10 Better Breakfast Cereals

healthy breakfast cereals

Lately my middle daughter, Rosie, has been on a cold cereal kick, asking for more options in the pantry for a quick breakfast. When I handed her a bowl of Ezekial Golden Flax flakes the other morning, she choked it down with some effort, and compared it to cardboard soaked in milk. “Could we try something else?” she asked, as she grabbed her backpack and raced for the bus.

After she left, I turned to the list of recommended cereals I wrote about in Rise & Shine (with one new addition).  Since the cereal aisle leaves much to be desired from a nutrition standpoint, it’s not always so easy to find ones that are going to really fuel kids, not just fill them up.

Look for brands with a whole grain listed as the first ingredient, such as whole wheat, brown rice, or oats. Also, keep an eye on calories, because some cereals pack a lot of them into a small portion. Last, aim for at least 3 grams of fiber and 5 or fewer grams of sugar per serving, with some wiggle room if the cereal has added dried fruits (which add natural sugars).

Here are 10 better breakfast cereals to fill the bill:

  1. Nature’s Path Flax Plus: A good one if you’re looking for a flake cereal, because it keeps the sugar down and the fiber up, at 4 grams and 5 grams, respectively.
  2. “O” Cereals, such as Cheerios: The kid classic with a mere 1 gram of sugar per serving.
  3. Uncle Sam Original Cereal: This is a winner for its fiber content, with 10 grams per serving. The fact that it has just four ingredients is also a plus.
  4. Barbara’s Original Puffins: A kid favorite that tastes like a “sugar” cereal even with just 5 grams per serving.
  5. Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls: Another one with plenty of kid appeal that’s made with oat and corn flour.
  6. Original Kix: Made with whole grain corn, this is another popular choice for little ones, and boasts just 3 grams of sugar.
  7. Post Grape-Nuts: This tiny cereal has an impressive 7 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving, but keep an eye on the portion, because it’s 210 calories per half cup.
  8. Weetabix: This UK brand with a crunchy texture has made its way over the pond and has only 2 grams of sugar per serving.
  9. Back-to-the-Roots Cocoa Clusters: A chocolatey cereal that is low and sugar and a good source of fiber is a win. This one has 4 grams each of fiber and sugar. It’s also comes in a milk-carton-style package that makes pouring easy for kids.
  10. Shredded Mini Wheats: This has just two little ingredients and no sugar at all. Even if you add a teaspoon of sugar to your own bowl, it will still come in under that 5 gram goal.

Buckwheat Granola

If you want to make your own breakfast cereal, check out Homemade Buckwheat Granola. It’s easy to prep, super tasty, with a texture similar to Grape Nuts. My kids like it too.

TIP: To make the most of every bowl, add sliced banana, berries, chopped nuts or favorite seeds.

I’d love to hear what your healthier cereal picks are, so please share in the comment section below.



04.21.2017 at3:09 AM #


What about the GMOs in the commercial cereals? Do any of the cereals you suggested avoid them?

04.21.2017 at3:09 AM #

Katie Morford

Hi Beverly,

The only one listed that definitely contains GMO ingredients is Kix cereal. The rest are non-GMO, though would need to check for specific brands of “O” cereals and shredded wheat, because it depends on the brand. Cheerios is non-GMO and any organic shredded wheat would be non-GMO. Hope that helps.

04.27.2017 at5:38 PM #

Alison Thompson

I had this cereal in Canada last week and it is amazing – and such a great name. It is available at some food stores in the US like Buyers Best Friend in SF

05.05.2017 at5:30 PM #


Thank you for this! Mornings just got a little easier, with less mom-guilt!

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