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Supermarket Buying Guide: Frozen Entrees

Frozen Waffles for Breakfast?

by Edward R. Blonz, Ph.D.  

No other meal calls for “quick and easy” like breakfast. Many of us are pressed for time and energy in the morning, and it’s tough to find enough of either to whip up a nutritious, hot meal. Frozen waffles can be a good solution.

Available in a surprising range of varieties and flavors (everything from cinnamon toast to hemp waffles), they are designed to be dropped in the toaster, emerging ready to eat in a matter of minutes.

But, there are waffles . . . and then there are waffles. Some are nutrition goldmines, high in fiber, low in fat and fortified with much-needed nutrients like calcium. But just as many are practically fiber-free and provide little in the way of vitamins and minerals.

Here are a few frozen waffle pointers to help you make the most nutritious choices:

  • Waffles range from about 140 to 280 calories per 2-waffle serving. Choose those that fit in your calorie budget.
  • Saturated fat ranges from 0 to 2.5 grams. The less saturated fat, the better.
  • Fiber content varies widely—from less than 1 gram to 8 grams or more per serving. Look for whole-grain varieties with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, the more the better.
  • Be aware that waffles are high in sodium (about 300 to 400 milligrams in 2 waffles).
  • An increasing number of frozen waffles boast that they contain omega-3 fats. The source is often flaxseeds or other plant foods, which provide an omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid. This is a healthful fat but is different from—and not a replacement for—the omega-3 fats in fish.
  • Choose healthful toppings, such as sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries, peanut butter, unsweetened applesauce, chopped nuts and low-fat yogurt.
  • Read serving sizes carefully. Some higher-calorie varieties list one waffle as a serving, resulting in calorie counts that are misleadingly low.
  • Go easy on the syrup or you could double the calories of your waffle breakfast. One tablespoon of maple syrup has about 50 calories, but it’s easy to use far more than that at one sitting. Reduced-calorie syrups are available.

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