Welcome to “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews” | Garden Lites Muffins

It’s a weekly series we’re calling “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews!” Every other week, we’ll share a popular food, drink or supplement one of our MNT Registered Dietitians tried, reviewed and rated. With the growing number products on the grocery store shelves, figuring out which items are getting you the most nutritional bang for your buck can feel overwhelming? Our hope is that we can make grocery shopping at least 0.5% easier!

FYI – these posts aren’t sponsored. They are opinions of unpaid tastebuds.

Check Out Our Past Reviews:

What are Garden Lites Muffins?

Garden Lites Muffins are a pre-made muffin product that have vegetables such as zucchini or carrots as the first ingredient (about ⅓ of the muffin consists of vegetables). The goal of the Garden Lites company is to increase vegetable consumption of Americans. Muffin varieties include: Double Chocolate, Banana Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Oat, Ninja Power, Carrot Berry, Cranberry Orange, Lemon Chia, and Apple Cinnamon. We tried Double Chocolate & Blueberry Oat.

Why Did We Try Garden Lites Muffins?

Many of my clients are working parents who struggle to find a healthy grab-and-go breakfast for their children. We all also know how difficult it can be to get in enough vegetables for our picky eaters (and ourselves). These muffins could possibly be a great solution for both problems! They come in a very wide variety of flavors including double chocolate, banana chocolate chip, blueberry oat, carrot berry, apple cinnamon, and more.

That being said, if you’re trying to expose your children to more vegetables. I’m not a fan of “hiding” veggies in food. It’s important kids come face to face with vegetables. When they’re incognito, kids don’t get the chance to make the connection.

Garden Lites Muffins: How Many Stars? 

Our 5 Star Rating

Taste: 5/5 stars

Of the Garden Lites Line, we tried and tasted the Double Chocolate and Blueberry Oat options that we found in our local grocery. Both muffins were moist, yet crumbly. The kids loved the addition of the chocolate chips. And, whether this is a selling point or not – you can’t taste the vegetables.

Nutrient Density: 4/5

We compared a few flavors of the Garden Lites muffins with two other muffin products on the market below. The Garden Lites apple cinnamon muffin had the most fiber of the Garden Lites products, but the Kodiak Cakes muffin took the medal for the most overall fiber. We would have hoped these muffins would have brought more vegetable fiber to the table, but zucchini and carrots (in the amounts added) didn’t make these muffins a high-fiber food.

The Garden Lites products are lower in calories (110) compared to the other brands that have 260 calories. However, the Garden Lites products have about the same amount of protein despite being lower in calories. The low calorie level of these muffins could make them a great option for a small breakfast or small appetite, but an adult might need to eat two to remain satiated.

Value: 3/5

Compared to the other muffins, the price per muffin is comparable. However, if you need to eat two of the Garden Lites muffins to be full, the value is about the same as the other two options. Making homemade muffins is always cheaper, but hey, time is money, and these grab and go muffins are convenient.

Average Rating: 4/5

Where To Find Garden Lites Muffins

You can find this product at Target, Walmart, Straubs, Dierbergs, Schnucks, and Fresh Thyme. Their store locator can assist you if you are not in the Saint Louis area.

How We Enjoyed Garden Lites Muffins

On one of THOSE mornings. You know the morning that kids linger in bed, (why does this never happen on weekends?); they complain about what you packed for lunch, and you can’t find that library book that needs to be returned? Perhaps…top that with a little mom guilt because you feel like you’re doing too much for them? That’s the morning we enjoyed (and benefited from) double chocolate muffin convenience.

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.