10 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals

When I posted 10 Breakfast Cereals to Avoid I seemed to have suffered a sugar flashback; and the 1970s-swank, Henry Mancini jingle for Pink Panther Flakes has been stuck in my head ever since. The fuchsia frosted flakes were painfully pink and shamefully sweet, and thankfully, haven’t been seen for several decades–but what an enduring testament to marketing for kids and the girl-pleasing power of pink sugar! Today’s sock-it-to-you-with-the-sweet cereals aren’t much better, as evidenced by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity’s report on cereal nutrition–but at least some healthier options do exist.

Reading the report’s list of most nutritious cereals, I didn’t expect to find products made by the same companies responsible for some of the shady cereals which ranked as most egregious, but sure enough, there they were. Which goes to show that some of these companies are indeed making healthier options, they’re just not pushing them as diligently. Cereal companies spend more money than any other packaged food category in marketing their products to children ($229 million in 2006), which is why we may be more familiar with Post Fruity Pebbles, one of the worst offenders, than Post Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran, one of the best cereal choices.

Although within each brand there is a wide range, Kashi ranks as the best brand overall in terms of ingredients, according to the report. If you don’t see a cereal you eat in this list (number 1 being the healthiest), you can check the Rudd Center’s database.

10. Nature’s Path: Synergy 8 Whole Grains
Nutritional Score: 78
Artificial Sweeteners: No
Artificial Food Dyes: No
Sugar Content: 13%
Fiber Content: 17%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

9. Kashi: Shredded Wheat – Autumn Wheat
Nutritional Score: 78
Artificial Sweeteners: No
Artificial Food Dyes: No
Sugar Content: 13%
Fiber Content: 11%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

8. General Mills: Fiber One – Original (bran)
Nutritional Score: 78
Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame
Artificial Food Dyes: No
Sugar Content: 0%
Fiber Content: 47%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 350

7. Uncle Sam: Uncle Sam
Nutritional Score: 78
Artificial Sweeteners:  No
Artificial Food Dyes:  No
Sugar Content: 2%
Fiber Content: 18%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 245

6. Kellogg: Mini-Wheats – Unfrosted/Bite Size
Nutritional Score: 82
Artificial Sweeteners:  No
Artificial Food Dyes:  No
Sugar Content: 2%
Fiber Content: 10%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 17

5. Post: Shredded Wheat – Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran
Nutritional Score: 82
Artificial Sweeteners:  No
Artificial Food Dyes:  No
Sugar Content: 2%
Fiber Content: 14%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

4. Kashi: Puffs – 7 Whole Grains Puffs
Nutritional Score: 82
Artificial Sweeteners:  No
Artificial Food Dyes:  No
Sugar Content: 0%
Fiber Content: 5%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

3. Barbara’s Bakery: Shredded Wheat
Nutritional Score: 82
Artificial Sweeteners: No
Artificial Food Dyes: No
Sugar Content: 0%
Fiber Content: 12%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

2. Post: Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Original
Nutritional Score: 82
Artificial Sweeteners:  No
Artificial Food Dyes:  No
Sugar Content: 0%
Fiber Content: 12%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

1. Post:  Shredded Wheat Original
Nutritional Score: 82
Artificial Sweeteners:  No
Artificial Food Dyes:  No
Sugar Content: 0%
Fiber Content: 13%
Sodium (Mg per 100g): 0

Do you eat cereal, and if so, is yours on the list? If you don’t eat packaged cereal for breakfast, what do you eat? Share in the comments.

For other healthy breakfast ideas see:
Easy, Delicious Homemade Granola
10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas
Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

 

490 comments

Jo S.
Jo S.11 months ago

Thank you Melissa.

feather w.
Feather W.1 years ago

oats for me..

Mary Cromley
.2 years ago

I love shredded wheat. Also, Weetabix, but that's not on the list.

Margaret Szelmeczka

Thans for the info

Fi T.
Fi T.2 years ago

Smart choice for starting the morning

Diane L.
Diane L.2 years ago

What about Total?

Joey Nicastro
Joey Nicastro2 years ago

I prefer my Trix cereal with half a can of lite beer and a slice of cold pizza. I also eat a sliced orange for nutrition !

Jason Kushner
Jason Kushner2 years ago

Nice picks. Here's another opinion (not without overlap):

http://www.nutralegacy.com/blog/general-healthcare/5-of-the-healthiest-breakfast-cereals/

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

I don't eat breakfast cereals. That amount of milk would make me run to the toilet. :-(

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)