Disclosure from Rebecca Scritchfield MA, RD, ACSM HFS: I was compensated by Egg Nutrition Center for my time in writing this blog post.
In my blog series I’ve explored egg myths, eggs economical andnutritional value, and the plethora of varieties of eggs. I thought I’d use this post to explore my creative side and share meal planning tips. In addition, I’ll share results from a recent study that demonstrate the sustainability of egg production.
I love finding new ways to help patients and clients incorporate eggs into their meal rotation because they are an all-natural high quality protein that helps build muscles and allows people to feel full longer. We all know about eggs at breakfast, but in this meal plan I wanted to show how to include eggs for lunch and dinner too.
I recommend a balanced plate approach, with ½ plate veggies, ¼ plate proteins, like eggs, and ¼ plate starch/whole grains. Here’s a meal plan I put together that incorporates eggs in ways you or your clients might not have thought of:
Breakfast: 1 cup steel cut oats, ½ cup fruit (choose your favorite), ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt, and 1 tablespoon of nuts. Of course eggs are a great breakfast choice, so scramble them and use it as a chance to get some veggies too. Any vegetables will do. I love spinach, tomato and artichokes, myself.
Lunch: Salad made with 1 cup of your favorite greens, 1 cup of veggies (like tomatoes, cucumber and peppers), 2 tablespoons of salad dressing and top with 1 poached egg. Add whole grains or starch on the side for a balanced meal. One of my favorite salads is Niçoise, which usually calls for a hard-boiled egg. Try the salad with a poached egg for a delicious variation.
Dinner: Make-your-own veggie fried rice with brown rice and sauté with crispy veggies like peppers, carrots, onions and snap peas. For the sauce, combine a little soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Add in 1-2 scrambled eggs to round out the dish and to add protein, vitamins and minerals. Take a look at this basic recipe, and then switch up the veggies with your family’s favorites.
Snacks: I love recommending snacks as a “bridge” to curb hunger between meals. Many clients have 1-2 snacks a day, depending on the size of their meals and their activity level. The best snacks are the simplest. Think easy and wholesome like hummus and veggies, grapes and cheese, apples and peanut butter, or you could even make a batch of these curried deviled eggs to snack on throughout the week. Suggest keeping healthy snacks on hand to help prevent hunger pangs which can lead to overeating later.
Not only do eggs taste great and provide “eggscellent” nutrition (sorry, couldn’t help myself!), they are environmentally conscious as well. According to a recent study, egg production today (compared to 1960) has 71% lower greenhouse gas emissions, hens use 32% less water per dozen eggs produced and hens are living longer with 27% increased egg production.
This year, America’s egg farmers have donated more than 12 million eggs to food banks and charities across the nation. Since 2009, America’s egg farmers have donated more than 48 million eggs to help feed the hungry. Check out the Good Egg Project to learn more about hunger, farm-to-table and more.
I hope this meal plan helps your patients and clients “egg-spand” their mind when thinking about how to enjoy eggs throughout the day. Leave a comment below to share your favorite lunch or dinner recipe.