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?
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