Every year, January marks a fresh start for most Americans as they embark on a journey to set new goals and stick to New Year's resolutions. Many commitments revolve around kicking bad eating habits and sticking to a healthy diet. One of the easiest places to make a change is to your morning eating routine, and setting a specific goal will help you stick to it. This year, commit to make the most of each day by making sure each meal, including breakfast, has enough protein for best daily nutrition.

The Morning Protein Shortfall

Americans are mad for protein – and with good reason. In fact, nine in ten Americans say it's important to get enough protein in their diet.1 But it turns out when you get protein is just as important as how much you get – and that's where most Americans get it wrong.

Most people load up on protein in the evening, leaving their mornings lower in the nutrient more likely to keep them full. In fact, Americans get on average 13 grams of protein at breakfast, yet many experts now recommend getting 25-30 grams at each meal. 2, 3, 4 Backloading protein at dinner can affect how your body uses it, which is why experts suggest making the most of your protein and spacing out your intake of this important nutrient throughout the day.

Understanding How Milk's Protein Can Help

There is good news – simple changes to your morning routine can help correct this shortfall and aid in getting closer to the recommended 25-30 grams of protein at breakfast. Pairing a glass of milk, with high-quality protein, with your breakfast or mid-morning snack is an easy, delicious way to help get 25-30 grams before noon.

"Eating a protein-rich breakfast with milk can help energize your morning. Plus you'll feel fuller longer so you can focus on the things you want to accomplish," said Holley Grainger, MS, RD. "Not only is milk an ideal way to get high-quality protein, it also gives you many other essential nutrients you need, like calcium, vitamin D and potassium."

Whether in a glass, cup or bowl, mixed into a simple recipe, milk can help you get to a protein-packed breakfast. Simply pair a glass of milk with your favorite morning protein foods like eggs, overnight oatmeal or avocado toast. Chocolate milk is also a great protein partner in the morning.

"If you're a morning exerciser, try adding lowfat chocolate milk to your breakfast or mid-morning snack – it has the right protein to carb ratio to help you recover after a tough workout," said Grainger. "Or if you're always on the go, make an egg casserole on the weekend, portion it out for the week ahead then pair with a made with milk latte to up the protein count."