Denver to DC: Healthy hotel breakfasts

Denver to DC: One RD’s quest to find good food on the road

Day 6: Ann Arbor, MI to Hagerstown, MI

After a week on the road, we’re almost home (our new home, that is). No Americana today, just a lot of beautiful fall foliage and some torrential downpour from the tropical storm. NOT fun to drive in!

Now that our hotel stays are winding to a halt, I thought it’d be fun to dish about hotel breakfasts. As happy as I am to get free nosh (who doesn’t like free food?), I’m really happy when it’s free vittles with some color (and I’m not talking about Fruit Loops!), protein and fiber.

We’ve seen a variety of foods at free hotel breakfasts, everything from the standard unhealthy fare (e.g., danishes and donuts) to the not-so-standard foods (e.g., oatmeal, skim milk and omelets). Most mornings I fueled up on oatmeal or English muffin with eggs; the morning my husband grabbed our food, it was a package of Pop-Tarts and an apple. Fun every once in a while… the problem starts when the standard hotel unhealthy options (like Pop-Tarts and other added-sugar foods) become our standard breakfasts.

Standard hotel breakfast FOODS: Calories and fat grams per serving

  • Pop-Tarts: 200 calories, 5 grams fat
  • Sugared cereal (average): 120-150 calories, 1-2 grams fat
  • Donuts, glazed: 65 calories, 13 grams fat
  • Donuts, chocolate: 250 calories, 14 grams fat
  • Danish: 220 calories, 12 grams fat

Healthier hotel breakfast MEALS: Calories and fat grams per meal

  • Whole wheat toast or English muffin with smear of butter, hard-boiled egg white and fruit: 300 calories, 4 grams fat
    High in protein, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium.
  • Raisin bran cereal with nonfat or lowfat milk and fruit: 400 calories, 4 grams of fat
    High in calcium, protein, B vitamins, fiber, vitamin C and potassium.
  • Oatmeal (instant) packet with fruit and nuts and low-fat milk: 350 calories, 3.5 grams fat
    High in calcium, protein (with nuts), fiber, unsaturated fat (with nuts), vitamin C and potassium.

The main take-aways from hotel breakfasts are to choose the healthier options (like eggs, oatmeal, fruit) more often and the sweets/pastries and higher fat foods (like sausage, butter) less often.

Next blog… from Virginia. Happy weekend!