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Frozen waffles are so convenient, but what are the healthiest frozen waffles from a nutrition point of view? We’ve tasted and analyzed the nutrition facts of popular frozen waffles. Find out which ones are the best picks!

What I look for in a waffle:

  • Taste: it absolutely can’t taste or feel like cardboard! Must pass my picky kids’ taste tests.
  • Protein: it’s a must in a filling breakfast
  • Sugar: let’s keep the added sugar as low as possible
  • Ingredients: priorities on whole grains or other fiber or nutrient-packed ingredients

If you’re a millennial like me, you probably grew up praising Eggos. But there’s so many other options now! And many of them pack in more nutrition. 

Of course, the occasional Eggo is no problem! I just prefer for breakfast be more filling, so I’m always looking for options with more protein and fiber!

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. 

How I choose the best frozen waffles

Starting with the obvious: taste. 

Taste is the #1 factor for my kids. Taste and texture have to be on point!

Obviously I love a stellar nutrition label on a frozen waffle, but if they taste TOO healthy, no one is going to eat them.

Next, I’m looking for nutritional balance.

What do I mean by balance? We dietitians are always talking about it! When you have a meal that is mostly carbs, it’s not going to stick with you for long. It’s also likely to spike your blood sugar more.

All waffles are going to be a carbohydrate-dominant food, which is totally fine.

In fact, carbohydrates are our body’s preferred source of energy. So there is nothing wrong with a good dose of carbs at a meal. Where we can run into trouble is if we’re serving only carbs. 

A meal full of only carbs won’t lead to sustained energy. And we often see a spike in blood sugar followed by an energy crash.

So, carbs = great! But carbs and only carbs = not as great.

I’m also looking for a few other key things: fiber, protein, a low/moderate amount of added sugar, and a reasonable amount of sodium.

Sodium in waffles

You might not think about sodium when you’re thinking about frozen waffles. Because they aren’t a particularly salty food! But they sneakily can actually be really high in sodium. All frozen foods can be high in sodium because it’s used as a preservative and taste enhancer for frozen foods.

The recommendations for sodium intake: around 1000 mg a day for children ages 4-8, and only about 800 mg for kids 1-3. 

If they are eating primarily home made foods, I wouldn’t worry about their sodium intake. But if your family purchases more pre-made options, it’s something to keep an eye on.

So now that I’ve told you the bird’s eye view of what I’m looking for in a frozen waffle, let’s get to reviewing some of the popular options on the shelves, and I’ll point out which ones are my favorites!

waffle topped with berries

Healthiest frozen waffle picks

best frozen waffles healthy storebought

Kodiak Frozen Power Waffles Buttermilk and Vanilla

Taste-wise, my daughter chooses these as her favorite! I like the vanilla flavor, and they get nice and crunchy, but aren’t dry.

Here’s the low down on these frozen waffles from protein front-runner, Kodiak Cakes. (These are the nutrition facts per serving, which for this brand is 2 waffles. That’s a pretty standard serving size for most brands I’ve looked at.)

  • 240 calories
  • 26 g carbohydrates
  • 11 g fat
  • 12 g protein
  • 7 g sugar (6 grams added)
  • 390 mg sodium
  • 3 g fiber

I see a lot of things I like here!

A good serving of carbohydrates paired with quite a bit of protein. (It’s more protein than toddlers would really need in a meal. Just one waffle would suitable for most younger kids.)

The added sugar isn’t too high (6 grams or less is usually my goal).

While it’s not an alarming amount of sodium, it is a little bit on the higher end for this list. 

Kodiak Cub Cinnamon Waffles

  • 210 calories
  • 27 g carbohydrates
  • 8 g protein
  • 8 g fat
  • 3 g fiber
  • 7 g sugar (all added)
  • 260 mg sodium

These are not too much different than the regular Kodiak frozen waffles above- which means they also get my stamp of approval! They’re a bit lower in sodium (yay!) and have a bit less protein, but that’s actually appropriate for younger eaters. The sugar content is very moderate. 

