We’ve found the grains kids, parents, and nutrition experts agree on



Even if you weren’t very fond of cereal before you became a parent, having children inevitably changes your relationship with that aisle of the grocery store.

We spoke to parents for advice on navigating the slippery slope to the cereal bowl, and then consulted nutritionists for recommendations. Ideas can reduce a few morning temper tantrums, but if you get them to wear that itchy tag sweater, then you’re on your own.

Nutritionist advice

If you’re looking for a cereal you can serve, put on your reading glasses and start reading labels. “The sugar in your cereal bowl can build up quickly, so keep in mind that there are 4 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon”, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Vicki Shanta Retelny says HuffPost. “If you take a can and see 16 grams of added sugar per serving, that’s 4 teaspoons.”

For portion size, “stick to 200 calories or less per serving”, RDN Amanda Frankeny says HuffPost. “Read the box to determine the calories and the correct serving size for your child, as serving sizes can vary widely. The same level of calories can be found in 1/2 cup of one type of grain and more than one cup of another. Also aim for at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. With a well-balanced diet, it will help children get the recommended daily value of 25 grams of fiber.

Other suggestions came from RDN Sara Haas, who told HuffPost: “Pick a day every week that ‘fun’ cereal is allowed. Maybe it’s a weekend where you know the kids will have an active day. Make sure to supplement the meal with fruit, yogurt, and other nutritious treats. Another suggestion she had was to try a simple change of dishes. “Try serving the ‘healthier’ cereal in a mug or mug, or serve it dry on a plate. You can treat it like trail mix, so kids can eat it dry and have milk on the side.

Maybe this is the day you decide to put down that box of Frooty Tooty KidZ Korny Puffs and start over. If so, consider regular oatmeal. “Obviously, oatmeal is the best breakfast cereal not only for kids, but for adults as well.” Toby Smithson, a registered dietitian, told HuffPost. She cited a Study 2019 in which children who ate oatmeal for breakfast performed better in terms of the overall quality of the diet and a higher intake of nutrients such as fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium , potassium, and vitamins A and E. “Nutritionally, oats are the breakfast of champions,” she mentioned.

Install guardrails for the grain aisle

Many parents, road-weary after too many punitive trips to the grain aisle, have strict purchasing rules established. Jessie carlson, a fitness teacher and mother of three, told HuffPost, “First of all, it’s from the Co-op, Whole Foods, or the natural / organic section of the grocery store. Second, it should contain at least 5 grams of protein. Finally, it can’t cost more than $ 3, which usually means it has to be on sale. With this philosophy in mind, Carlson’s children typically get Kashi, Barbara’s puffins or Nature’s Path Pumpkin Seed and Flax Granola.

Maggie Sonnek, writer and mother of three, dodges the problem altogether. “Cereal causes arguments among our children, and I hate to hear, ‘He’s got more than me!’ Plus, it’s expensive, over $ 5 a box. And then our children are hungry again soon after eating it. Our compromise is to serve toast, oatmeal or eggs for breakfast and let them feast on cereal at my parents’ house when they stay there. For a day or two, they can eat all the coconut or raisin crisps they want. Then it’s back to the basics of breakfast.

An approach of “variable reinforcement” is favored by the author and mother of two children. Dana raidt. “We seem to have found a happy medium with Cheerios, Chex and Special K Red Berries. Adding sliced ​​bananas or strawberries to a healthy, less fun cereal also seems to boost morale a bit. It works almost every day, but she also gives kids a splurge every few months. Lucky Charms, Cap’n Crunch or Cocoa puffs. “And grandmothers always seem to have them in their homes when we visit them,” she observed.

Then there are the parents who let their cereal flag fly. Andrea Lahouze, a mother of three who is currently writing a children’s book, told HuffPost: “Nothing is off limits and therefore they don’t feel like it, sneak it up or stuff it down. Madeleine, 9, is health conscious and loves Crispix and Smart start. Rosalie, who is 5, loves Cocoa cookies, but she also likes different granolas. Even baby Amélie, who just turned 1, likes cereal which is good, as many varieties are a great source of iron, which babies really need. One of his favorites is Cinnamon Life.

“When I want to incorporate cereal into a meal for girls, I garnish them with fruit or turn them into parfaits with layers of yogurt, fruit and cereal. It’s also something they can help make, like a sundae-making station but a healthier one.

Here are some brands that might appeal to kids and parents alike.

