Seven quick, healthy starts for your energetic day

When you’re outdoors and need energy for the day’s strenuous activities, a power breakfast is key. Just ask Jordan Romero, who at age 13 became the youngest person to summit Mount Everest. (Read more about his May 2010 ascent at

Although Jordan’s climbing party included a Nepalese guide to cook, Jordan also ate energy-packed breakfast foods from a new Austin, Tex., trail-food company called Packit Gourmet. The two-year-old business already has partnerships with nearly 30 Scout troops across the country.

Even if you and your Scouts aren’t hiking the Himalayas, breakfast fuels muscles and minds. We’ve cooked up a list below to help with your planning.

And, if you want to see some of Jordan’s high-altitude fare—breakfast tacos, anyone?—go to


Bear Naked Peak Protein granola with milk or juice: One of the highest protein granolas available, with six grams in just one-quarter cup.

Packit Gourmet Jump-Start Fruit Smoothie: A winner in Backpacker magazine’s “Best of 2010,” this has a whopping 35 grams of protein.


Kashi GoLean Hot Cereal, Creamy Truly Vanilla: Prepare two single-serving packets (nine grams protein each) with hot water and add your own dried fruits and nuts, plus a banana.

Near East Original Plain Couscous: Eddy Chavey, creator of the MrBreakfast blog (, says one of his favorite camping recipes is to make a quick Tunisian-style hot cereal using instant whole-grain couscous, milk, dried fruits, nuts, and spices.

He mixes the ingredients at home—half-cup instant couscous, quarter-cup powdered milk, dried cranberries, raisins, chopped nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt—and puts them in a Ziploc bag in his backpack.

To cook, he brings 1¼ cups water to a boil in a saucepan, stirs in the dry ingredients, removes the pot from the heat, covers it, and lets it stand 10 minutes until thickened. Top with a teaspoon of butter or maple syrup, if you like.


Pancake mix: Arrowhead Mills Multigrain and Aunt Jemima Original Complete were the winners in Real Simple magazine’s pancake mix tastings, but Arrowhead has more protein, less sodium, and more fiber. If you need syrup, bring some in a little squirt bottle. Add sausage or a side of yogurt to increase the protein.

Packit gourmet TexMex Breakfast Taco: Backpacker’s “Best of 2010” included these tacos for their flavor and texture. They also pack a big nutritional punch. You’ll need to bring your own tortillas. Heat the taco mix in a skillet and then wrap it up in a tortilla.


“Breakfast gives you that needed morning boost,” says Debbie Mullins, 57, who co-founded the trail-food company Packit Gourmet with her daughter, Sarah Welton, 30. “We even believe in second breakfasts.”

When Mullins and her husband, Jeff, go camping, they often make a double portion at breakfast, then save half and eat it a couple of hours later to give them a mid-morning lift.

Mullins and Welton began their company to provide the type of healthful, good-tasting food they enjoyed eating on their own camping trips—foods such as tortilla soup and New Orleans gumbo. They test new products on treks in the Texas Hill Country, Big Bend National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota.

Many Scouts feast on Packit Gourmet because several recipes meet dietary and allergy concerns. Some troops even post photos from their trips at

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