Kidfresh Waffles

  • 150 calories
  • 20 g carbohydrates
  • 8 g protein
  • 4.5 g fat
  • 3 g fiber
  • 2 g sugar (2 grams added)
  • 210 mg sodium

These Kidfresh waffles are pretty great! My son loves these the most. They have more of a fluffy and light vibe.

If I had to pick a qualm, it would be that they’re only 150 calories a serving. That’s more in “snack” range than “meal” range, so you might benefit from serving these with a hearty breakfast side, or topping them with some heavy hitters like nut butter, etc. I love the low sugar and sodium content, the fiber, fat, and protein!

Whole Foods Buttermilk Protein Waffles

  • 220 calories
  • 26 g carbohydrates
  • 12 g protein
  • 8 g fat
  • 5 g sugar (4 grams added)
  • 3 g fiber
  • 340 mg sodium

These Whole Foods brand waffles are another great option. They are pretty much a dupe for the Kodiak Cakes Power Waffles listed above! Very tasty.

I like the balance of protein, fat, and carbs. I like seeing the low added sugar content, a few grams of fiber, and a more filling calorie count. The sodium is nothing alarming, but similar to the original Kodiak Cakes- which are toward the top of this list. 

Birch Benders Protein Waffles

  • 240 calories
  • 24 g carbohydrates
  • 12 g protein
  • 11 g fat
  • 4 g sugar (all added)
  • 1 g fiber
  • 270 mg sodium

These are another great, protein-forward choice. At 240 calories per serving and 12 grams of protein, these will definitely contribute to the feeling of satisfaction. I do wish it had more fiber- 1 gram is almost none!

But it’s not a bad choice at all for a good protein serving with low added sugar and low sodium. 

Healthy gluten free frozen waffles

healthy gluten free frozen waffles

Gluten-free waffles that have a nutrition boost are few and far between! They tend to be very low in protein and fiber. That being said, you can still make a great balanced breakfast. We did find a few with good reviews on taste that also meet our nutrition must-haves. (These ones I haven’t personally tasted. But trust that I scoured the reviews to find the most-liked options!)

Kodiak Cakes Gluten-Free Oat Power Waffles

  • 240 calories
  • 31 g carbohydrates
  • 10 g protein
  • 11 g fat
  • 4 g fiber
  • 4 g sugar (3 grams added)
  • 370 sodium

This offering from Kodiak Cakes is a great option if you’re gluten-free.

It’s a little higher in sodium- which is the case for most gluten-free offerings. But when you’re working with dietary restrictions, sometimes you can’t check every single box. These have a great balance of macronutrients, low added sugar, and a great serving of fiber to fill up bellies! 

Vans Original Gluten-Free Waffles

  • 180 calories
  • 28 g carbohydrates
  • 7 g fat
  • 2 g protein
  • 1 g fiber
  • Less than 1 g sugar
  • 460 mg sodium

This one isn’t my favorite option, but I’m including it on the list because dietary restrictions are just really tough and sometimes you need options! Every brand isn’t sold at every store, so I want to make sure you have some choices when you see them on your shelves. 

My biggest issue is that there are only 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. Protein and fiber are major contributors to satiety (or that feeling of fullness and satisfaction you get after a meal). These also are the highest in sodium. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of the whole diet, but it’s good to keep an eye on. 

I do like that these are easier to find and a more accessible price point. And I’d feel good about buying them if I need a gluten-free option on hand! 

Lopaus Point Original Waffles

  • 180 calories
  • 21 g carbohydrates
  • 10 g fat
  • 3 g protein
  • 2 g fiber
  • 2 g sugar (none added)
  • 130 mg sodium

This is a really fun and newer option. They are gluten-free and dairy-free if you’re needing to work around multiple dietary restrictions. There’s no added sugar, and really low sodium.

