Typically, brunch menus are full of high-calorie, low-nutrition options, which can make it feel like a healthy route is nowhere in sight. If you are looking for ways of finding healthy options at your next brunch, you might consider ordering customized omelettes, asking for eggs that are prepared in a health conscious manner, and avoiding certain menu items. You might also think about ordering off-menu options that are not advertised but that most restaurants will make for you.

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:
Choosing Your Main Course

  1. 1
    Pick a customized omelette. Order an omelette with one slice of cheese and at least two kinds of vegetables. On the side, choose the fruit salad instead of the hash browns or French fries. This meal has protein, selenium and vitamin D from the eggs, as well as fiber and vitamins from the vegetables.
    • If you want an omelette but are trying to reduce your cholesterol, you should order an egg white omelette.[1]
  2. 2
    Enjoy poached eggs. Ask for one or two poached eggs. If you order one egg, you will get 75 calories including 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, alongside iron, vitamins, and minerals. Eggs also contain carotenoids, which may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.[2] Two poached eggs will add up to 150 calories.
    • Order your poached eggs with a piece of dry brown toast and a sliced plum tomato. From the plum tomato, you should get about 11 calories, including 2 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, ten percent of your vitamin A requirement and thirteen percent of your vitamin C requirement.[3] From the toast, you will get about 65 calories, including 2.5 grams of protein, 13.6 grams of carbohydrates, and half a gram of fat.[4]
    • If you order poached eggs, brown toast and a plum tomato, you will be consuming 150-225 calories, depending on whether you order one or two eggs.
    • By asking for poached eggs instead of fried eggs, you will reduce your intake of saturated fats. Scrambled or fried eggs require butter or oil, which contains saturated fat.
  3. 3
    Avoid eggs benedict. A typical eggs benedict meal can up to approximately 1,050 calories, including 57 grams of fat. It is packed with fat and is very hard to digest. If you spring for it, you may feel bloated and tired for the rest of the day.[5]
    • Order eggs benedict without the sauce. The eggs will offer the creaminess and you can cut down on the calories in this meal.
    • Order eggs Florentine without the sauce. You will get spinach, which has tons of vitamin A, calcium, iron and vitamin C.[6]
    • Order eggs benedict without the hash browns. If you cut the hash browns, you can cut down on the calories in this heavy meal.
  4. 4
    Enjoy bacon if it is center cut. If you get a good quality, center cut bacon, you can reduce the amount of fat by about twenty grams compared to regular bacon. You will have to ask what kind of bacon they use and decide accordingly.[7]
  5. 5
    Order steel cut oatmeal. Ask them to make your oatmeal with steel cut oats and water, as opposed to cream. On the top, you should request fresh fruit as opposed to dry fruit which has excessive sugar.
    • Oatmeal is a smart choice for breakfast because it lowers LDL cholesterol, and decreases your risk for heart disease. The fiber will make you feel full, and can ease constipation.[8]
  6. 6
    Choose fruit salad. If you are craving something sweet, choose fruit salad instead of waffles or pancakes. A serving of fruit salad with a honey and yoghurt dressing adds up to approximately 135 calories.[9] In comparison, one piece of freshly prepared French toast adds up to about 148 calories and one pancake adds up to about 164 calories.[10]
    • Fruit salad is a nutritionally superior option to other menu items. Whereas fruit salad has plenty of fiber and vitamins, French toast and pancakes are full of simple carbohydrates that will give you a sugar high and eventually result in exhaustion.[11]
  7. 7
    Resist the bread basket. The bread basket of most brunch restaurants is full of scones, muffins, white bread, and other baked goods that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, as well as low in fiber. If you eat too many of these items, you will basically be eating two meals by the time brunch is over. You may also experience a sugar crash due to the high volume of refined carbohydrates.[12]
  8. 8
    Avoid fried potatoes and hash browns. Although potatoes have plenty of nutritional benefits, they need to be prepared appropriately. Eating potatoes at brunch typically means potatoes that have been fried in some manner such as hash browns or latkes. These foods have a lot of saturated fats from all of the oil that is used to make them. Choose to eat baked potatoes at lunch or dinner instead of fried potatoes at brunch.[13]
  9. 9
    Skip the biscuits and gravy. Biscuits are made with processed, white flour and is not the most healthful option because it packs a lot of calories and not enough fiber. One biscuit with gravy may add up to 680 calories and 32 grams of fat.[14]
    • Order a whole grain English muffin instead, which will have more fiber and vitamin B than the biscuits.[15]
  10. 10
    Avoid waffles. Waffles are both incredibly high in calories and served in excessively large portions. A seven-inch waffle has about 218 calories, including 11 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of protein. Typically, restaurants will give you at least three or four waffles, if not more. In addition, waffles are often eaten with syrup, jam, and other high sugar toppings. This meal may give you a sugar high and then make you tired for the rest of the day.[16]
    • If you do order waffles or pancakes, you can order whole wheat or buckwheat varieties and ask for fruit on the top instead of syrup.
  11. 11
    Skip the bagels. One bagel has about 430 calories, including 1 gram of fat, 92 carbohydrates, and 15 grams of protein.[17] Once you add the jam or peanut butter or cream cheese, you are looking at a lot of calories.
    • Choose a piece of toasted whole wheat bread instead, which should have around sixty five calories.[18]