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Barbara’s puffin cereal


All Puffin flavors contain 10 grams of sugar or less per serving and are Project Verified Non-GMO. “They are the favorites of my 2 year old son and his dietitian mom because they are full of flavor, hold well in milk and are also very dry on the go”, RDN Chelsey Amer says HuffPost. “Nutritionally, I like that they have less sugar than most breakfast cereals. They contain 6 grams of fiber per serving and even 3 grams of protein, thanks to whole grains.

RDN Sharon Palmer is also a fan: “They’re crunchy, and they have a smooth, neutral flavor, with just a touch of sweetness,” she told HuffPost. “They’re great to mix in snack bags with other healthy ingredients, like raisins and peanuts. Of course, they are also good in a bowl of dairy or vegetable milk. They hold up without getting soggy quickly.

“I always encourage the idea of ​​mixing low-sugar cereal to reduce the total sugar, so as a ‘kid’s compromise’ you can make a chocolate peanut butter puffin half in the pot. bowl, ”Retelny said.

Get Barbara’s Puffins Cereal for $ 6.29.

Cascadian Farm Purely O’s

Cascadian Farm

“They’re sweet and nutty, with that great earthy oat taste, and they’re naturally sweet with no added sugar,” Palmer said. “They are organic, whole grain and contain less than a gram of added sugar. My kids still love this cereal, and they really don’t mind if I serve the plain version. It’s naturally quite sweet.

Get Cascadian Farm Purely O for $ 3.49.



Cheerios are made from whole grain oats and contain no artificial flavors or colors. “In my house, the Cheerios are kings”, parent Kelly allard says HuffPost. “It’s kind of a happy middle grain cereal that you can dress up with bananas and berries. My husband will only eat Cheerios, and even though I make something amazing for breakfast, he always eats a bowl before the “main course”.

“It’s still a classic in our house, and it’s the first cereal my son has ever tried,” said Amer. “With just 2 grams of added sugar per serving, it’s one of the least sweet cereals on the market. Plus, I like that whole grain oats are the very first ingredient, with 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving. I like to serve them with protein rich pea milk and fruit.

A tip from Retelny: “I get the type of Cheerios with just 2 grams of added sugar and add a smaller serving of Honey or Cinnamon Cheerios for an extra touch of sweetness. ”

Get Cheerios for $ 3.99.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

General Mills

“I am a huge fan of this cereal,” RDN Karen Ansel says HuffPost. “It contains whole wheat, so it provides a little bit of fiber. In addition, it is fortified with iron, a mineral that many children never tire of. It contains about a tablespoon of sugar per serving. But if you’re trying to limit the sugar in your child’s diet, mix it half and half with original tasting Cheerios.

Get crunchy cinnamon toast for $ 2.98.

Kashi GO Breakfast Cereal


“My kids love its nutty crunch, and the cinnamon and vanilla flavor is a favorite,” Palmer said. “It has an interesting range of ingredients like legumes for more protein, plus it’s organic and rich in whole plants. I love that it doesn’t have any added sugars, but is still tasty and slightly naturally sweet.

Ansel prefers the Peanut Butter Crunch variety. “It’s one of the few grains that provides protein and fiber, but doesn’t taste like cardboard. Yes, it does contain sugar, although a little less than a tablespoon per serving, but in return you get 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, which can help maintain energy levels. children at the same level throughout the morning.

Get Kashi GO breakfast cereal for $ 5.99.

Kind Dark Chocolate Almond Cereal


“I’m a fan of this cereal because it’s a good source of protein and fiber, with 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving, to keep kids feeling fuller for longer.” RDN Amy Gorin says HuffPost. “Besides, which kid will miss eating chocolate for breakfast?” I also love that it’s sweet, but not too sweet, and packed with whole grains like sorghum and brown rice.

Get four boxes of Kind Dark Chocolate Almond Cereal for $ 35.99.


General Mills

For a brand that was first produced in 1937, it’s still going strong for its fans. “Kix taste great and I love that they have 3 grams of fiber per serving, plus 3 grams of protein, thanks to whole grains,” said Amer. “My son loves them over yogurt in the morning or as a dry snack as a snack.”

Get Kix for $ 3.98.

Envirokidz Nature’s Path Panda Puffs

Nature path

“It’s a fun cereal for kids, not only because of the cute packaging, but also because they can eat peanut butter flavored cereal for breakfast,” Gorin said. “The first ingredient is whole kernel corn meal, and there are 3 grams each of protein and fiber per serving. I would recommend adding chopped nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts for more protein and fiber.

Get Envirokidz Nature’s Path Panda Puffs for $ 15.60.

Muesli Cereals Seven Sundays

Seven Sunday



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