef Masters. But he's also a clasically-trained chef, cookbook author and television host -- as well as one of People's "Sexiest Men Alive" and a daddy-to-be with actress Lindsay Price.

Another one of his recent projects is a partnership with Post Great Grains. Stone got involved with the cereal brand to emphasize the importance of eating more whole grains and less processed ingredients. I spoke with him about the most important meal of the day, his surprising favorite on-the-go breakfast (hint: paninis!) and his love of natural, whole foods.

1. Tell us a little bit about your philosophy of eating whole foods and how you got involved with Great Grains.

For me, the key to a great diet is a good balance of all sorts of ingredients – fruits, vegetables, grains, seafood, proteins. We all remember the food pyramid we learned in school and we should try to keep that in mind. When creating a good, balanced diet, you want to focus on whole foods and foods that are less processed. Try to eat whole and have juices or supplements if you need them. I even believe in drinking whole milk. You should get your decadence and richness through natural foods if you can.

I decided to work with Great Grains because we both believe people should have a healthy start to the day with fruit, protein and carbohydrates.  We believe in a real balance with less processing, so it’s a great partnership.

2. Other than cereal, what are some ideas for quick, healthy breakfasts when you’re crunched for time in the morning?
Yogurt is a great start for the day. Natural yogurt with fresh fruit is great, and it’s mobile. Eggs are a really good start for the day, but they take a little longer. Mother Nature did a good job, so if you’re in a rush, choose natural, simple stuff like a banana.

3. So many breakfast products aimed at kids are laden with sugar. How can parents get children interested in healthier choices?
The best way to get kids involved in eating well is to get them involved in food. When you can, include them in the cooking process [so] they have a better understanding of what they’re eating and appreciate it more. Show them where things are grown. Pick berries and garden with them. Teaching kids about cooking is a great way to spend time with them.

4. As someone who travels a lot, do you have any tips for healthy breakfast foods you can grab on the go?

I travel all the time, and in the airport, yogurt is the thing I always go to. If you go to a coffee shop you can mix it up. There’s nothing wrong with having some whole wheat bread that’s turned into a panini, with something like tomato or spiced turkey. You can even have a good, well-made breakfast burrito. As long as it varies, and you’re not eating breakfast burritos every time you hit the terminal, it’s OK.

5. Do you have any suggestions for breakfasts that will keep you fueled during morning workouts, or at least tide you over until lunch?
The way I try to do it is to eat fruit first thing in the morning. A seasonal berry smoothie can give you plenty of energy to work out. Afterward, go for something with more protein like eggs. Just remember that you want that protein straight after a workout, not before.
6. What is the best breakfast you’ve ever eaten?

It’s got to be one that’s been served to me in bed somewhere! I was just in Turks & Caicos and they brought us tropical fruit every morning followed by these amazing blueberry pancakes. 

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