Ode to Cereal

in All Posts

Sometimes, all you want is cereal. 


I’m loving Rice Chex lately.  It’s inexpensive, available at every grocery store I walk into (not just the fancy ones), is gluten-free, has a pretty short ingredient list, and only has two grams of sugar per serving.  Also – I love that it doesn’t get instantly soggy in the milk!  Soggy cereal is the worst.


It’s a pretty low-calorie cereal, so I end up eating 2 – 2.5 servings to have a proper breakfast.  And I like to pump it up with nuts and fruit.  Yum. 


A few weeks ago, I stumbled on this report on the Environmental Working Group about the unhealthiest kids’ cereals.  It was kind of a “duh” study – Wait, kids’ cereals are full of sugar?! You don’t say! – but interesting nevertheless.  Honey Smacks is nearly 56% sugar by weight, and one cup of the cereal has more sugar in it than a Twinkie (for comparison, the government’s voluntary guidelines suggest kids’ cereals should have no more than 26% sugar by weight).  In fact, one cup of the other 44 out of 84 cereals surveyed have more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.  One of my all-time favorite kids’ cereals – Honey Oh!s – made the list of the top 10 worst cereals… Damn.  According to the EWG, kids who eat a high-sugar breakfast have more problems at school, have less energy, make more mistakes on their school work, and ultimately feel hungrier by lunchtime than kids who ate a low sugar breakfast.


They’ve also got a list of the best and worst brands:


I like that they included big-brand cereals because, let’s face it, not everyone can afford or has access to fancy organic cereals like Nature’s Path.


Here are 7 Other Awesome Resources from the EWG (I especially love their sunscreen page).


What’s your favorite cereal (healthy or otherwise – sometimes, cereal makes a pretty awesome dessert)?



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 23, 2012, 8:21 am

    Thanks for posting that chart Caitlin! I think the only brand I’ve tried from the left column is Nature’s Path, and they’re one of my favourite companies. I’m going to have to investigate the others!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed May 23, 2012, 8:31 am

    I always loved apple jacks… I have no idea if they’re healthy though! I don’t eat much cereal now a days.

  • Kristin @ Stop the Planet...I want to get off May 23, 2012, 8:38 am

    Cinnamon Cheerios! I love to mix them with greek yogurt and fruit.

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 23, 2012, 8:40 am

    Chocolate Chex is dessert for sure – but SO darn delicious.

  • Kelly May 23, 2012, 8:53 am

    I’ve been loving Rice Chex lately too! Had a bowl today with sliced strawberries and mango – OMG – so delish!

    I’ve been attempting a GF diet as well. I think it might help with my (persistent, embarassing, adult) acne. Fingers crossed!

  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl May 23, 2012, 8:54 am

    Capt’n Crunch has always been an obsession of mine! It has to be the one cereal I’ll never grow out of or old of. 😉

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles May 23, 2012, 8:54 am

    I love Puffins and Life…..w a ton of vanilla almond milk and strawberries!

  • Sara May 23, 2012, 8:59 am

    I love Crispix… (I eat it w/ yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit.) My husband adores all of the sugary cereals. Cocoa puffs has a new brownie cereal. He loves it.

  • Kattrina May 23, 2012, 9:02 am

    I don’t know what it is about pregnancy but it has me loving cereal! Usually I just eat Shredded Wheat with a small bit of maple syrup (my parents tap 400 maple trees in Vermont so I put maple syrup on everything), but these days I’m really loving Honey Bunches of Oats and Frosted Mini-Wheats with Fruit in the Middle. I’m sure they are both sugar laden! They are making good afternoon snacks though…

  • Dominique May 23, 2012, 9:06 am

    I’m always jealous of your bowls of Rice Chex. Over here a box goes for upwards of $6! I’ve been waiting for months for it to go on sale (usually $3). Once it does, I swear I’m going to buy an entire case of it. Other than Rice Chex and Gorilla Munch (which is just like Corn Pops to me), I don’t eat much cereal. I’ll have to pass that report onto Sean, who eats cereal daily. Thank goodness we don’t have any Sugar Smacks in our house.

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:39 am

      DANG. Where do you live??

  • Erin May 23, 2012, 9:07 am

    I saw this and was so disappointed about the Ohs!
    Loved them as a kid. And still occasionally buy them to snack on dry.
    My pregnancy cereal cravings are Rice Krispies and Special K. What is it about pregnancy and rice cereals?

  • Megan@ The Running Doc May 23, 2012, 9:07 am

    I’m so glad that my 2 favorite cereals: Frosted Mini Wheats and Kix made the good list! My boyfriend loves the Chex brand cereals. Any brand that proudly displays the “gluten free” symbol on the box wins major points from him.

  • Nikki May 23, 2012, 9:07 am

    I’m on a major cereal kick too! There’s something about the cold milk and the crunchy cereal–and my personal fav is dipping my spoon in a jar of peanut butter before bites of cereal—soooo good!

  • Earthy Nicole May 23, 2012, 9:14 am

    Cereal sounds good to me today too! For healthier cereal, I like a good muesli. Not so healthy… I like raisin bran, lucky charm types, and of course, Panda Puffs!

  • Lindsey May 23, 2012, 9:14 am

    I have never been a huge cereal fan, and now the only cereal I really eat is Multigrain Cheerios. My husband loves cereal and the bad kinds too, his favorite is Mini Wheats. Yuck! haha

  • Faith @ For the Health of It May 23, 2012, 9:17 am

    Great study! I’m a big cereal lover and usually go with either blueberry optima and kashi go-lean. I haven’t bought any in a while though because I go through a box in about three days and always regret it!

