What to order the next time you’re looking for a healthy Wawa meal, recommended by a Philly dietitian.
Wawa is a total Philly classic. If you live or work in Philly, you’ll rarely find yourself far from one of their locations. Whether you’re looking for snacks, a caffeine boost, or a quick lunch, you don’t have to look hard for options with Wawa around.
That said, while they certainly have the convenience thing covered, it’s another issue if you’re trying to follow a healthy eating plan. Sure, they sell plenty of high-sugar snack foods and greasy hoagies, but you can absolutely find some healthy snacks and meals at Wawa. For instance, in the past two years, the chain launched health-conscious categories like Plant-Based, Lower-Sodium, and Balanced Choices. And their website and in-store touch screens have a really nifty nutrition calculator, where you can easily figure out the energy (calorie) content of your food, plus how it changes with modifications.
Now, let’s take you through an entire day of eating healthy at Wawa! I promise that it’s not only possible, but there are actually many more healthy options at Wawa than the examples that I’ve listed here, so go ahead and explore.
HEALTHY WAWA BREAKFAST
HEALTHIEST BREAKFAST SANDWICH: Egg white omelet breakfast sandwich with avocado, tomato, and spinach on multigrain.
For a sturdy and filling high-protein and fiber-rich breakfast, go with an egg white omelet breakfast sandwich made on multigrain. The eggs and cheese provide a generous 23 grams of protein, while the multigrain bread and veggies give you about eight grams of fiber, getting started towards your daily goal of 25 grams. (Did you know fiber is key in helping your digestion and balancing your cholesterol levels?) The choice also provides a good amount of iron for your oxygen transportation and calcium for bone health, so overall, this is an easy and healthy breakfast option that definitely hits the spot.
HEALTHIEST NON-SANDWICH BREAKFAST: Veggie & egg white omelet burrito with cheddar cheese and roasted veggies on a warm tortilla.
I say yes please! This breakfast burrito is another high-protein and fiber-rich breakfast options. I like to challenge my clients to get veggies in with breakfast at least a few days per week, and this breakfast burrito makes that goal easy to hit. Feel free to add a piece of fruit to make sure you stay full all morning.
HEALTHY WAWA LUNCH
HEALTHIEST SANDWICH: Oven-roasted turkey Shorti hoagie.
I do love that the hoagies come in many different sizes, so that you can modify your order depending on hunger. The Shorti is a nice lunch size. Turkey and Swiss cheese give plenty of protein, while honey mustard and hot peppers add flavor. Make sure to add some veggies in there, as well — like nutrient-rich cucumber, spinach, and tomato.
HEALTHIEST NON-SANDWICH LUNCH: Grilled chicken burrito bowl.
This option is super high in protein, and fresh salsa keeps it flavorful. Black beans are a favorite healthy ingredient of mine. They are total nutritional powerhouses containing plant-based protein, fiber, and a variety of minerals and vitamins, such as folate (which is essential for healthy cell growth and function) and copper to maintain health of nerve cells and immune system. Black beans can improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of chronic disease like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Not bad for a little bean!
HEALTHY WAWA DINNER
HEALTHIEST HOAGIE OPTION: Turkey hoagie bowl.
This is a lower carbohydrate way to get all those delicious hoagie flavors: oven-roasted turkey, crunchy romaine lettuce, red onions, grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese (optional!), and some classic ranch dressing. The turkey and cheddar cheese provide a nice amount of protein, and you can boost the bowl even further by adding a side of roasted veggies. If you feel like you want some healthy carbs for your meal, how about adding a mixed fruit cup to have for dessert?
HEALTHIEST VEGETARIAN OPTION: Roasted veggie, black bean, and rice burrito.
The black beans are packed in protein and fiber, and are high in the minerals magnesium and potassium. Cheese, fresh salsa, jalapeño peppers, and sriracha sauce provide all the spice and flavor to help make for a really satisfying meal, and you can add avocado for some heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
HEALTHY WAWA SNACKS
There are actually a ton of healthy snacks at Wawa, you just need to look for them! It’s simply too hard for me to pick just one winner. Here are a few of my top choices:
- Apple and peanut butter dipper: Nut butters provide heart healthy unsaturated fats and a little bit of protein. The apple slices give crunch, fiber, and flavor of course. You never need to feel hangry again!
- Hard-boiled eggs, plus a snack bag: Hard-boiled eggs combined with either baby carrots or a fruit snack bag makes for a perfect high-protein post-workout option to help your muscles recover.
- String cheese and a banana: String cheese is an easy way to get in some protein and it lasts for at least a couple of hours in your bag, and bananas are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and B6!
- Turkey and cheese pinwheels: When you know you’ll need to work late and you still don’t want to be absolutely starving at dinner time, go for a sturdier snack that feels like a mini meal. The 20 grams of protein will keep you feeling satiated for hours.
- RXBar or Kind bar: Most Wawa stores carry a variety of snack and protein bars. I like the RX and Kind bars due to their wholesome ingredients, and I also find them among the most tasty bars out there. Bonus: They go great with a cup of coffee.
Amy von Sydow Green, MD, MS, RD, is a Philadelphia-based dietitian/nutritionist with a passion for healthy nutrition, cooking, food trends, and developing new recipes. Follow her Instagram for more tips and insight.