I’m not usually tempted by full fat baked goods at Starbucks (evil!), but ironically, since they partnered up with San Francisco’s La Boulange—which they now own—the “reduced fat”, artisanal options have brought up some serious cravings in me for pastries!
Do labels like ‘low fat’, ‘whole grain’ or ‘oatmeal’ make you more likely to give in?
I was surprised to find that the “Wheat” Spinach Croissant was higher in fat and calories than the Tomato & Cheese Croissant, after assuming the opposite. (That’s clever marketing for you!)
I managed to stick with my Skinny Caramel Latte (yay me!) and inhaled a Corazonas Oatmeal Square Mini as I got into my car. (One of my favorite Costco items.) This small victory inspired me to compile this guide—with nutritional information and Weight Watchers PointsPlus values—to empower us in the upcoming holiday season! I’ve included my Top Ten Best and Worst Choices, but you’ll find the complete guide below.
Even if you’re NOT a Weight Watcher, this list will help you make good choices.
Have a plan before you’re staring longingly through the glass.
FACT: All calories are not created equal
Weight Watchers does not consider calories at all to calculate points. (Surprised?)
By comparing the points versus the calories, you’re automatically making better choices, because PointsPlus values are based on fat, carbs, fiber, and protein—which affect how long you will feel satisfied, and what food choices you make for the rest of the day.
TIP: Take something delicious with you, and compare points and “worthiness” to it!
Ask yourself… Is that Lemon Pound Cake really worthy of all those points?
You can’t expect a banana or a fruit cup to stand up to the temptation of a 14-point pastry. But if you have something with you that you consider a special treat (not your usual protein bar or Apple Chips), you’ll be better equipped to resist.
My Top 5 Bring Along Snacks
- Corazonas Oatmeal Square Minis – 2 PP (The regular size Corazonas Oatmeal Squares are 5PP per chewy square of whole-grain, oaty goodness, with 6g protein to keep you feeling satisfied! My fav is the Peanut Butter. Great to keep in the car because they don’t melt. Check points for different flavors!)
- Vitalicious Vitatops Muffin Tops – 3 PP
- belVita Golden Oat Breakfast Biscuits – 3 PP for two biscuits
- Luna Fiber Bars – 3 PP (my fave is Peanut Butter Strawberry)
- Bobos Oat Bars – 5 PP for half the bar, so a little decadent, but sooo delish and all natural ingredients.
Does the ritual of buying something in a little paper bag—to go along with that festive red cup—bring you joy?
I’m a sucker for the red cups, and… is it just me, or do the cute pink bags conjure up do-good, feel-good feelings?
If you must buy something, try to pick something healthy that won’t fill you with regret, and won’t trigger the “eater” in you!
Top 10 Healthy Picks
- Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats – 4 PP (if you’re doing Simply Filling Technique, this is a WW Power Food, but keep in mind that if you add the dried fruit, nuts, and brown sugar you take it from 140 to 390 calories!)
- Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend – 2 PP, WW Power Food
- Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap – 7 PP
- Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & White Cheddar on Multigrain English Muffin – 8 PP
- Multigrain Bagel – 8 PP. 6g fiber and 14g protein makes this a great choice!
- Everything with Cheese Bagel – 7 PP. Packs 10g protein, and only 2g fat.
- Roasted Vegetable Panini – 9 PP
- Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box – 6 PP. Only 7g fat and 20g protein makes this an excellent choice.
- Protein Bistro Box – 10 PP. A better choice than the Cheese Bistro Box which has 13 PointsPlus.
- Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl – 9 PP
Sometimes, fruit or salad just won’t cut it! But you can still make a better choice while giving in to your craving.
Top 10 Slightly Indulgent Picks
- Vanilla Almond Biscotti – 5 PP
- Madeleines Petite French Cakes – 2 PP for one cookie. (3 per package) Perfect for sharing with a couple of friends!
- Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookie – 4 PP
- Cheese Danish – 9 PP
- Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf Cake – 8 PP
- Tomato & Cheese Croissant Square – 7 PP
- Caramelized Apple Cake with Washington Apples – 7 PP
- Petite Vanilla Bean Scone – 3 PP
- Asiago & Cheddar Bavarian Style Pretzel – 9 PP. Delicious, and 16 grams of protein keeps you feeling satisfied.
- Blueberry Yogurt Muffin with Honey – 9 PP. Don’t let the words “blueberry” and “honey” trick you into believing that this is “good” for you, but it’s the best choice of the muffins, and better than a Blueberry Scone.
Try to avoid anything with corn syrup or high in saturated fat. These are high in calories (and points), and will leave you looking for something else soon after! These higher fat, less healthful options are still in the grocery store Starbucks, and in the outskirts, where they haven’t yet introduced La Boulange.
Top 10 Worst Choices
- Iced Lemon Pound Cake – 14 PP
- Reduced-Fat Lemon Loaf Cake – 10 PP. This is much higher in fat (16 g) that the other reduced-fat loaf cakes, so you’re better off picking another one.
- Pumpkin Scone & Cinnamon Chip Scone – 13 PP each
- Carrot Cake Muffin with Pecans – 10 PP. You’d think this would be healthy because of the carrots and nuts, but it packs 20g fat and only 2g fiber.
- Old-Fashioned Glazed Donut – 13 PP (one of their most popular items)
- Apple Fritter – 12 PP
- Morning Bun – 11 PP
- Classic Coffee Cake – 11 PP. One of their most popular items. If you have to have cake, there are better choices. (See above)
- Pumpkin Sugar Cookie – 8 PP
- Egg Salad Sandwich – 13 PP. While high in protein, this has far too much fat (28g) and calories (500) for me to consider it a good choice.
See below for a Complete Guide to Starbucks Foods with Nutritional Info and Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values.
Let me know if this list helps you to make better choices.
And please SHARE IT with your Weight Watchers and Starbucks buddies!
*PP = Weight Watchers PointsPlus values
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Orna is a former Weight Watchers Leader and Ambassador.
Click here for her personal Weight Loss Journey (with before and after pics)
Click here for Orna’s Costco Shopping List (with Power Foods & PointsPlus values)
Click here for Orna’s Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Power Foods & PointsPlus values)
Love this post! I eat a spinach croissant every morning. I might have to switch to the tomato and cheese.
You’re the third person to tell me they’re hooked on the Spinach Croissant! Sorry to burst the bubble. 🙂
Don’t you think that the spinach wrap could be a power food, or part a power food? What ingredients make it not a power food? Please help? I am curious what you think.
Power Foods are selected not only because of their fat, fiber and protein content (which = points value) but also by their abuse potential. Two reasons that this is not a Power Food are 1) full fat cheese and 2) tortillas (even the light variety) are not considered power foods. Hope that helps!
Terrible time opening the package. Almost returned it to Starbucks, it was difficult to open the package. There must be a better, easier way to open a package. Good product, thogh
Hi Larry, I’m not sure which package you are referring to!