Subscribe to me on YouTube

Healthy Cereals for Every Taste

By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra:  My sister and I thought we’d share some cereals that are made of simple, healthful, real ingredients after the news that has come out this past week about all the crap found in industrial foods (literally; I just read a report about chicken crap in packaged chicken). What we like on our taste buds may differ, but we can certainly agree that what goes in our bodies should be worth eating!

If you’re one of my UCSB students who isn’t eating a proper breakfast before class, you had better read this post – Ahem! I’m going to put a whole bunch of enticing words together in a long sentence to explain my first cereal recommendation: Blueberry hemp, quinoa, amaranth, chia ancient grain gluten-free, vegan, free of refined sugar, non-GMO granola cereal by Purely Elizabeth. Whew. I’m exhausted. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But I tried it at the recent Natural Products Expo West (NPEW) anyway and loved it. Some granolas are too “cardboardy” for me or they taste like I’m being punished for having a Pop-Tart in the mid-70s, but this one was super-fly! Oh, I don’t eat granola plain; I always have it with vanilla yogurt.

We met the delightful Annelies of Attune Foods (she’s a social media pro and poet) and she sent us some cereals to try. I ordered the Erewhon Rice Twice (four ingredients total)  thinking my younger son might like it. “Might” was the wrong word – he ate the whole box in 2 days and I never actually got to try it. He took me at my word when I said it was for him! With my older son in mind I got the Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice with Mixed Berries. I don’t go for cereals with berries, but I was desperate for something sweetish one afternoon and tried some. Joke’s on me because I liked it. And… the cereal that I was sure I’d love wasn’t actually me after all. The Uncle Sam Honey Almond  has wheat berries, almonds, flax seed, and honey – all ingredients I like – yet I preferred the two Erewhon cereals. No moral to this story, but I do hope you’ll try new things! Especially cereals that are non-GMO!

I’m going to put in a mention here of the PB Granola from Pure Bliss Eats because I really “get into it.” To find out why I have that comment in quotation marks, you’ll have to watch this Granola, Yogurt & Cookie Monster video till the end!

Now I’m turning this over to my sister, who is slowly coming to realize I’ve been right all along about eating foods with recognizable ingredients!

Kymberly: When we were growing up, our mom bought only the non-sugary, “healthy” cereals and she made us eat breakfast every day. (Thanks mom!) No Sugar Pops for us, (until college when I went on a sugary cereal rebellion rampage). Maybe that is why I grew up to appreciate good cereal and value breakfast. For decades I have happily started my day with cereal and just the right amount of milk poured at the last minute to keep the cereal crispy. Cereal connoisseurs, you know what I’m talking about. So imagine how tough it’s been to read all the news about carbs–especially cereal–not being the ideal way to start the day. I am doing well about adding more protein to my morning. (Guess what? Kay’s Naturals offers a line of protein cereals if you are going low carb). But I was not ready to say good-bye to one of my fave food categories. As well, I am trying to make more socially conscious, long term healthy food decisions, maybe like many of you. Fortunately cereal is the perfect way to END the day. Squeee!

Isn’t it true that we make purchase decisions based on a combination of the following:

  • taste
  • price
  • allergies or food sensitivities (gluten-free, peanut-free, or soy-free, for instance)
  • social or political beliefs (Non-GMO, locally sourced, organic, company donates to causes, sustainability)
  • value system (vegan, vegetarian)
  • nutritional or health value

So at some level what tastes deee-lish to me and meets my criteria may not be relevant to you. What is key to note is that NO MATTER WHAT drives your cereal shopping decisions, you will find you have lots of options today that did not exist even three years ago. If you wanted an organic, no-sugar cereal, for example, you had to sacrifice taste, price or variety at some level.

