Children's cereal reviews

We highlight the best for everyday eating out of over 40 childrens' cereals.
 
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01 .Children's cereals: not all equal

Weet bix

A good breakfast cereal can be the perfect start to the day, but kids tend to get a raw deal. It’s an unfortunate fact that most of these cereals are among the worst for excessive sugar and salt. See our table for how they stack up.

And while children don’t need as much fibre as adults, they still need more than they’d get from many of these cereals. Only two can be recommended as everyday cereals. The other 40 in our table contain too much sugar or salt – or too much of both. Of course, children enjoy sweet breakfast cereals – and there’s nothing wrong with them as an occasional treat – but sugar merely provides empty kilojoules, contributing to the growing problem of childhood obesity.

In this test we’ve included all cereals that contain chocolate or are obviously aimed at children via ads or packaging.

The best

  • Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids
  • Uncle Tobys VitaBrits Weeties

Treats only

Some other popular cereals, however, are too low in fibre and also too high in salt and/or sugar:

  • Kellogg’s Coco Pops Chex ]
  • Kellogg’s Crispix Honey
  • Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain
  • Sanitarium Skippy Corn Flakes  

Please note: this information was current as of May 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


Family cereals can be a better choice

Compared with the cereals marketed specifically to kids, many popular family cereals are a better choice – if your kids will eat them. They can even add a teaspoon of sugar to them and still get a more nutritious start to the day. They include:

The following breakfast cereals, in alphabetical order, stand out as the healthiest for everyday eating – even if they’re not the most exciting.

  • Abundant Earth Organic Puffed Corn
  • Abundant Earth Organic Puffed Rice
  • Abundant Earth Puffed Millet
  • Freedom Foods Free from Gluten Rice Puffs with Psyllium
  • Generic wheat biscuits
  • Kellogg’s Wholegrain Mini-Wheats 5 Grains
  • Sanitarium Puffed Wheat
  • Sanitarium Weet-Bix
  • Uncle Tobys Shredded Wheat

For more information about 'healthy' cereals see our free Breakfast cereals report.

CHOICE Food for Kids — helping you choose healthier foods for your kids

Cereal manufacturers really are the wizards of spin. They can take a highly processed, low-fibre, sugary (or often salty) product and, with a wave of a marketing wand, promote it as an important source of vitamins and minerals that gives long-lasting energy to boot. There’s no doubt that cereals (and the milk that goes on them) are often an important source of vitamins and minerals for many kids. But the reams of benefits listed on the packaging can lead you to believe a cereal’s the saviour of a bad diet, when in reality it’s closer to confectionery than a health food.

And the positive spin technique isn't isolated to just the kids' cereal category. With all the marketing hype around many kids’ foods it can be difficult for parents to tell just how healthy they really are. Our website — CHOICE Food for Kids — assesses the nutritional value of kids’ foods and will help you make sense of the spin. So visit it today.

 
 

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Full results for all cereals are shown in the table below.

