You probably think of waffles as a decadent, unhealthy breakfast item, but in reality, they can be fairly low in calories and fat. In fact, a 4-inch round whole-wheat waffle contains just 90 calories and 3 grams of fat. What usually makes a breakfast of waffles full of fat and calories is what you top your stack with -- syrup, butter and whipped cream are loaded with sugar and fat. To enjoy a healthy waffle breakfast, skip these items and choose toppings that are low in calories and provide nutrients.
Fruit adds the sweetness you may be looking for in a waffle topping, but with much less sugar and calories than syrup provides. One cup of sliced strawberries, for example, contains less than 60 calories, while a 1/4-cup serving of maple-flavored syrup provides more than 200 calories. Fruit also provides fiber and many vitamins and minerals. Bananas, berries, peaches, pears and apples are all delicious waffle topping ideas.
Another sweet option for a waffle topping is creamy, low-fat yogurt. A 1/2-cup serving of low-fat, fruit-flavored yogurt dolloped on top of your waffles adds 125 calories, while also providing a healthy dose of protein and calcium. For even fewer calories and less sugar, you can choose plain, low-fat yogurt for about 80 calories per 1/2 cup.
Peanut butter isn't just a bread topping; it can be a waffle topping as well. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provides 190 calories, 8 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Peanut butter is also high in healthy fatty acids. Even though peanut butter is a nutritious option, keep portions in check as calories and fat can add up quickly. Two tablespoons is a serving.
Cottage cheese makes for a healthy and savory waffle topping. It's packed with protein, which will help fill you up and give you the staying power to get through the morning. A 1/2-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese adds just 80 calories and provides 14 grams of protein. If you aren't a fan of cottage cheese alone, you can mix it with some sliced fruit before topping your waffle. Pineapple and peaches pair well with cottage cheese.