They don’t have as much protein or fiber as some of the other options on this list, but still a great choice nonetheless- especially given that they’re gluten-free and dairy-free.

Birch Benders Paleo Grain-Free Waffles

  • 260 calories
  • 24 g carbohydrates
  • 17 g fat
  • 3 g protein
  • 4 g fiber
  • 4 g sugar (none added)
  • 250 mg sodium

This is another gluten-free option that has some good things going on. I like seeing a filling calorie content coupled with 4 grams of fiber and a little bit of protein (could be more, but hey, we’re not aiming for perfection). Sodium is also moderate in these waffles and no added sugar! The fat content is a little higher, but not something I’m worried about in the big picture. 

My favorite frozen waffles

favorite healthy frozen waffles with protein

What will you find in my freezer?

My personal favorites are Kodiak Cakes Buttermilk and Vanilla and Whole Foods Buttermilk Protein Waffles. They are basically identical, nutrition-wise. (And taste-wise!)

These are my top choices because of their balanced nutrition and great taste!

I find that my daughter usually only eats 1 or half of one for breakfast (she’s always rushing off to school) so I like that it packs in some protein for her with every bite. 

And then I end up eating her leftovers!

Are waffles healthy?

Great question! And if you’ve been around Mama Knows Nutrition for any amount of time, you might be able to guess the answer. 

All foods can fit in a healthy diet. We don’t classify foods as good or bad around here. Food is just food. It all has different nutritional content, and there is a place for all of it in a healthy, well-rounded, varied diet. 

If you’re wanting to make sure you strike this balance, I like to pair a frozen waffle with nutrient-dense toppings and/or sides. 

I like serving waffles with nut butter spread on top. (Although there’s nothing wrong with a little regular butter, too!). Berries, chopped nuts, granola, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sliced banana, or a dollop of Greek yogurt are also great. 

You can also, of course, add waffles’ favorite companion- syrup. 

I like to choose 100% maple syrup rather than some of the other syrup-imitation products on the shelves. I recommend keeping syrup portions in check, because even 100% maple syrup is still added sugar. Dousing everything in syrup can drastically change the added sugar content of the meal, and we want to keep added sugar to a minimum in kids’ diets.

For standalone options, the waffles with higher protein and fiber content are better choices to get everything you need at a meal. 

healthy waffles for toddlers

Are high protein waffles good for kids?

The answer for this is “yes, but…”

Protein is important, but protein isn’t everything (or the only thing I’m looking for!).

People are often looking for ways to up protein in their child’s diet, but in regards to protein- more isn’t always more.

Toddlers ages 1-3 need about 13 grams of protein per day, and kids ages 4-8 need about 20 grams per day. When you think about those numbers, it’s actually not very hard to get them there- especially if they are regular milk drinkers. 

We don’t really want to overshoot that by a ton, so don’t necessarily make the decision on which waffle to buy based solely on protein. I mostly just like to see some protein to help keep them fuller longer. 

Plus, like I mentioned earlier, you may need to take into consideration serving size. Many of these products have a serving size of 2 waffles and a younger kid may only eat 1, so you would just half the protein on the nutrition label to figure out what they’re getting. 

Are Eggo Waffles healthy?

Eggo waffles lack fiber, are low in protein, and are pretty carbohydrate dominant. (I know, I’ll grab the tissue box so we can shed a few tears together!) They just don’t have the balance of macronutrients I am looking for when I’m choosing for my kids. 

They’re not BAD (remember, I don’t call foods “bad”)!

But they’re definitely not giving us as much as other brands, so I don’t consider them a top choice from a nutrition standpoint.

If you do serve Eggos, that is nothing to feel bad about! You’re not giving them “junk.” I promise! Eggos contribute calories and energy, which is good. There are no toxic ingredients. It’s just lower in protein and fiber, which we ideally want to serve at meals.

