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Healthy Breakfast Cereal Shopping Tips

Healthy Breakfast Cereal Shopping Tips

It’s back to school season! This morning I visited ABCs KATU Portland Morning Show, “AM Northwest” to share tips for selecting healthy breakfast cereals. Starting the day with a nourishing breakfast is key for managing energy levels and appetite, as well as improving mental focus and mood. Cereal is a popular breakfast go-to choice however, not all cereal is created equal. I’ve included my tips and today’s television segment below. Enjoy!


Watch Today’s TV Segment:

  1. Read Ingredients Lists First
  • Avoid artificial ingredients including: food dyes such as Yellow # 5 and Red Dye # 40 as well as High Fructose Corn Syrup, and artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. These ingredients provide no nutritional value rather artificial ingredients have been associated with negative health problems.
  • Whether you’re selecting cold, hot or granola type cereals, it is always important to read nutrition ingredient lists first, then nutrition facts. It does not matter if a breakfast cereal is high in fiber and protein if the breakfast cereal is made of chemicals and artificial ingredients. 


  1. Read Nutrition Facts Second
  • Choose Fiber: Look for at minimum 2-3 grams of fiber per serving. However, the more fiber the better! Fiber is key for managing energy levels and feeling full. A cereal made with “whole” grains is best, examples include: whole-wheat, oats, brown rice, and bran.
  • Limit Sodium: Choose a cereal with no more than 15% Daily Value of sodium per serving. More than 15% DV of sodium per serving is considered a high-sodium food.
  • Limit Sugar: Choose cereal with no more than 7 -8 grams of sugar per serving, especially if the sugar source is added sugars such as corn syrup and white or brown sugar. Too much sugar can cause a spike and then crash in our energy levels.


  1. Look for Healthy Certifications on Cereal Boxes
  • A few of these certifications include: USDA Organic, Whole Grain and Non-GMO Project Verified


  1. Boost Cereal Nutrition with Added Fresh Ingredients
  • Add nuts, apple slices, banana slices, fresh blueberries, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds. These whole-food toppings will add vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
  • If cereal alone is does not keep you full and satisfied, add a small smoothie on the side! Blend a frozen banana with almond milk and peanut butter. This smoothie example adds fiber and protein, two nutrients that are key for feeling full and satisfied! 


What is your favorite breakfast cereal? Leave a comment below!


Megan Roosevelt

Megan Roosevelt is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Host, Video Producer as well as the founder and CEO of Healthy Grocery Girl®

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