Many of us ate cereal as kids for breakfast, and as we grew older, it may have become less often. While it may seem that a bowl of cereal may not be a substantial and healthy choice, they can be for both adults and children. As with most things, you just need to know where to begin.
“Look for whole grains as the main or first ingredient in the ingredient list,” says Marysa Cardwell, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, and Lose It! nutrition consultant. And though whole grains are essential as they can be a good source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals—chemical compounds, there are other things you should also look for. “Aim for a high fiber cereal with low added sugars and at least 5 grams of protein per serving, says Cardwell.
We know that it can be hard to find healthy breakfast cereal for adults (and for kids, for that matter), so we followed Cardwell’s advice and went looking for the best healthy cereal brands. Below, you’ll find 13 delicious and healthy cereals that are equally great for breakfast and snacking. From organic and gluten-free options to tasty granola clusters, herre are our favorite options.
1. Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits, Island Vanilla
Per Serving: 200 cal, 1g fat, 5mg sodium, 47g carb, 6g fiber, 9g sugar, 7g protein
Boasting six grams of fiber, Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits in the Island Vanilla flavor is excellent served cold or with warm regular or nut milk. It is best for when you may have stayed up a little late and indulged in a bit too much vino, as its heft can coat an overindulged stomach. If vanilla isn’t your preferred flavor, Kashi is a healthy cereal brand that offers wheat biscuits in a variety of flavors, all of which are low in calories but high in fiber and protein.
2. Magic Spoon Cereal
Per Serving: 110 cal, 4.5g fat, 120mg sodium, 10g carb, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 11g protein
Magic Spoon is a new healthy cereal brand, and you may have seen its colorful advertisements on Instagram recently. Magic Spoon has more fat and sodium than some other healthy cereals, but it’s perfect for anyone looking for cereals low in carbs, high in protein and free of gluten.
The variety pack contains all four Magic Spoon cereal flavors so you can find out which types you like best. We recently reviewed Magic Spoon cereal, and we loved the Cocoa and Cinnamon flavors; however, the Blueberry, Peanut Butter, Frosted and Fruity flavors are also tasty and worth trying. Instead of heading to your favorite grocery store and picking out a box from the cereal aisle, customers can order Magic Spoon cereal online. In addition to the great taste, this healthy cereal is also packed with plenty of protein. On top of that, Magic Spoon cereal contains zero grams of sugar and just three grams of carbs, while all four flavors are gluten and wheat-free.
3. Great Grains Banana Nut Crunch
Per 1 cup serving: 230 cal, 5g fat, 140mg sodium, 42g carb, 7g fiber, 10g sugar, 6g protein
Part of Post cereal brands, this healthy cereal is jam-packed with 12 essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and B, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. Great Grains Banana Nut Crunch also has seven grams of fiber to keep the mail moving. It works well mixed in with your favorite muffin recipes thanks to its walnuts, almonds and dried bananas. It also has enough sugar that you’ll actually enjoy eating it, but not so much that you’ll feel guilty about the most important meal of the day.
4. Kashi Cinnamon French Toast
Per Serving: 120 cal, 2g fat, 125mg sodium, 30g carb, 6g fiber, 7g added sugar, 2g protein
Look, we love cinnamon toast crunch as much as anyone, but you won’t find it on this list. However, if you’re craving brown sugar and cinnamon at breakfast time, then you can still indulge while staying healthy with Kashi Cinnamon French Toast Cereal. Kashi Cinnamon French Toast cereal is a good substitute for those who love pancakes or French Toast for breakfast as its warm cinnamon flavor satisfies without the high-calorie punch. Plus, it provides 40% of your recommended daily intake of whole grains.
5. Kind, Oats & Honey Granola with Toasted Coconut
Per Serving: 250 cal, 5g fat, 55mg sodium, 45g carb, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 5g protein
Is it really cereal if it doesn’t come in a box? We say yes, as one of our favorite healthy cereal brands comes in a bag. Oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, honey, and toasted coconut are all the things that make Kind’s Oats & Honey Granola with Toasted Coconut perfect for a healthy breakfast. But as an added bonus, you can add it to your yogurt, and it becomes a well-balanced pre-workout meal, too. Today, you can find Kind granola clusters in the cereal aisle of most grocery stores in a bunch of flavors, or you can order them online.
