There’s an Eggo waffle shortage, and busy parents are panicking. The Kellogg’s company says the shortage is due to flooding that happened in their Atlanta plant and some equipment upgrades that are taking longer than expected in another plant. The company is making getting Eggo back to their regular production by middle of 2010 a top priority.

While some are panicking, I’m going to look on the bright side. This may get parents to look to healthier alternatives for breakfast than the hockey puck that is the Eggo waffle. I went to the store and grabbed several boxes of healthier waffles and a box of Eggo. By the way, my store’s shelves were full of Eggo boxes despite the sign on the freezer door.

First, the ingredients in an Eggo Homestyle waffle.

ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), WATER, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN OIL, PALM OIL AND PALM KERNEL OIL WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID FOR FRESHNESS), EGGS, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), SUGAR, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, SOY LECITHIN, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, YELLOW #5, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), YELLOW #6, VITAMIN B12 
I’m puzzled by the artificial dyes in the waffles. Why is that necessary?

Now, on with the healthier frozen waffles.

Organic Van’s All Natural Homestyle – The only other homestyle waffle I saw.

Ingredients: WATER, ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, ORGANIC UNBLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, ORGANIC SOYBEAN OIL, ORGANIC PEAR JUICE CONCENTRATE, LEAVENING (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN, SEA SALT. CONTAINS WHEAT AND SOY.
Kashi Honey Oat – Even though these aren’t organic, Kashi products are full of whole grains.
Ingredients: Water, Wheat Flour, Oat Bran, Egg Whites, Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Whey, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Honey, Wheat Bran, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Kashi Seven Whole Grains and Sesame Flour (Stone Ground Whole: Oats, Hard Red Winter Wheat, Rye, Long Grain Brown Rice, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Natural Flavor, Sea Salt, Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, Soybean Fiber, Decaffeinated White Tea Extract, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Soy Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Activin Grape Seed Extract, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Ferrous Fumarate, Zinc Oxide, Beta Carotene (Source of Vitamin A), Folic Acid, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12.
Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus – I buy several Nature’s Path products so I was hoping to find a winner with this brand. So much so that I bought two different varieties.
Ingredients: Water, organic whole wheat flour, organic expeller pressed soybean oil, organic flaxseed, organic evaporated cane juice, organic fig nuggets (organic figs, organic rice flour), leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), non-GMO soy lecithin, sea salt.
Nature’s Path Organic Maple Cinn – I thought perhaps the built-in maple and cinnamon flavors in these waffles would be a hit with the kids. Don't mind the rip in the picture. The boys ripped it before I took the picture so I put it back together.
Ingredients: Water, organic wholewheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic expeller pressed soybean oil, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), organic maple syrup, organic oat bran, natural maple flavor, organic cinnamon powder, non-GMO soy lecithin, sea salt, organic rice bran extract.
On to the taste test. I had my two faithful tasters with me – my 10- and 7-year-old boys. We don’t buy Eggo or any other frozen brand. I make my own waffles. So I bought a box of Eggos to test the others against.
The Eggo – The boys liked the Eggo although they found them difficult to cut. They never have a problem cutting homemade waffles. I can see this being a hassle for a parent in the morning. “I need you to cut my waffles.” I thought the Eggo tasted like nothing. They weren’t good. They weren’t bad. When dipped in syrup, they were sweet. They seemed like just a vehicle for the syrup.
The Van’s – The biggest difference between the Eggo and all of the other choices was the whole wheat flour. It gave them all a different flavor right off the bat than the Eggo, but at least it gave them flavor. The boys liked these waffles. They were a little harder in texture than the Eggo, but the 10-year-old said they were “sooooo good” and the 7-year-old said he’d eat them every day.
The Kashi – The Kashi waffle had a softer texture like the Eggo. I liked these a lot -- lots of flavor. They were my favorite of the bunch. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t like them at all.
The Nature’s Path Flax Plus – None of us like these. They were cardboard like, and the flax seeds turned off the boys immediately. Considering how much I like some of their other products, I was surprised by how unappetizing these were.
The Nature’s Path Maple Cinn– The boys thought these had a pretty good taste, but they did not like the texture. I thought they were blah.
I think that the use of different grains in all healthier waffles didn’t appeal to my boys. If your children are used to whole wheat waffles, breads or other baked goods, they might have a different reaction than mine. But this taste test was to determine which healthier brand could replace the Eggo. Here are my conclusions:
Most likely to appeal to the Eggo eating crowd: The Van’s. Perhaps the fact that these were the only other homestyle waffles in the bunch gave them an advantage. I didn’t see a homestyle version of any of the other brands.
Best for a grown-up palate: The Kashi. They had lots of flavor and plenty of filling whole grains.
My biggest suggestion: Make your own waffles. Really, waffles don’t take long to make and basic homemade waffles blow every one of these frozen waffles away. You can make a batch of waffles on the weekend and freeze them for weekday mornings. You can also put the batter together the night before. Take it out of the refrigerator in the morning, whisk it up a bit, and it’s good to go. Most waffles irons take less than five minutes to heat up and less than another five to make a waffle.

Do you know of any healthier frozen waffles that you or your kids like that I haven’t mentioned here? Let us know about them in the comments. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.