A list of Lower Sugar Cereals for Kids if you are looking for some new options for breakfasts or snacks. They all have six grams of added sugar or less and at least two grams of both protein and fiber.
*Originally published April 2019. Updated Feb 2021*
The list of Lower Sugar Cereals For Kids is here! I know cereal often gets knocked for not being the most nutritious food to feed your kid, but as someone who very seriously lived off almost nothing but cereal for many years, I will always have a strong love for it.
Plus my kids love it so I guess they take after their mama. While there are definitely some cereal options out there that are, in my opinion, overly sugary and not overly nutritious…there are also some good cereal choices out there. Several brands make cereal low in sugar and also contain a decent amount of protein and fiber. When paired with some additional protein and fiber, cereal can definitely be part of a healthy meal or snack. I often get asked about the best cereal for toddlers.
Healthy Cereals For Kids
- Remember that it’s often fortified with beneficial things like B vitamins, Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Vitamin D. Iron is especially important for kiddos so cereal can be a good way to add some extra to their diet.
- There are lots of whole-grain options available. If the box says whole grain, then at least half the grain ingredients are whole grain. If it says 100% whole grain then all the grain ingredients are whole grain. You can look for the yellow and black whole grain stamp. If it says 100% whole grains, it has at least 16g whole grains which is one serving of whole grains.
- Remember that this list can also be helpful to find low sugar cereal for adults. Nothing says only kids can eat these!
Criteria for Cereal With Low Sugar
Whenever you make a list like this, you have to pick a cut-off. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to eliminate anything from your list. So for the purposes of this list, here’s what I used for my criteria:
- 6 grams or less added sugar.
- At least 2 grams of both protein and fiber.
- I made a secondary/alternates list that goes up to 9 grams of added sugar because there are some options out there that have 5-6 grams fiber/protein etc but a little more added sugar as well…so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons depending on what you’re looking for in a cereal.
- I tried to pick cereals that are kid-friendly because let’s be real…not a lot of kids are going to eat plain bran flakes so I didn’t put them on the list even though they are low in sugar.
- I didn’t include granola. I felt like it deserved its own list that perhaps I’ll put together in the future.
- I tried to pick cereals that are somewhat commonly found, ie not just stuff that can only be found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s etc.
Other Notes For Kid Cereals
For this list, I really just focused on the sugar, protein and fiber content. There are several other factors to consider when it comes to cereal and it would be hard to address them all, so as a responsible consumer, you should do your own research on the following factors if they’re important to you because I didn’t address them:
- Organic/non-organic ingredients
- Allergens- some cereals may contain nuts, dairy etc
- Artificial colors/sweeteners- some cereals may include these. For example: Life cereal has Yellow 5 in it
- Safety – some cereals may be too hard/crunchy for younger toddlers, even when soaked in milk
- Serving size – be sure to check it. Comparing a ⅔ cup serving size to 1 cup serving size is not apples to apples
- Sodium and calorie content
- Look for fiber. If it’s low in sugar but also low in fiber, add some fresh fruit, nuts or seeds to boost fiber content. Fiber intake goals: 19 grams per day for 1-3-year-olds, 25 grams per day for 4-8-year-olds, continues to increase for older kids and adults. Cereals like Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes and Crispix fall into this category, with just a few grams of sugar but no fiber either.
- If your kids are used to higher sugar cereals, look for similar lower sugar options and start by mixing half and half.
- I usually try to pair cereal with a protein source like milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, etc.
- Get out your measuring cups and measure out a serving size of your cereal so you can see what it looks like
- Check the box. Things change. Recipes change. The numbers in this post could at some point become inaccurate.
So, are you ready for the list? Here you go! Remember, this is not an all-inclusive list. That would be a huge task to tackle. This is just to give you a starting place and provide some cereals you maybe haven’t heard of or tried.
Lower Sugar Cereals For Kids
The following cereals have six grams or less added sugar and at least 2 grams of both protein and fiber:
- Barbara’s Honest O’s Original
- Barbara’s Honest O’s Multigrain
- Barbara’s Corn Flakes
- Barbara’s Puffins Original
- Barbara’s Puffins Cinnamon
- Barbara’s Puffins Multigrain
- Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter
- Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls
- Cascadian Farms Purely O’s
- General Mills Plain Cheerios
- General Mills Multigrain Cheerios
- General Mills Kix
- General Mills Total
- General Mills Wheaties
- Kashi Cinnamon French Toast
- Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat
- Kashi Heart to Heart Cinnamon Oat
- Love Grown Power O’s Original
- Love Grown Polar Puffs
- Nature’s Path Crispy Rice
- Nature’s Path Whole O’s
- Nature’s Path Flax Plus Cinnamon Flakes
- Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Cinnamon
- Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Maple
- Nature’s Path Sunrise Crunchy Honey
- Nature’s Path Flax Plus Raisin Bran
- Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise
- Post Honey Bunches of Oats Cinnamon/Honey Roasted
- Quaker Life (original)
Alternates (9 grams of added sugar or less and at least 2 grams of protein and fiber)
- Annie’s Frosted Oat Flakes
- Barbara’s Snackimals (Cinnamon, Vanilla or Chocolate)
- Cascadian Farms Raisin Bran
- Kashi Sweet Potato Sunshine
- Kashi Honey Cinnamon Superfood Combos or Berry Crumble
- Kellog Raisin Bran
- Love Grown Sea Stars
- Love Grown Lion Loops or Comet Krispies
- Love Grown Power O’s chocolate, strawberry, honey
- Nature’s Path Envirokidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs
- Nature’s Path Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch
To help you compare them, I made a little spreadsheet that shows all of these cereals, along with the serving size and grams of sugar, fiber, and protein in each.
So there you go! I’d love to hear some of your kiddos favorite lower sugar cereals if they’re not on this list!
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