Foodie Friday Healthy Edition: Kneaders Bakery and Cafe


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I’m always looking for great, healthy eateries to add to our family’s dining out repertoire. Now dining out and healthy eating don’t always go hand in hand but here are two strategies I use as a mom and nutritionist to make it possible:

  • Know where to eat
  • Know how to order

As for where to eat, I look for spots that offer menu items that can be easily customized (because I am THAT customer). You can imagine my joy when the newest Kneaders Bakery and Cafe opened up in North Scottsdale last week.

Yes, I know, soup/salad/sandwich cafes aren’t exactly unique. But as a frequenter of these types of establishments, there are a few things I really enjoy about Kneaders that you don’t find at similar competitors. The fresh baked breads are soft and chewy without being overly dense- they don’t have bread like this over at Paradise Bakery/ Panera! The kids meals actually come with grapes instead of that melon-filled fruit cup you see everywhere else.

And they have a drive-thru.

Now as for knowing how to order, you have to know off the bat that while most of these types of establishments consider themselves “healthy,” you really shouldn’t eat about 90% of what’s on the menu (not as is, anyway). Most of the menu items are loaded with added fats due to dressings, creams, and spreads.

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Take my Kneaders’ Veggie and Avocado sandwich. As is, a whole sandwich is 660 calories, with 400 of those calories coming from fat- that’s over 4 times the fat I recommend to most clients for a single meal.

Now I know what you’re thinking- but aren’t avocados good fat?

Good fats really should be called “not as bad as bad fats”- but that’s for another time.

However, just a few substitutions made this fat-filled sandwich a delicious fat-free meal:

  • I ordered half of a sandwich and added a side salad.
  • I removed the cheese, avocado, and mayo to wipe out the fat content.
  • I added mustard for a little extra kick (no fat)
  • I opted for their refreshing green tea (it’s really lovely!)

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It takes a little practice but if you are discerning about where you eat and make a few substitutions, quick dining can still be a part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. If you’re not sure where to start, I always recommend visiting the nutritional data website for an eatery before trying it out. Kneaders’ can be viewed at

Not sure how to REALLY understand those nutritional data panels? You’re not alone! Seek the guidance of a nutrition professional who can teach you what you need to know for your specific needs and goals.


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