The Best Breakfast for CKD

You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But really, all meals are important and finding ways to have balanced, nutritious and delicious meals is important. And when eating the best breakfast for CKD, you can find foods that taste good and are nutritious. Not everyone wants to eat breakfast, it is truly a personal choice. But when we do, there are some things to consider. So when including breakfast in your daily routine, there are many factors to consider to ensure a balanced and satisfying meal for a healthy start to your day. These include:

  • Nutrient Balance and Density: Aim for a breakfast that combines macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to stabilize blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy. These foods should be nutrient-dense, offering high amounts of nutrients through a variety of whole foods such as whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables. 
  • Fibre: Select foods rich in dietary fiber to promote digestive health and keep you full throughout the morning. This includes whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. 
  • Protein: Add a source of protein to your breakfast to assist with the feeling of satiety and in muscle repair and maintenance. 
  • Hydration: After a night’s rest, start your day with a glass of water to rehydrate your body. Additional beverages can also be included such as milk and herbal tea. 
  • Preparation Time: Plan ahead and consider the amount of time you have to prepare your breakfast. Planning for quick and easy options can save time on busy mornings.
  • Special Dietary Goals: Tailor your breakfast to support your dietary objectives. Examples include CKD, weight management, cholesterol reduction, or diabetes management.

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Risk When Skipping Breakfast

Not including breakfast or skipping it in your daily routine has several risks and negative effects on your health and well-being. Risks can include:

  • Hunger and Overeating: Not including breakfast can lead to increased hunger later in the day. This can result in overeating during the following meals or opting for quick, unhealthy snacks to manage your hunger.
  • Reduced Energy Levels: Due to breakfast providing essential nutrients and calories to fuel your body, skipping it can cause feelings of lethargy and low energy levels that hinder productivity for the rest of your day.
  • Poor Nutrient Intake: Opting out of breakfast means opting out of the opportunity to consume vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for optimal body function. Overtime, nutrient deficiencies can develop.
  • Weight Management: Missing breakfast can result in weight loss with reduced caloric intake and overall food consumption. However, it can also cause weight gain. It has the potential to disrupt your metabolism, leading to poor food choices later in the day. 
  • Blood Sugar Imbalance: After fasting overnight, breakfast regulates blood sugar levels and not getting enough nutrients can lead to low blood sugars.

The Best Breakfast for CKD

For those with CKD, it is especially important to follow a kidney-friendly breakfast. Some breakfast ideas that are kidney-friendly include:

  • Oatmeal with Berries: Prepare oatmeal made with water or low-phosphorus milk and top with fresh or frozen berries such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. While oats provide fibre, the berries are high in antioxidants and low in potassium.
  • Scrambled Eggs: Scramble your eggs with a bit of low-sodium cheese and add finely chopped herbs like parsley or chives. While the eggs provide high-quality protein, herbs add flavour without the need for extra salt.
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait: Layer low-fat greek yogurt with sliced fruit, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of chopped nuts like almonds. Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in its phosphorus content. 
  • Smoothies: Low-potassium fruits such as apples, berries, and pears combined with a low-phosphorus milk or non-dairy milk and ice is the perfect blend for a kidney-friendly smoothie!

Customize your breakfast to suit your preferences, lifestyle, and nutritional needs while keeping these ideas in mind for a healthy start to your day! It is crucial to listen to your body and consult with a registered dietitian if you have specific dietary concerns or goals. 

Breakfast Tips with CKD

Storage tips for breakfast on the go. 

When preparing breakfast for on-the-go, storage tips to keep it fresh and tasty include: 

  • Use Appropriate Containers: Using leak-proof, airtight containers, and containers with multiple compartments can help store your food and keep components of your breakfast separate.
  • Keep it Cool: When your breakfast contains items such as yogurt, milk, or fresh fruit, use an insulated lunch bag or add ice packs to keep it fresh and within safe temperature zones. 
  • Prepare the Night Before: Aim to prepare most of your breakfast if possible in advance to save time in the morning. For instance, you can prepare sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, or overnight oats the night before and refrigerate to grab and go.
  • Layer Ingredients: When assembling parfaits or layered breakfasts, begin with the most solid or least perishable ingredients at the bottom of the container to maintain freshness and prevent it from becoming soggy.
  • Hydration: Don’t forget your water bottle in your breakfast to stay hydrated in the morning and throughout the rest of your day!

This article was written by Neha Dewan, Nutrition Student Volunteer.
This article was reviewed by Emily Campbell, RD CDE MScFN.

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