10 Best Healthy Breakfast Cereals for Kids

Chow on 07.20.12
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Photo Credit: Bananastock/Thinkstock

The cereal aisle in the grocery store can be overwhelming.  There are so many choices, how do you choose a healthy box for your family? Many cereal boxes scream "unhealthy" by the picture of marshmallows, chocolate, or blue colored bites on the front. Many cereals make bold claims like "high fiber", "low-calorie", or "whole grains".  Often these claims are misleading and untrue. By reading the nutrition fact label on the side of the box, you can quickly narrow the choices down.

Check out my article on how to pick a healthy breakfast cereal for great tips and what to look out for.  Because I know that reading fact labels on every box of cereal in the aisle would possibly take hours, here is a list of some of the healthiest choices for your kids.

Kid-Friendly Cereals

In 2008 Consumer Reports rated 27 breakfast cereals marketed to children. These cereals rated as "very good" according to their scores on low sugar, high fiber, and low sodium.

1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is my personal favorite for all ages.  Oatmeal is a whole grain, loaded with heart healthy fiber, and very filling.  It tastes delicious with fresh fruit and nuts.  If you choose to buy flavored quick-cook oatmeal, watch out for sugar and additives.

2. Cheerios: Cheerios are made with whole grain oats (16 g) and are a great toddler and kid-friendly snack. (1 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 160mg sodium)

3. Honey Nut Cheerios: Also made from whole grain oats (8g) this is a sweeter version of regular Cheerios, but still low is sugar. They are 1 g short on fiber, but still a good choice. (9 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 160 mg sodium)

4. Kix: This cereal is made from whole grain corn (8g) and contains 45% daily value of iron. (3 g sugar, 3 g fiber)

5. Life: This kid favorite is made with whole grain oat flour (18 g), but, like Honey Nut Cheerios, is 1 g short on fiber. (6 g sugar, 2 g fiber)

The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity created a score system for cereals based on total calories and ingredients like sugar, fiber, and sodium.  Here are some of the cereals from their list that ranked the healthiest.  They tend to be more adult-focused, but simply add some fresh berries and nuts and your kids will love them too.

6. Post Shredded Wheat Original: This classic is made with whole grain wheat (47g).  My toddler loves to eat these whole as a snack. (0.4 g sugar, 6 g fiber)

7. Barbara's Bakery Shredded Wheat: The company behind this healthy cereal also supports environmental causes. (0 g sugar, 5 g fiber, and 6 g protein)

8. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs: This cereal is low on fiber, but also low in calories.  Add some fresh fruit to increase the fiber content of this tasty breakfast. (0g sugar, 1 g fiber, and 70 calories)

9. Kashi Island Vanilla: This cereal is made with whole grain wheat (48 g). (9 g sugar, 6 g fiber)

10. Kellogg Unfrosted Bite-Sized Mini Wheats: These whole grain mini wheats have tons of fiber. (0 g sugar, 8 g fiber, 6 g protein)

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