  • Lisa May 23, 2012, 9:52 am

    For about 3 years, I had frosted mini wheats for breakfast monday-friday. I LOVED them. I eventually switched to having oatmeal for breakfast, and now have it with cinnamon and almond butter every monday-friday (for like 2 years!) I guess I am a creature of habit.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 23, 2012, 9:54 am

    I’ll have to check that out and see where some gluten free cereals are on the list! I looooove cereal but rarely eat it because it doesn’t keep me full.

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras May 23, 2012, 10:02 am

    My roommate bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs last night and I want them SO BAD.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB May 23, 2012, 10:10 am

    I kinda consider myself a cereal connoisseur- there was a time where I was eating for two meals a day and for snacks (in college). My all-time favorite is Rice Krispy Treats, followed my Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, O’s, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I’ve been trying to cut back on sugar, so now I’ve been eating Crispix and Mutligrain Cheerios.

    Seriously, one of my all time favorite topics.

  • Jen May 23, 2012, 10:37 am

    I LOVE cereal so much too! I could eat it any time – day or night. I really love Post Selects Blueberry Morning but I don’t think they make it anymore. I love Kix and LIFE too, just like when I was a kid 🙂

  • Anna May 23, 2012, 10:56 am

    Sometimes all I want is a nice bowl of cereal…why is it so good?! And why are so many kinds SO bad for you?! 🙂 Thankfully a lot of kinds now are reducing their sugar but I can still eat about a million bowls before I’m full! I love peanut butter puffins and peanut butter cheerios hits the spot too!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 23, 2012, 11:18 am

    As for healthy, I love Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Very satisfying! A cereal that I used to LOVE til I realized how bad it was is Cracklin Oat Bran. I could eat a whole box if someone let me! 🙂

  • Soniathe Mexigarian May 23, 2012, 11:26 am

    lol. Ah, cereal. Love it. Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cherrios, and Corn Flakes are a few of my favorites. Though I do like Fruit Loops (hello sugar!), but I only eat that at my MIL’s house. 🙂

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries May 23, 2012, 11:31 am

    i’ve been loving cereal lately for my evening snack before bed! i just bought LIFE cereal the other day which was a childhood favorite. i forgot how much i loved it. i also love Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins and Peanut Butter Cheerios.

  • Elisabeth May 23, 2012, 11:40 am

    I’ve always loved Rice Chex since I was a kid and still do! The ingredient list is awesome. Other favorites include Special K, Rice Krispies, Cheerios Multi-grain, Kashi Go Lean Crunch and Life (plain or cinnamon). I’ve never been a fan of sugary cereals, even as a kid. My favorite then was Rice Krispies, specifically in 2% milk…ha!

  • Kim L. May 23, 2012, 11:50 am

    Every once in awhile I’ll mix Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheerios together for a sweet snack. My husband still eats Lucky Charms every morning and if he is feeling healthy he tosses some blueberries on top- I think the sugar in the cereal cancels out the healthiness of the blueberries!

  • Hillary May 23, 2012, 12:09 pm

    I’m a little freaked out by the soy in Kashi GoLean Crunch, but I am ADDICTED to it. I want to quit it, but I can’t!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks May 23, 2012, 12:17 pm

    I love cereal too! I enjoy a good granola once in awhile, I like Go Lean Crunch, I love Kashi Crisps, and I do enjoy Fiber One!

    Cereal IS a great dessert, that is for sure 🙂

  • Laura is Undeterrable May 23, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Right now I’m hooked on Peanut Butter and Chocolate Puffins. As far as “main stream” cereals go, I’m partial to Golden Grahams and Honey Nut Cheerios.

  • Anne @ strawberryjampackedlife May 23, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Whenever the husband asks me pick up cereal for him, I always get frosted mini-wheats. I figure that even if it still has sugar, it’s got TONS of whole grain.

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:38 am

      balance 🙂

  • Beth May 23, 2012, 1:05 pm

    My favorite cereal is Fiber One (no kidding) then I’ll throw in blueberries, flax seed, and almonds. I absoultely love it!!!

  • Amber K May 23, 2012, 1:30 pm

    I was never that into cereal as a kid. I loved Kashi Go Lean before I had to go gluten-free. I always added a small cinnamon/milk mixture that softened the cereal a bit, but didn’t leave any extra milk around. I’d add just enough for it to soak up. Dang, that sounds really good right now!

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 23, 2012, 2:29 pm

    Hahha I love the cereal debate because I actually ADORE soggy cereal. I purposely wait until milk meets cereal for ~10 minutes 🙂

  • Sam @ Fit for My Fork May 23, 2012, 2:59 pm

    I am a granola lover, and I love it homemade or out of a package. Unfortunately a lot of the mainstream brands have a ton of sugar in them, so I make my own more often now.

    I also hate soggy cereal, which is probably why I like granola so much. It tends to hold itself together pretty well!

  • BroccoliHut May 23, 2012, 6:45 pm

    I gotta say that GoLean has been my favorite ever since high school. (Random side note–I tried it for the first time on the morning I took my SATs). I like to eat it with dried fruit and nuts as a snack mix 🙂

  • Sara @my less serious life May 24, 2012, 8:24 am

    i LOVE cereal. like really love it. you may enjoy my cereal ‘experiment’ on my blog where i buy and test out different healthy brands. this list of ones i’ve done is found here: http://mylessseriouslife.blogspot.com/p/experiments.html

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:33 am

      Fun post!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing May 29, 2012, 11:41 pm

    I love love love Chex but stopped eating them because of the added BHT, which is linked to some icky side effects. I eat Panda Puffs and Puffins but Barbara’s PB Puffs are my favs.

  • Joanne Deer November 4, 2015, 1:45 pm

    Yummy Puffs: now selling at wamart!

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point