Whether you are looking for a cereal that's loaded with fiber or perfect for kids, we've picked the best cereals for you and your family. By MaryAnn Jacobsen, MS, RD
Do you get confused when cruising down the cereal aisle? One cereal package carries the claim "helps prevent heart disease" and another touts "low sugar." But reading the fine print to discover which is best can literally take all day. To save you time, money, and sanity, we developed nutrition criteria to help you choose the right cereal for you and your family.
So what makes a good, wholesome cereal? We believe it should contain a serving of whole grains (16g) or at least have a whole grain as the first ingredient, be relatively low in sugar (10g or less), be a good source of fiber (3g per serving), and be free of artificial colors and dyes.
Best Cereal for Kids
Consumer Reports agrees that Cheerios is one of the best cereals for kids. Low in sugar and high in whole-grain oats, it's a win-win. It also contains 40% of the daily value (DV) of iron, which is important for growing children (especially toddlers). Its nutty taste makes it a favorite with milk, in homemade trail mix, or on its own as a snack.
Cereal Stats: Whole grains: 16g, Sugar: 1g, Fiber: 3g
Runner Up: Trader Joes Os is almost identical and is a bit more economical.
Best Cereal for Fiber
Barbara's Bakery High Fiber Cereal has an impressive 14g of fiber with a surprisingly good taste. In fact, this line of high-fiber cereals are all superb choices. Unlike other super-high fiber cereals that contain mostly wheat bran, this one is loaded with whole grains, too, making it a well-rounded choice. Remember, whole grains contain the bran, germ, and endosperm part of the grain (the whole grain) making it preferable to just wheat bran.
Cereal stats: Whole Grain: 24g, Sugar: 8g, Fiber 14g
Runner up: Some people just have to have their bran, and our favorite is Kellogg's All Bran with 10g fiber and 6g sugar per serving.
Best Whole Grain Punch
There are a lot of great whole-grain cereals on the market, but Kellogg's Unfrosted Mini Wheats Bite Size stands out because it has a whopping 58g of whole grains per serving (that more-than meets the recommended day's worth). It also has a nutty taste, is virtually sugar free, and is loaded with fiber.
Cereal Stats: Whole Grain: 58g, Sugar: 1g, Fiber: 6g
Runner Up: Post Shredded Wheat Wheat'n Bran is a close second with 57g whole grain,
Best High-Protein Cereal
Because cereals are made with grains, they typically contain little protein. But when Kashi came on the scene in 1984 they changed all that. Their original Go Lean Crunchy Fiber Twigs cereal contains a whopping 13g of protein per serving from added soy. With its fiber and protein content, Go Lean is sure to keep you going all morning long. (We let the whole grains slide because of the high fiber and protein content.)
Cereal Stats: Whole Grain: 8g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 13g, Fiber: 10g
Runner up: Another cereal from Kashi, Go Lean Crunch is our next choice with 9g protein and a crunchy, sweet flavor.