Panera Bread is actually a healthier place to eat than you might think, provided you order the right menu item! Panera Bread announced a year ago (May 2015) their progress on their initiative to remove over 150 artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from their menu products and has been transparent in sharing their ingredient lists. They have a nutritional breakdown on their website – which is how I helped determine my selections below.
Here are some “clean” or “cleaner” eating choices when stopping over at Panera Bread (P.S. They also have an app where you can order in advance for pickup!).
Top Breakfast selections
GOLD: Power Almond Quinoa Oatmeal & Seasonal fruit cup
SILVER: Avocado, Egg White & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich or Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich
BRONZE: Sprouted Grain bagel flat with 1 oz reduced fat roasted vegetable medley cream cheese
Questionable Honorable Mention: Steel Cut oatmeal with strawberries and pecans. The cinnamon sugar topping that comes with it puts it over the top plus there is a lot of fat from the oil roasted nuts. If you order, order without the sugar cinnamon topping and go sparingly on the nuts (very hard to do).
Avoid these naughty breakfast items: parfaits-lots of added sugar, souffles-high in fat; frozen drinks and smoothies-lots of added sugar, and of course anything in the pastry/muffin/sweet roll family.
Top Lunch selections
Coming soon! (Had to take my daughter to the park. I’ll finish this part later!!)