Ready to Eat Cereals
The first ingredient listed should be a whole grain, such as whole wheat, oats, whole grain corn, brown rice, etc.
- Don’t rely on a cereal that simply says “made with whole grains” because that often contains a very small amount of grains.
- If you’re having a hard time switching to a whole grain cereal, try mixing your usual cereal with a whole grain choice.
Look for cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.
Limit the sugar to 10 grams per serving; 6 grams is even better.
Be wary of cereals with added fruit, as the fruit is often sugar-coated. A better alternative is to buy a plain cereal and add your own raisins or fresh fruit.
Look at the serving size to ensure how much you should actually eat.
For money savings, stock up during sales or look for store brands. The nutrition and quality are often similar to national brands.
Buy hot cereals made with whole grains, like whole-wheat farina, whole or steel-cut oats, barley, stone-ground grits or brown rice. Quinoa and farro are other grains to consider.
Opt for the plain versions and skip the flavored kind.
If time is an issue, buy “quick” (as with oats) versions. The “instant” varieties are the most convenient but are often high in sodium.
Since steel-cut oats take a long time to cook, make a big batch that you can keep in the fridge for a couple of days, reheating as needed.
Mary’s Tip: I freeze single serving batches of cooked steel-cut oats and take one out in the morning. By the time I arrive to work, it is slightly thawed and ready to be re-heated in the microwave.