With more than 100 kinds of cereal in many grocery store aisles, choosing a healthy box can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. In order to spare your sanity and to help you make a healthy choice, we've done the work for you. We've outlined the key nutrition criteria you should pay attention to, based on the big three -- sugar, salt and fiber.
Go for Fiber
Aim to get fiber from whole grains -- they should be listed as the first ingredient. Many cereals bump up fiber content with functional fibers (isolated, nondigestible carbohydrates), like inulin and oat fiber.
Look for: Dietary Fiber ≥ 3 g
Some cereals are so low in calories you may be tempted to eat more. But if you double your portion, your breakfast can easily eat up a quarter of your daily allotment of sodium since many cereals hover around 200 mg of sodium per serving and milk adds another 100 mg sodium per cup.
Look for: Sodium ≤ 240 mg per serving
Save on Sugar
Look for sugar toward the end of the ingredient list (which means it has less of it). Also, watch out for multiple forms of sugar (and its many aliases, like fruit juice concentrate or evaporated cane juice).
Many cereals use dried fruit that's been coated with sugar. Better to add fresh or unsweetened dried fruit for natural sweetness.
Look for: Sugar ≤ 7 g
9 cereals in the sweet spot:
- Barbara's Puffins (Original or Cinnamon)
- Uncle Sam Strawberry Cereal (or other varieties)
- Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat
- Post Bran Flakes
- Familia Swiss Müesli (No Added Sugar)
- Bear Naked Granola
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- Fresh vs. canned vs. frozen: Which is better?
- The worst things to eat for your heart
- Are these parenting habits really so bad?
- Bing: Healthy breakfast ideas
happy and healthy children
Here’s how dads can best get to grips with breastfeeding.
From honey to oatmeal to baking soda, see which pantry products are doctor-approved to treat common kids' ailments.
Moms and dads get real with stories from the parenting trenches.
13 that are worth the investment
Surprisingly simple strategies that can make your doctor’s visit smooth sailing.
Find out which objects should be cause for concern when they wind up in your kid's mouth.
Boost your child's brainpower with these proven strategies.
We sort through concerns on vaccines, screening and treatment options, and social strategies.