Brand / product (in order of dietary fibre) Dietary fibre (%) Saturated fat Sugars Salt
High fibre
Kellogg's Sultana Bran
14.2
Green light
Red grapeOrange light
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Fruity Sultanas, Bran & Apple
13.4
Green light
Red grapeOrange light
Kellogg's Wholegrain Mini-Wheats 5 Grains
12.2
Green light
Orange lightGreen light
Uncle Tobys VitaBrits Weeties
12
Green light
Green lightOrange light
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids
11
Green light
Green lightGreen light
Moderate fibre
Lowan Kids Grizzlies
9.5
Green light
Red lightGreen light
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Fruity Apricot
9.2
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Fruity Wild Berry
9.2
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Kellogg's Wholegrain Mini-Wheats Blackcurrant Flavour
9
Green light
Red grapeGreen light
Kellogg's Wholegrain Mini-Wheats Golden Honey
8.4
Green light
Orange lightGreen light
Kellogg's Coco Pops Coco Rocks
8.1
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Lowan Kids Dinosaurs
8
Green light
Red lightGreen light
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Crunch Cocoa
7.4
Green light
Red lightOrange light
EnviroKidz Organic Amazon Frosted Flakes
6.7
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Nature's Way Kids Smart Cocoa Crunch
6.4
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Uncle Tobys Fruity Bites Wildberry
6.4
Green light
Red lightGreen light
Lowan Kids Honey O' s
6.2
Green �0;0;0;D;�0;0;0;A;�0;0;0;D;�0;0;0;A;light
Red lightGreen light
Nestlé Milo Duo
6.2
Orange light
Red light Green light
EnviroKidz Organic Gorilla Munch
5.9
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Golden Vale Choco Chips (ALDI)
5.9
Orange light
Red lightOrange light
Nature's Way Kids Smart Honeycomb Crunch
5.9
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Sanitarium Honey Weets
5.5
Green light
Red lightGreen light
Nestlé Cheerios
5.3
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Nestlé Milo
5.3
Orange light
Red lightOrange light
Nestlé Nesquik
5.2
Orange light
Red lightOrange light
Low fibre
Golden Vale Honey Wheats (ALDI)
4.9
Green light
Red lightGreen light
Golden Vale Choco Balls (ALDI)
4.4
Orange light
Red lightOrange light
EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp
3.3
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Golden Vale Choco Pillows (ALDI)
3.1
Red light
Red lightOrange light
Sanitarium Skippy Corn Flakes
3.1
Green light
Orange lightRed light
Lowan Kids Cocoa Bombs
3
Green light
Red lightOrange light
New Day Fruity Rings (ALDI)
2.9
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Ecor Chocolate Flavoured Corn Flakes Monkey
2.8
Green light
Orange lightOrange light
Kellogg's Nutri-grain
2.7
Green light
Red lightRed light
Kellogg's Coco Pops Chex
2.4
Green light
Red lightRed light
Kellogg's Froot Loops
2.4
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Barn House Mr Reen's Krispy Organic Choco Crisps
2.2
Green light
Red lightOrange light
New Day Breakfast Bubbles (ALDI)
2
Green light
Orange lightRed light
Kellogg's Frosties
1.5
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Kellogg's Coco Pops
1.2
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Kellogg's Rice Bubbles
1.1
Green light
Orange light Red light
Kellogg's Crispix Honey
1
Green light
Red lightRed light
New Day Choco Rice (ALDI)
0.8
Green light
Red lightOrange light
Table notes

Why eat breakfast?

Breakfast is an important meal for kids. If they don’t eat breakfast they're likely to be hungry by mid-morning.

Several studies have suggested that children who skip breakfast tend to be fatter than those who don’t, and there’s some evidence to suggest that eating breakfast improves kids’ learning ability.

Children don’t need as much fibre as adults, but should still go for a cereal with a ‘high’ or ‘moderate’ amount, as listed in the table — and not too much fat, sugar or salt.

For the most part, if you’re looking for a good cereal choice for your kids, ignore the colourful packaging and claims that are part and parcel of kids’ cereals, and go for one of the cereals listed in The best or a good adult one — see Family cereals can be a better choice, our visit our breakfast cereals report — or follow our suggestions for choosing a cereal, below.

Choosing a cereal

  • Kids need less fibre than adults because it can make a small stomach full before it’s had a chance to get enough energy and other nutrients. Too much can also cause children to get stomach upsets and diarrhoea. But a cereal with a moderate amount of fibre is still better for them than little or none. As a guide, kids need their age plus 5–10 grams per day. For example, a five-year-old should eat 10–15 g a day.
  • Go for ones with less added sugar and salt. See CHOICE Food For Kids for recommended amounts per serving.
  • Many breakfast cereals contain added vitamins and minerals which can make a useful contribution to your child's diet. However, it’s more important when choosing a cereal to base your shortlist on high fibre and low fat, salt and sugar before you consider vitamins and minerals.
  • The bottom line is that most kids' cereals are better than no breakfast at all, and the vitamins and minerals as well as calcium from the milk are a bonus.
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