The Best And Worst Frozen Waffles, According To Nutritionists

Is an organic version really that much healthier than a good old Eggo? Find out.
Todd Maughan via Getty Images

Hectic mornings probably mean you sometimes skip breakfast. About a quarter of Americans regularly do without their morning meal. When they do, they miss out on much-needed nutrients, like fiber, protein, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals.

That’s why finding a way to make a quick and easy breakfast is crucial. One solid option is frozen waffles, which you can pop into a toaster or toaster oven and eat in just a couple of minutes.

“As a dietitian, I love hearing someone say they prioritize breakfast regardless of what they’re eating,” said Cara Harbstreet, a registered dietitian. “Frozen waffles can be a quick, convenient option. We need to be more open-minded toward packaged or processed foods as a means of nutrition and energy, without automatically assuming they’re an inferior or unhealthy choice.”

Many frozen waffles contain whole grains and added protein, according to Natalie Rizzo, a registered dietitian and author of ”Planted Performance.” “Ideally, a well-balanced breakfast contains carbs for energy and protein, and healthy fats to keep you full.”

Topping your waffles with nuts and seeds, nut butter, or yogurt can increase the protein, Rizzo said. “Waffles covered in butter and syrup make them high in calories and saturated fat, which isn’t a great way to start your morning.”

But some frozen waffles are healthier than others.

The Best And Worst Frozen Waffles

Dietitians reviewed the frozen waffles based solely on nutrition. They recognize that everyone has different access to foods at their local supermarkets, and varying food budgets and nutritional goals, and their thoughts aren’t meant to negate those facts.

Nutrition-wise, Harbstreet said minor differences usually aren’t worth fretting over.

“An additional 1 gram of added sugar or slightly less iron can get you lost in the minutiae,” she explained. “Keep your sights on the big picture and know that choosing a frozen waffle on your way out the door won’t be your only opportunity to access important nutrients or energy today.”

Below, frozen waffles are ranked from worst to best by the nutritionists we spoke to:

Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffles
  • Serving size: 2 waffles
  • Calories per serving: 180
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Sugar: 4g
Dietitians considered these iconic frozen waffles the least nutritious of those on the list.

“They’re higher in carbs and added sugar and made with refined flour, so they’re lower in fiber than the others,” said Kayleen Eslinger, a registered dietitian with Medical Offices of Manhattan. The waffles contain less than 1 gram of fiber per serving. However, they contain more iron and calcium, Harbstreet said.
Nature's Path Organic
Nature’s Path Homestyle Gluten-Free Waffles
  • Serving size: 2 waffles
  • Calories per serving: 200
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbs: 33g
  • Sugar: 5g

Nature’s Path waffles contain more carbs and less protein per serving than the Eggo version. But they’re gluten-free, which is convenient for anyone with a gluten sensitivity, and the brand says they contain 10 grams of whole grains.

“These are great for someone who cannot tolerate gluten, but make sure you pair them with some protein and healthy fats,” Rizzo said.

They also contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid, Harbstreet said.
Van's Original Gluten-Free Waffles
  • Serving size: 2 waffles
  • Calories per serving: 180
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Sugar: Less than 1g

If you’re on a gluten-free diet, Eslinger said Van’s has several options with whole grains and higher protein. The Original Waffles are made from whole grain rice flour and sweetened with fruit juice, so they have less sugar than other options. They’re also made without egg, dairy or corn to accommodate other food allergies.

One thing to note, Harbstreet said, is they have the highest amount of sodium per serving, which “can be a concern for those looking to reduce sodium intake for blood pressure or risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Kashi Seven Grain Waffles
  • Serving size: 2 waffles
  • Calories per serving: 160
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Sugar: 5g

Two Kashi waffles contain 6 grams of fiber and 13 grams of whole grains. “Considering most Americans don’t get enough dietary fiber each day, reaching for a serving of these can get you closer to that recommendation with your first meal,” Harbstreet said. It’s recommended that most adults get 20 to 40 grams of fiber a day.

The waffles also have some added protein from pea starch and healthy fats from flaxseeds, Rizzo noted.
Kodiak Power Waffles
  • Serving size: 2 waffles
  • Calories per serving: 230
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 24g
  • Sugar: 4g

Kodiak Power Waffles contain much more protein than other waffles on the list. They’re made from whole grain flour and different protein sources, like egg whites and whey protein, Rizzo said.

“The benefit of that is a waffle with enhanced fiber and protein, two nutrients that contribute to fullness,” she said. “Eating these waffles will keep you fuller longer and should not result in an energy crash.”

What’s The Healthiest Way To Eat A Frozen Waffle?

Drizzling your frozen waffle with syrup and slathering it with butter can increase your sugar and saturated fat intake. Eslinger said it’s best to pair waffles with a healthy source of protein, fat, and fiber — like a side of eggs and avocado, Greek yogurt, or nut butter with some berries.

“This will help regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent an intense rise and fall in your blood sugar that can lead to an energy crash and continued cravings for more carbs and sugar throughout the rest of the day,” she said.

It also helps you feel satisfied and full, which will keep you going until lunchtime, Harbstreet said.

“Most importantly, make sure whatever you’re adding tastes good to you, fits your budget, and feels like something you can turn into a regular habit,” she said.

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