I’d pair Eggos with milk and fruit to up the protein and fiber content for a more fulfilling breakfast!

You don’t have to go throw out the Eggos in your freezer or feed them to the dog, ok??

Are organic waffles healthier?

Generally speaking, conventionally produced products and organic products are not vastly different from a nutritional standpoint. Like if you put a bowl of organic oats next to a bowl of conventional oats, the nutrition is going to be the exact same.

I hate to say this but a lot of the reason organic seems healthier is due to marketing and even food packaging.

Take a look at Annie’s Organic Frozen Waffles:

annie's organic waffles grocery store package

It can be misleading, but organic wheat flour is just white flour! Regular, all-purpose flour. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not nutrition-packed by any means. One serving size, 2 waffles, has only 120 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. The nutrition stats aren’t all that different from Eggos!

However, if you value organic farming practices, then buy organic! It’s more of a matter of personal preference than it is of increased nutritional value. 

I don’t have anything against organic. My only complaint is how it’s been positioned as healthier than conventional when that’s not actually true.

best frozen waffles for kids waffle strips with yogurt and fruit

Ways to serve waffles

If your waffles have a good amount of protein to keep kids full and energized, then I’ve got no problem with them being the main event. 

If you choose one with less protein or fiber, there are ways you can add to it with fun toppings or sides.

For a kid who needs to gain weight: add both butter and syrup (if they like that!).

To add protein, add something like:

By the way– here’s Amazon storefront where you’ll find all my favorite meal gear for each age range. If you’re wanting to make sure you’re stocked with everything you need for each new stage, check it out!

whole grain frozen waffles with vegetables

Frozen waffles in the air fryer

Have you become obsessed with your air fryer like I have? I think that using the toaster oven or air fryer are the best methods for crispy waffles!

I personally love using my air fryer because they feel just a little fresher and crispier!

For heating up frozen waffles in the air fryer: make sure waffles are in a single layer, heat at 360 degrees for 3 minutes, check on them and flip for 1-3 minutes or until done to your liking. 

Cook time will vary depending on your air fryer model so you may have to tweak these numbers! 

I have (and LOVE) this air fryer. It serves me well for so many meals including my air fryer chicken nuggets, air fryer french fries, and air fryer pizza rolls

Healthy pancake and waffle mix

Want to make your own pancakes and waffles either from scratch or from a mix? That can be a great option as well! If you make a large batch, you can even freeze them for easy reheating on rushed mornings.

For store bought mixes, I recommend:

  • Kodiak Cakes mix
  • Simple Mills mix
  • Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain
  • Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat mix (gluten-free and dairy-free)- we had to go dairy-free for a little while when my youngest was a baby and I loved this mix!

More help for easy breakfasts

If you could use more ideas for easy breakfasts, you’ve come to the right place. I know breakfast can be one of the most rushed parts of the day, so I’m definitely with you in trying to find easy, nutritious solutions. 

These breakfast choice cards have majorly simplified our mornings and reduced our power struggles when it comes to deciding what to eat. I also have an entire post dedicated to healthy toddler breakfast ideas, and another one for families needing to work around an egg allergy

And finally, here is a link to my free low-sugar cereal guide– because it doesn’t get much easier than pouring some cereal and milk into a bowl! 

Healthy pancake recipes to try

If waffles and pancakes are favorites in your household, here are some delicious and healthy recipes to try:

Sheet Pan Pancake Recipe

Sheet Pan Pancake Board

Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe

sweet potato pancakes

Banana Oat Pancakes for Babies

stack of easy blender banana oat pancakes for babies

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

chocolate chip banana pancakes

Uh oh, it’s lunch time already!

You finally get breakfast solved, but what about lunch, dinner, and the snacks we have to drum up 100x a day? Check out my Meal and Snack Survival Guide! I take you through each meal and snack and give tons of ideas, product recommendations, and helpful tips and tricks!  

meal and snack survival guide

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