Method 2
Method 2 of 3:
Ordering Healthy Sides

  1. 1
    Order hard boiled eggs with fruit on the side. The eggs on a brunch menu typically come with a lot of calorie rich sides and may be fried in oil or butter, which results in a high calorie and not especially healthy meal. Instead of the standard menu, you can ask them to make you some hard boiled eggs and a small fruit salad.[19] One large hard-boiled egg has approximately 77 calories, including 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat.[20] A serving of fruit salad with yogurt dressing has approximately 136 calories, so your meal should be about 213 calories.[21]
  2. 2
    Ask for a serving of garden salad. If you are more on the lunch side of brunch, try ordering a garden salad. A garden salad has plenty of vitamins and fiber and will give you energy for the afternoon. You will get about 50 calories in a garden salad and plenty of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, calcium and iron.[22]
    • Avoid cobb salad. Cobb salad has a lot of sodium rich foods like blue cheese and ham.[23]
    • Ask for your dressing on the side so you can determine the right amount for your salad.
  3. 3
    Ask for a cup of yogurt with blueberries. Yogurt and blueberries is a great meal that will keep you going for the afternoon. A cup of blueberries has a quarter of your vitamin C needs for the day. A cup of plain yogurt will have about 149 calories, including 8 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of protein. This can be a nice, light brunch and a great solution if you want to keep your calories down and focus on socializing.[24]

Method 3
Method 3 of 3:
Ordering Drinks at Brunch

  1. 1
    Avoid high calorie espresso drinks. A mocha cookie crumble espresso drink has about 480 calories and 19 grams of fat. An iced macchiato has about 240 calories and 6 grams of fat. These kinds of drinks are often offered on brunch menus and can add up to as much or more calories than you want to be getting in your whole meal. If you are looking for a low-sugar, low-calorie and nutritious lunch, you should just order a plain cup of black coffee. Of course, drinking water will be your best option as it contains no calories and will provide you with the hydration you need.[25]
    • You can also ask for your coffee drink to be made with skim milk and stevia or another artificial sweetener.
  2. 2
    Say no to all-you-can-drink brunch. Many brunch menus have added an all-you-can-drink option, which is popular but dangerous. If you drink excessively, you could end up having to deal with any number of short-term consequences such as an upset stomach or slurred speech. Obviously, the long term consequences of excessive alcohol consumption are far ranging and serious, including high blood pressure and liver disease.[26] If you want to drink, do so wisely and order one drink at a time.[27]
    • Choose one 12-ounce beverage.
    • Order a wine spritzer, which is typically lower in calories.
  3. 3
    Cut the orange juice in your mimosa. If you order your mimosa without orange juice, you will be able to trim five grams of sugar from your drink. You will still get the taste and sparkle of the champagne.[28]

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      • Keep in mind that eating refined grains like biscuits, white bagels, pancakes, and waffles will greatly increase your blood sugar if you have diabetes because these are simple carbohydrates. Choosing complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread and oatmeal is always a better option due to the higher levels of fiber, which will result in steadier blood sugars.
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      4. http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/12-brunch-orders-worse-steak-dinner
      5. http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/12-brunch-orders-worse-steak-dinner
      6. http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/12-brunch-orders-worse-steak-dinner
      7. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baked-products/5122/2
      8. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-starbucks/9657/2
      9. http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/calories-in-food/bakery-products/brown-toast.htm
      10. http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/15-menu-healthy-meals-you-can-always-order
      11. http://news.health.com/2015/10/16/4-tricks-for-ordering-a-diet-friendly-brunch/
      12. http://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-in.asp?food=fresh+fruit+salad
      13. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-sbarro/7822/2
      14. http://www.glamour.com/gallery/the-dos-and-donts-of-eating-healthy-brunch-foods#10
      15. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/104/2
      16. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/fhfi45gfdi/iced-hazelnut-macchiato-2/#637c1641130f
      17. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol/short-term-long-term-effects.html
      18. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/04/22/best-brunch-choices-for-healthy-eating
      19. http://news.health.com/2015/10/16/4-tricks-for-ordering-a-diet-friendly-brunch/

      About this article

      Courtney Fose, RD, MS
      Co-authored by:
      Master's Degree, Clinical Nutrition, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
      This article was co-authored by Courtney Fose, RD, MS. Courtney Fose is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She has worked as a Dietitian since 2009, and received her MS in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Arkansas in 2016. This article has been viewed 9,226 times.
      10 votes - 58%
      Co-authors: 6
      Updated: September 16, 2021
      Views: 9,226
      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 9,226 times.

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