Not no mo’! As we sampled our way through the NPEW, talked with company reps, read ingredients, met company leaders, we revamped our whole awareness of what is out there waiting for all of us! Good stuff that is good for you and good for the planet. Some of what I tried and liked:

Attune Foods‘  Uncle Sam Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes & Flaxseed  (10g fiber, less than 1g sugar, 7g protein) With Attune’s cereals, what you see is what you get– no hidden or mystery ingredients. Great mixed with Nature’s Path Love Crunch Premium Organic Granola if you like a hint of sweetness. Every bag of Love Crunch you buy, Nature’s Best will donate an equal amount to food banks in food or cash up to $1 million. (Non-GMO)

We met the CEO of Kind (on the shuttle bus one morning, of all places. You never know who’s sitting next to you at these gigs) and found him to be dedicated to making a positive corporate difference as well. I tried and enjoyed his Kind Maple Walnut with Chia and Quinoa (Non-GMO and Gluten Free even though I have no gluten issues.)

I also love hot cereal. Bring it on hot or cold, in yogurt, with lactose free milk, with a milk substitute (See our review of milk and milk substitutes) or as a crunchy snack on its own. So I tried Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Granola which does well hot or cold.

If you want an organic option to Honey O’s or Cheerios try Cascadian Farm Organic Oats and Honey Granola Certified Organic cereal.

And a spiffy insider tip if you like blueberries–throw in some OMG (Organic Meets Good) Maqui Berry Antioxidant Powder for both the anti-oxidant benefit and for the double-down blueberry taste.

If you take a trip down the cereal aisle of your favorite grocery store you will find many other healthy options missing from this very short list. And that’s the point! Skip the stuff that lists “sugar” as the first ingredient and look elsewhere. You will find something to meet your cereal wish list without any sacrifice. Snack on!

Disclosure: 1) We received free samples from most of the above listed companies as the sole compensation for this post. All opinions are strictly our own. 2) Kymberly is now going to make a big bowl of cereal for her evening snack.

, , , , ,

33 Responses to Healthy Cereals for Every Taste

  1. Pamela April 16, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Healthy cereals are low calorie, nutrient dense alternatives to processed frozen waffles, pancakes, and egg sandwiches with significantly lower saturated fat and cholesterol than sausage, doughnuts, biscuits, and bacon.
    Pamela recently posted..The Kindle And The End Of BooksMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Oh, Pamela, I totally agree with you. Although, on weekends I make pancakes for my kids, and the ingredients are organic & healthful. They’re even old enough now where I can use some whole wheat! And I feel grease welling up inside me now, with that mention of sausage, donuts & bacon. Gah!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Reverse Ab Curls – Wrong and Right WayMy Profile

  2. HippyFitMom April 16, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    I love attune cereals. They have a good variety of gluten free and unsweetened cereals. they also keep the ingredients to a minimum. I like to fill my bowl with fruit first and then add the cereal. I also use unsweetened coconut milk and add a little stevia for taste. I love healthy cereal. A scope of protein makes it great!

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      I don’t really like coconut milk, but I’m going to try your suggestion using almond milk. Sounds tasty.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Easter WorkoutMy Profile

  3. Tara Burner April 16, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    I LOVE me some Uncle Sam’s from Attune Foods!
    Tara Burner recently posted..#photoadayApril days 14-15-16My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      Even though that one kind of Uncle Sam’s wasn’t my favorite, I will buy their other flavors, as I think the ingredients are excellent.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Belly Up to the (Protein) BarMy Profile

  4. Nicole April 16, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Thanks for the mention! I posted it on our FB page! Love these other cereals too!

