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How to Choose a Healthy Cereal

How to Choose a Healthy Cereal

If you want to be overwhelmed, look no further than the cereal aisle! Looking for a quick way to weed through those boxes to find the best choice? Here is my quick guide for how to choose a healthy cereal.  

How to Choose a Healthy Cereal

First, the very best choices in this aisle are the ones that are (close) to how Mother Nature made them, such as puffed wheat or oats (the unsweetened ones, large flake or steel cut are best). Add your own drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon to a hot cereal. We have countless make-ahead breakfast recipes in our Fraîche Table meal plan (like this Chunky Monkey Oatmeal). Here are a few tips below for how to choose a healthy cereal. 

Fraîche Table Meal Plan: The #1 meal plan for busy families.

How to Choose a Healthy Cereal 

Here are 3 things to look for when shopping the cereal aisle:

1. Fibre 

You should look for “whole grain“ as the first ingredient in your cereal as a good indicator for fibre content. Look for at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. Adult recommendations are between 25 grams (women) to 38 grams (men) of fibre a day. For kids:

  • A 5-year-old should get about 10–15 grams of fibre every day.
  • A 10-year old should get 15–20 grams of fibre a day.
  • A 15-year-old should get 20–25 grams of fibre a day.

2. Sugar 

Look for 8 grams or less of added sugar: less is better, of course. For those visual people like me, 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon. Try sweetening an unsweetened cereal with fresh, frozen or dried fruit, a light drizzle of maple syrup or a dash of cinnamon for extra flavour. 

3. Protein 

Ideally your cereal should provide at least 3 grams of protein per serving.  All plant foods (minus fruit) contain protein, for the record. If you want to boost the protein and healthy fats in a cereal top it with a spoonful of hemp hearts, Greek yogurt, nuts or seeds and use a higher protein milk such as soy or pea milk if you are choosing plant-based. 

 My favourite cereal brands 

There are a few brands of cereal that I trust and gravitate towards.  While these aren’t the only cereals we buy, I wanted to give them a mention! 

  1. Nature’s Path: I LOVE the Heritage Flakes topped with fresh blueberries. 
  2. Kashi 
  3. Bob’s Red Mill (great gluten-free options, and a terrific Muesli) 

How to Choose a Granola 

I ate my way through the granola aisle a few years ago so you wouldn’t have to. If you want to read about what I found and which were my favourites, grab a cup of tea and click here to read my Great Granola Showdown. 

Should you wish to make your own, you can also make your own granola and control exactly how sweet it is and what you put in it (which I highly recommend), here are a few of my tried-and-true granola recipes (adjust the sweetness to your liking in any recipe) that are perfect for fall. 

I hope this helps you out! Any questions?  Pop them below!