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The Best Cereals

Last updated on July 5, 2022
Best Cereals

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Cereals

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Lucky Charms Whole Grain Magical Cereal

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Lucky Charms

Whole Grain Magical Cereal

The colorful marshmallow charms in this cereal are sure to draw your little ones to the breakfast table. The cereal is gluten-free and made with 19 grams of whole grain in each serving. It taste great in a variety of milks, including whole milk, almond milk and oat milk.

Overall Take

Great for KidsThis cereal also doubles as an afternoon snack.

 Runner Up

Cascadian Farm Fair Trade Certified Cinnamon Crunch Cereal

Cascadian Farm

Fair Trade Certified Cinnamon Crunch Cereal

Start your family's day off with a healthy breakfast by serving this organic whole grain cereal. It has a delightful crunch that is quite satisfying. The cereal also tastes great, as each square is coated in cinnamon.

Overall Take

Organic and Vegan-FriendlyYou won't find any artificial ingredients or GMOs in this delicious cereal.

 We Also Like

General Mills Naturally Flavored Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal

General Mills

Naturally Flavored Honey Nut Cheerios Cereal

The healthy taste of this cereal gets an extra jolt of flavor from real honey. Made from rolled oats, these bites will satisfy kids and adults alike without being overly sweet. Not only is this cereal rich in whole grains, it's also gluten-free.

Overall Take

Gluten-Free GoodnessThese rolled oats are sweetened just enough with honey.

 Strong Contender

QUAKER Life Multigrain Cinnamon Cereals, 3-Pack


Life Multigrain Cinnamon Cereals, 3-Pack

This twist on a classic cereal doesn't overshadow what made the original flavor so popular. The addition of cinnamon is a welcome complement to the whole grain texture. They stay crispy in milk and contribute to a heart-healthy diet.

Overall Take

Subtle Cinnamon FlavorKeep your heart strong with these flavorful treats.

Buying Guide

Of all the various foods that might qualify as breakfast fare, perhaps nothing inspires as much nostalgia for our youth as a nice bowl of cereal. Many of us have memories of gulping down some Cheerios and milk while watching Saturday morning cartoons (or YouTube videos, depending on our age).

Since then, some of us have stopped eating cereal, seeing it as a kid’s treat that delivers a sugar high and not much else. The truth is, cereal can be the healthy centerpiece of any breakfast if you choose the right one — and it’s certainly much easier to prepare than a smoothie.

If health isn’t a concern, you’ll find plenty of marshmallow-filled delights on the store shelves. If you’re watching your calories and cholesterol, though, you’ll find there are still a lot of options out there.

The first things you’ll want to look for in a healthy cereal are the primary ingredients. If some sort of grain isn’t at the very top, you’re off to a bad start. Whole grains, whole wheat or whole oats are best. They can provide a firm backbone of fiber and protein and studies have shown they can help guard against diabetes and heart disease. You won’t get those same benefits out of cereals with a flour base or processed grains.

Don’t forget to check the nutrition label for other vitamins your body might need. Many modern cereals are fortified with vitamins that you can find right on the box. Cereals are naturally a decent source of protein, but you can also look for calcium, vitamin D or B vitamins. About 5 grams of fiber is a good baseline for healthy cereals.

Things to avoid include artificial flavorings and coloring, but don’t necessarily turn your nose up at fat. Fats can be a good thing as long as they come from wholesome sources like nuts or flaxseed.

What to Look For

  • So you’ve bought a healthy cereal that helps out your heart. Don’t drop the ball by giving yourself an excessive portion, or soaking it in the wrong kind of milk. Cow’s milk can be fine in moderation and a source of additional protein. If you’re trying to watch your calories and fats, though, go for a soy or almond milk alternative. If your cereal is flavorful enough, you might not even notice the difference.
  • Beware of added sugars, which are a common problem in kids’ cereals and they can even creep into cereals that supposedly get their sweetening from fruit. Always check the ingredients for the amount of sugar, and shoot for something that has 6 grams or less per ounce.
  • If you can’t do without a little extra sweetness in your bowl, don’t despair. Your best bet is to add some fresh fruit yourself. Your heart will thank you, and nothing goes down easier with grains than a few fresh blueberries or strawberries.

More to Explore

Another reason to look for whole grains in your cereal? If it’s not grains or oats, then it’s technically not cereal at all. The word “cereal” is derived from Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture and grain crops.

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