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Best and Worst Kid-Friendly Breakfast Cereals

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With the first day of school just around the corner, it’s important to know that your kids are getting the day started off right with a healthy breakfast. On busy mornings though, limited time calls for something quick and easy, yet still nourishing enough to give your kids the energy and nutrients they need to last throughout the morning.

But just how healthy is that box of cereal sitting in your pantry? Some labels on the front of cereal boxes can be deceiving, and if you aren’t careful, you could be sending your kids off for the day with a sugar crash and an unproductive morning. The truth is, kids can easily consume more than 10 pounds of sugar a year, and that’s just from their typical breakfast cereals!

In one of our recent “Love it, Like It, Hate it” segments, we address which breakfast cereals you can leave in your pantry and which ones you can kick to the curb, that way you can be assured knowing you are getting your child’s day started off right.

Helpful Tip: When searching for the right cereal, disregard “whole grain,” “fiber” and “vitamin” claims on the front of boxes and remember to:

  • Check the Nutrition Facts label for fiber and sugar
  • Check ingredient list


Barbara’s Puffin’s (Original or Cinnamon)

  • Per serving: 90 calories – 6 grams fiber – 6 grams sugar – 2 grams protein
  • Ingredients include: non-GMO corn flour, non-GMO corn bran, evaporated cane sugar, whole oat flour, molasses, tocopherols (antioxidants to preserve freshness)

Wheat Chex

  • Per serving: 160 calories – 6 grams fiber – 5 grams sugar – 5 grams protein
  • Ingredients include: whole grain wheat, sugar, salt, molasses, BHT to preserve freshness



  • Per serving: 100 calories – 3 grams fiber – 1 grams sugar – 3 grams protein
  • Ingredients include: whole grain oats, corn starch, sugar, salt, wheat starch, vitamin E/mixed tocopherols (to preserve freshness)

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies

  • Per serving: 130 calories – 0 fiber – 4 grams sugar – 2 grams protein
  • Ingredients include: rice, sugar, salt, BHT


Kellogg’s Froot Loops

  • Per serving: 110 calories – 3 grams fiber – 12 grams sugar – 1 gram protein
  • Ingredients include: Sugar, corn flour blend, wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, oat fiber, corn fiber, partially hydrogenated oils, salt, Red 40, Blue 2, BHT
  • 44% sugar by weight – contains partially hydrogenated oils & artificial food dyes

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks

  • Per serving: 100 calories – 1 gram fiber – 15 grams sugar – 2 grams protein
  • Ingredients include: sugar, wheat, dextrose, honey, partially hydrogenated oils, salt, BHT
  • 55% sugar by weight – contains partially hydrogenated oils

For more details on this topic, watch Molly’s “Love it, Like it, Hate it” segment on WGNO New Orleans.

Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD registered dietitian with Ochsner Health, manages the Nutrition department of Ochsner Fitness Center and is founder of the Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow the Eat Fit team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @EatFitNOLA.

Looking for healthy recipes? Download the Eat Fit Smartphone app. Visit

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