Navigating the cereal aisle with your child can be tricky. Many cereal boxes feature colorful cartoon characters that beg for your child’s attention. Meanwhile, the cereal inside the box isn’t usually not something you want your child eating first thing in the morning, if at all. Some cereals targeted at children have more sugar than a donut, according to “Consumer Reports.” Fortunately, hidden among the sugar-filled cereals are a few designed for children that are also nutritious. Look for cereals that are low in sugar and sodium and high in fiber.
Toasted Oat Rings
O-shaped toasted oats are a classic children’s breakfast cereal, and they are healthy to boot. “Consumer Reports” rated toasted oats as the top breakfast cereal for children. They contain 3 g of fiber per 1 cup serving and only 1 g of sugar. Toasted oats are also low in sodium and high in iron.
The taste of wheat flakes may be a little intense for most children, but the packaging of the name brand version is designed to appeal to the young. The 1 cup serving provides 3 g of fiber and more than 50 percent of the daily value of iron.
Shredded wheat has between 4 and 6 g of fiber per serving and only about 10 mg sodium. If your children won’t eat the plain variety, there is a frosted option. You may want to combine plain shredded wheat and frosted to cut down on the sugar content. Some brands of frosted wheat do contain high fructose corn syrup and gelatin, which isn’t suitable for vegetarians, so read the ingredients before purchase.
Skip the envelopes of flavored instant oatmeal and serve your child the real deal, which only takes a few extra minutes to prepare and provides you with a blank slate for breakfast. Top the oatmeal with sliced apples or berries or a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for a bit of sweetness.
Honey Nut Toasted Oat Rings
The honey-flavored variety of toasted oats contain a bit more sugar than the plain ones, 9 g per serving, but “Consumer Reports” rates they are still listed at top. The 1 cup serving has 2 g fiber and 30 percent of the recommended daily value of iron.
Whole Grain Puffed Cereal
Puffed cereal comes in a variety of grains, from wheat to brown rice to more unusual options, such as millet. The fiber content varies from brand to brand and grain to grain, so give the label a quick read to make sure you’re getting a cereal with at least 2 g of fiber per serving.
One 3/4 cup serving of Life cereal contains 2 g of fiber, 60 percent of the day’s supply of iron and 11 percent of calcium. Life has a bit more sugar than other healthy cereals, 6 g per serving, so you may want to combine it with another low-sugar cereal.
A popular cereal among kids, Kix has 3 g fiber per 1.25 cup serving. It also has 3 g of sugar, which is a bit more than other options, but it is still lower than the worst offenders.
Bran Flakes with Raisins
A bowl of raisin and bran flakes can provide 5 g of fiber per 1 cup serving, along with 50 percent of a day’s supply of iron. Each serving also provides 4 g of protein. The cereal is a bit high in sugar, at 18 g a serving, so you may want to mix it with another cereal.
Corn flakes do not provide as much fiber as some other cereals, but they are low in sugar and have more than 50 percent of the day’s supply of iron. Try combining them with wheat or bran flakes to give your child a multi-grain breakfast.