Battle of The Healthy Cereals: Top 7 Healthy Cereals Ranked

I consider myself to be something of a cereal connoisseur. Whether it’s for breakfast, as a snack in between class or as a late night craving, I reach for a delicious box at all times of the day. As a matter of fact, I have awarded cereal as the convenience food of the century; with only two simple steps (pour the cereal; pour the milk), you've got yourself a meal that can satisfy your hunger and (most of the time) your sweet tooth.

As someone who takes pride in eating a healthy well-balanced diet, I have tried every health-claiming cereal out there. Now, it should be noted that cereal will never be the healthiest breakfast choice: it is still a processed, refined good, and our diet should primarily consist of whole-plant based foods. That being said, here are seven cereals that I've deemed to be healthiest and yummiest!

7. Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch

This cereal holds a special place in my heart. It is a good transition if you are coming from sugary cereals and trying to eat less. The flavor of this one on its own is my favorite out of all the cereals listed. The sugar content is 8g a serving, which is significantly lower than most name brand cereals and contains 3g of fiber. The ingredient list is all organic and the primary ingredient is whole grain wheat. It also contains oat fiber and there is only 110 calories per serving. If you have children and are trying to weed them off of high sugar cereals, then this is a good place to start. I have the taste buds of an 8 year old, so trust me when I say this is a good choice.

6. Nature’s Path Organic Corn Flakes

I know this cereal choice is not the most interesting and that you're probably thinking about how bland non-frosted corn flakes are, but don’t rule them out just yet! Corn flakes are perfect as a low sugar option, with only 2.2g of added sugars. For only 120 calories a serving, they offer 0 fat and 0 cholesterol. Because they lack in fiber, offering only 1g per serving, it is best to top this cereal with fruit such as strawberries or blueberries for a generous helping of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It will also jazz up the cereal, distracting you from the fact that it isn’t coated with sugar.

5. Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice Cereal

Similar to the corn flakes, rice crispies are known to be quite plain on their own, yet they remain a childhood favorite. With 0g of fat and only 3g sugar, it is a good base cereal that is low in calorie and fortified with vitamins and minerals. However, to make up for the fact that it is void fiber and protein, you should pair it with almond milk for extra protein and fruit as a good source of fiber. Plus, it’s still fun to listen to the puffed rice crackle when you pour in the milk.

4. Barbara’s Original Puffins

The crunchy texture of this cereal is what had me hooked; it reminded me of my old school fav, Capn’ Crunch. Not only is the texture nice, but so are its nutrition stats. This dairy-free and wheat-free cereal has only 90 calories per serving! It also has a mere 5g of sugar with 5g of fiber and 2g of protein. If you’re looking for a cereal that won’t interfere with your weight goals, then this lightly sweetened choice might be the right fit for you.  

3. Kashi Island Vanilla Whole Wheat Biscuits

I was shook when I first tried this cereal, I thought it was going to be a bland, shredded wheat type cereal, similar to the one my grandparents used to eat, but I was completely wrong. This cereal has an amazing flavor and tastes very similar to the frosted mini-wheats we all love, but it contains only 9g of sugar per serving. It also packs 6g of fiber and a whopping 6g of protein. In one serving, this cereal contains 48g of whole grains. The ingredient list is short and is completely organic. It seems to be the full package.

2. Cheerios

I don’t think many people realize the nutritional status of this childhood throwback. It contains 12 vitamins and minerals, is low in fat, has 3g of fiber with 1g of sugar, has 23g of whole grains and has only 100 calories per serving with a serving size that is 25% larger than the other cereals previously mentioned. Cheerios also claims to help lower your cholesterol, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Try not to overlook this forgotten gem when restocking your cereal stash.

1. Kashi Cinnamon Crisp

This leaves me with my number one go-to healthy cereal, Kashi Cinammon Crisp. The main reason this guy reigns supreme on my list is because it keeps me full the longest out of all my healthy faves. The reason why it keeps me full for so long is because one serving of this cereal packs a massive 11g of protein. It also contains 9g of fiber and 14g of whole grains. The only downfall to this loved one is it has 9g of sugar, which really isn’t that bad when comparing it to the alternative. This cereal also does not sacrifice taste for nutrition: it is delicious and has been my go-to for a while now. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  

Writer's note: There are so many great healthy options to choose from; it’s really just a matter of finding your preference and what nutritional values you are looking for. Personally, I struggle with portion control, so finding a cereal that was high in protein was key for me to feel full and not have to keep going back for seconds. As a general note, when shopping for cereal, try to keep the fiber content greater than the sugar. At most, they should be the same amount, so stay away from cereals that have more sugar than they do fiber. Also, be sure to check the serving sizes, sometimes the nutrition facts won’t seem so bad until you compare it to the serving size. As consumers, we tend to exceed 1 serving, especially when it comes to cereal, so be sure to check the nutrition label!