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How to make better café treat choices

Everyone enjoys a hot drink and snack for morning tea out at a café, but what you order to go with your favourite brew can quickly add to the energy, saturated fat and sugar in your day.

While that’s not a problem, every so often, if eating morning tea at a café is a regular thing for you, here’s what to consider to help you make healthier choices.

Everyday vs ‘sometimes’ café foods

Flakey croissants, sweet slices and enticing cakes … they’re hard to resist, especially when they’re beautifully displayed right next to the cash register. There’s no problem with a treat now and then — but their high sugar, saturated fat and calorie content means they shouldn’t become everyday foods.

If you’re after a sweet bite to go with your hot drink, make a slice of fruit toast, piece of fruit, or tub of yoghurt your healthier alternative. If savoury’s your thing, eat a small handful of raw nuts or seeds, or a high-fibre muesli bar.

Mindfulness matters

Instead of quickly eating a muffin or a biscuit on the run when your sweet tooth serenades you, stop and truly enjoy the eating experience.

The first step to mindful eating is to put away your devices so you can eat distraction free.

Then, with each mouthful, chew slowly and thoroughly. It might help to put your spoon or fork down between each bite.

While you’re eating, pay attention not just to taste but to your other senses — sight, smell, texture and sound. You’ll feel more satisfied and be less likely to go back for seconds!

Portion perfection

A sensible portion for sweet treats is around 600kJ (144cal). Look for small, bite-sized treats like macarons, mini muffins, thin slices of fruit toast and small scones. Or pick a slice of cake and share it with a friend!

Extras like butter or spreads for toast can add up quickly too, so stick to a teaspoon rather than several heaped tablespoons.

The calories in popular café treats

We’ve compared the kilojoules/calories in popular café items to that of a regular skim latte (327kJ/78cal)

Caramel slice

Same kJ/cal as 5 coffees: 1600kJ (383cal) per regular slice

Buttered white toast

Same kJ/cal as 3 coffees: 998kJ (239cal) per thick slice + 1 tbs butter

Mini orange & poppy seed muffin

Same kJ/cal as 1 coffee: 338kJ (81cal) per mini muffin

Croissant with jam

Same kJ/cal as 4 coffees: 1300kJ (311cal) per regular croissant + 1 tbs jam


Same kJ/cal as 1¼ coffees: 368kJ (88cal) per biscuit

Banana bread

Same kJ/cal as 6 coffees: 1947kJ (465cal) per thick slice

Custard tart

Same kJ/cal as 3¼ coffees: 1045kJ (250cal) per party-size tart

Scone with jam & cream

Same kJ/cal as 4½ coffees: 1464kJ (350cal) per scone + 1tbs each jam & cream

Blueberry muffin

Same kJ/cal as 6½ coffees: 2128kJ (509cal)per large muffin

Buttered raisin toast

Same kJ/cal as 1¾ coffees 537kJ (129cal) per regular slice + 1 tsp butter


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