Want healthy meals your kids will love?

Choosing the Best Breakfast Cereal for your Kids


Although I plan many different breakfast ideas during the week, many mornings, we default to cereal.  And that’s okay! Cereal can be a great way to start the day off with the nutrients that your kiddos need to keep them going all morning long. As long as you know what to look for! Here are some of our tips for picking out the best breakfast cereals for your kids.

What makes a breakfast cereal healthy?

There are three things worth considering when choosing a store bought cereal.

  • Amount of sugar (look for cereals with less than 4 grams or 1 tsp per serving)
  • Amount of fiber kids need 5 grams plus their age in an entire day. So let this number be determined by how many other fiber sources there are.  I like cereals with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving.
  • Presence of whole grains (look for the words whole grain.  If it doesn’t say Whole grain, it is NOT whole grain! )

Each is important, and may differ depending on your priorities.

What we choose:  Our priority is low sugar because I feel like we get enough fiber and whole grains from other sources.  We buy lots of Cheerios and my kids love to put plain yogurt and fruit on top rather than milk.

A letter I received from the General Mills folks stated 75 % of kids do not get the recommended levels of Vitamin D and calcium.  They have added this to some of their cereals including Kix.  At about 100 calories per serving, they can provide at least 10 of the vital nutrients.

So bottom line is read your labels!! Look for less than 4 grams of sugar, and as much fiber and nutrients you can stuff into your little kids cereal bowls.

Making cereal delicious:

  • Make Cereal Parfait (as pictured). Cereal, yogurt, berries.
  • Make cereal bars. ( I actually have a “power bar” recipe that uses cereal I’ll have to dig out)
  • Sprinkle soaked wheat on top of cereal
  • Using chocolate milk or other flavored milk
  • Used crushed cereal to add to muffin recipes

What are some of the Best Breakfast Cereals?

Keeping our requirements in mind- LOW in sugar, HIGH in fiber, and made with whole grains; here are some of our favorite options for healthy cereal for our kiddos!

  • Arrowhead Mills® Puffed Millet
  • Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Puffs
  • Cascadian Farms® Purely O’s
  • General Mills® Cheerios 
  • Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Spoonfuls
  • Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise
  • Barbara’s Bakery Puffins
  • 365 Brown Rice Crisps
  • Kashi Heart to Heart Oat Cereal
  • Kix Cereal

Do you have other ways your kids like cereal?

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

Leave a Comment:
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Watch out – when Wade went through that phase he would come home and make 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches as a snack!

I try to buy only the healthy cereals, but even some of them have more than 4 grams of sugar. Life has 6 grams. What we do is mix cereals. I’ll let them have Honey Bunches of Oats, but they mix it with another cereal of their choice that’s healthier, like Cheerios. My 5 year old will mix 3 kinds together and then add raisins.

I also like to make granola (sweetened with honey), as a healthier cereal option. I think it’s cheaper, too, and really easy to make a big batch that lasts a week or two.

We eat a lot of cereal in our house. We usually buy Cheerios and Kix, but we do occasionally buy special cereals for snacks. I would not buy them at all, but my husband thinks sweetened cereals are necessary in childhood – this is a battle I can’t seem to win, so they are special treats.

i have to tell you that i tried these parfaits for breakfast today! i even did my whole donkey routine from shrek–parfaits may be the most delicious food in the world–they both giggled, said it looked yummy and it was the best breakfast in the world. then they refused to eat it! what gives!? i’m so frustrated with breakfast foods!

Tia- He still does!
Alisa- It gets expensive, doesn’t it!
Vanessa- really 6 grams! That’s too bad. And actually honey nut cheerios has 9 I think!! Regular cheerios, only 1.
Catherine- I love granola! Plus we have literally 50 lbs of oats!
Christy- I think they are OK for a treat once in awhile. At least they are fortified with some essential vitamins and minerals, so not AS bad as a fruit snack or candy bar!
Julie-anne- you are welcome!

Sorry to laugh, cause I know you are frustrated, but I can’t stop thinking about your donkey routine!! Hilarious!
All I can say is, be the example by eating it yourself. And if it’s something you really want them eating, just keep offering (exposure more than 10 times to get kids accustomed to new foods). Maybe you already have offered it to them that many times. What do they like for breakfast?
I know this is not healthy at all, but I started to like yogurt on my cereal when I was a senior in high school. I ate Captain Crunch with Plain yogurt on top, every single day!

I buy a large box of corn flakes or cheerios and mix them with a smaller box of frosted flakes or a cinnamon toast crunch . . . they say they hate it . . . but they do eat it