6. Uncle Sam Original Wheat Berry Flakes
Per Serving: 210 cal, 6g fat, 140mg sodium, 37g carb, 10g fiber, <1g sugar, 5g protein
Uncle Sam Original Wheat Berry Flakes checks all boxes. It’s high in fiber, contains less than 1 gram of sugar, and has only four ingredients, and none are additives like FD&C Blue. “I always think that decreasing food coloring where we can is probably a good idea, especially if you are sensitive,” Cardwell told us. So, if you want your healthy cereal to look colorful, then add a handful of mixed berries.
7. Barbara’s Original Morning Oat Crunch
Per Serving: 210 cal, 2.5g fat, 230mg sodium, 45g carb, 6g fiber, 10g sugar, 7g protein
Finding cereals that contain protein and are vegan friendly can be tricky, but Barbara’s Original Morning Oat Crunch uses pea protein. The seven grams provided by this protein cereal, plus six grams of fiber, will help keep you feeling full from breakfast straight into lunchtime. Barbara’s is part of the Three Sisters food company, which makes some of the best healthy breakfast cereals for adults.
8. Nature’s Path Organic Golden Turmeric Cereal
Per Serving: 160 cal, 1.5g fat, 190mg sodium, 34g carb, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, 5g protein
Turn your cereal into the color of sunshine with Nature’s Path Golden Turmeric Cereal, which is coated with ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and turmeric — known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Boost its flavor by topping it off with pea protein or coconut milk. This is a great option if you’re looking for organic cereal or gluten-free healthy breakfast foods.
9. Organic Weetabix
Per Serving: 180 cal, 1g fat, 190mg sodium, 42g carb, 6g fiber, 2g sugar, 4g protein
If you love it when your cereal sops up all of your milk, then you should grab a box of Organic Weetabix whole grain cereal. It is packed with whole grains, contains five grams of protein, and isn’t processed as it is organic. Pump up your protein intake by having this classic healthy breakfast cereal with oat or regular milk.
10. Sunrise Crunchy Maple
Per Serving: 150 cal, 1.5g fat, 180mg sodium, 34g carb, 4g fiber, 7g sugar, 2g protein
Here’s another great option from Nature’s Path Organic, one of our favorite healthy ceral brands. Finding a tasty gluten-free breakfast cereal takes a lot of trial and error, but the key to Sunrise Crunchy Maple may just lie within the liquid gold it uses as its sweetener. The caramel flavor of maple syrup serves as a delicious vehicle for its ancient grains and flax seed.
11. Mom’s Best Healthy Cereals Toasted Wheatfuls
Per Serving: 200 cal, 1.5g fat, 10mg sodium, 48g carb, 8g fiber, 0g sugar, 7g protein
This healthy ceral has no artificial flavors or hydrogenated oil. In fact, it only has two ingredients. Made with 100% whole grain, Mom’s Best Cereals Toasted Wheatfuls is a great way to start the day. Add bananas to round out its taste.
12. Nature’s Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch
Per Serving: 230 cal, 5g fat, 160mg sodium, 44g carb, 8g fiber, 13g sugar, 6g protein
Raisin bran cereals can be one-dimensional at times, but Nature’s Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch is enhanced by flaxseed, high fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytochemicals. It’s also a great healthy pumpkin-spice snack food. This healthy cereal for adults is best enjoyed straight from the box when binge-watching TV.
13. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Raisin Flake
Per Serving: 190cal, 1g fat, 200mg sodium, 42g carb, 5g fiber, 11g sugar, 7g protein
Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Raisin Flake flourless cereal gets its plant-based power from sprouted wheat, sprouted barley, Millet, Lentils, soybeans, and spelt. Though delicious with warm or cold milk, this organic breakfast cereal is equally as fulfilling when eaten bare as a snack.