From the IHOP website:
Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $8 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. On February 28, 2012, guests from around the country are invited to celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals© and other designated local charities.
This is a great cause and everyone loves free food so if you are a pancake lover- go ahead and enjoy a short stack. IHOP has very detailed nutritional info on their website so here’s the scoop.
Short Stack- 3 pancakes
Calories- 490, 160 calories from fat
Saturated fat- 8 grams
Trans fat- 1 gram
Cholesterol- 80 mg
Sodium- 1610 mg
Fiber- 4 grams
Sugar- 13 grams
Protein- 13 grams
This is not the best choice, but certainly not the worst…except…this is JUST the pancakes. Let’s add some butter and syrup.
Butter– 1 tablespoon has 105 calories of fat. No nutritional value at all
Syrup -IHOP Maple 1 serving (they do not say what size is a serving, I’m guessing we all use WAY more than a serving! 110 calories 18 grams of sugar (a little over 4 teaspoons) and, of course, syrup is just liquid candy. Other options:
IHOP blueberry syrup- 110 calories, 18 grams of sugar, IHOP sugar free is 15 calories, IHOP boysenberry is 100 calories.
By now you have added an additional 300 calories if you use butter and a normal amount of syrup so your free stack is up to 790 calories and plenty of sugar and fat. Stop now and you haven’t done too much damage.
But…can you eat pancakes without meat? Keep adding…
Ham, 1 slice- 110 calories
Bacon, 4 strips-150 calories (plus 610 mg of sodium)
Sausage, 4 links- 350 calories (plus 32 g of fat)
Almost done….let’s wash it down with a 16 oz orange juice – 190 calories and 39 grams (almost 10 teaspoons) of sugar
Whew- our free pancakes don’t look like such a deal now, do they? Again, if this is a rare treat for you- do it and enjoy. But, if you are seriously watching your weight/sugar/fat/sodium, it is far healthier to just write a check to Children’s Hospital and enjoy a Simple and Fit Veggie omelette with fruit for 320 calories. Or, you can make it a turkey bacon omelette for just 100 more calories. This sounds like a much healthier way to start your day!