  5. Tamara April 16, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    My all time favourite breakfast cereal is oatmeal, but I do love to garnish it with granola! I noticed that Holy Crap is not on your list. I will bring some to Denver for you to get addicted to!
    Tamara recently posted..Enjoying Exercise Has Major Health Benefits for Cancer PatientsMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      No, I’ve never heard of Holy Crap. But I saw the ad on your site. Please can you say more about it? What “flavors” do they have?
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..I Want To Lose 100 PoundsMy Profile

  6. Cat @ Breakfast to Bed April 16, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    at night, right before bed, I have a very small bowl of uncle sam’s and soy milk. helps me sleep!!
    Cat @ Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Does the Human Hide Shrink in 2500 Gallons of Water?My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      Sometimes I have cereal for dinner. Now that I’ve discovered how tasty almond milk is, that’s my combo!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Exercise KindnessMy Profile

  7. Christine April 16, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    My mom fed me granola, cream of wheat, grape nuts, more granola… and I loved it! And breakfast is still my favorite meal of the day!

    Kymberly, love it, “sugary cereal rebellion rampage”.

    That chocolate berry love crunch is so good! I haven’t tried the KIND one yet, but its in my pantry. That’s cool you were sitting next to the CEO… that was definitely a great Expo.
    Christine recently posted..Hiking, Snow, Ski Lift, BreakfastMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

      I used to wake up with a happy spring to my zing the day after my mom would do the shopping because I knew that there would be new, exciting cereals to eat. When I was growing up, “exciting” meant Shredded Wheat. And I love it still. And I have loved oatmeal & all hot cereal my entire life.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Easter WorkoutMy Profile

  8. Tina @ Best Body Fitness April 16, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    I am a huge cereal fan and Attune is certainly my favorite. Love all the other options you put here. I hadn’t heard of a few of them. Just made sure to pin this one for future reference.
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Move-It Monday: Functional Circuit for RunningMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks, Tina! Yes, we are now big Attune fans as well. I have to say, when you get to meet the people behind the cereal, it really does make you more loyal to the brands.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Belly Up to the (Protein) BarMy Profile

  9. Talia @ Bite Size Wellness April 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I love Attune cereal! My favorite is the honey almond. Yum! Kind is another fav. Good choices ladies!
    Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted..6 Ways to Beat the Homesick BluesMy Profile

  10. Amanda @ HappyMotherRunner April 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Great post! I work as a professor and the students have horrible diets. Just seeing what they eat in the cafeteria during lunch makes me cringe!
    Amanda @ HappyMotherRunner recently posted..Week 11 PROOF RecapMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      Amanda, yup, you know exactly what I mean. It’s been worse the past 2 years; the students go on these fainting epidemics. When I ask about breakfast habits, it’s scary what they tell me. I told them that I’m going to nag them all quarter because they need to eat properly, not just to make it through my class, but to be more alert and intelligent for their exams!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..I Want To Lose 100 PoundsMy Profile

  11. Anna April 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    My everyday breakfast is always cereals with yoghurt, although I haven’t heard about any Erewhon product before. Are they available worldwide? They seem to be really healthy and delicious, I really would like to give it a try!
    Anna recently posted..cosmetic dentistsMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit April 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Hey Anna, judging from your spelling of “yoghurt,” we think you are in Europe, right? Please tell us what country you’re in and we’ll find out for you right away! You’ll love the Erewhon.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..I Want To Lose 100 PoundsMy Profile

  12. Business and Life Coach April 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Thanks so much for your informative article. I am a big fan of anything from Bob’s Red Mill myself. I eat the quick oats several times a week. More delicious and just as easy as any instant oat meal.
    Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach
    Business and Life Coach recently posted..Get Unstuck and Get Going on What MattersMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit April 18, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      Hi Dr Lynn: You know we have to support anything with the word “red” or “Bob” in it (an online hint about the hubster’s name). I am now going to get unstuck and read your life coach post! Then eat brekkie, as that is part of what matters!
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..I Want To Lose 100 PoundsMy Profile

  13. Jen April 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    This is a great list, I want to look at several of these to try for myself. I have a yeast allergy, I think some of these might be good for me.
    Jen recently Eye Glasses GiveawayMy Profile

  14. Marnie Byod April 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Healthy cereals are good for diet and it is good for the heart too. Cereals early in the morning is perfect and I will try this. Thanks!
    Marnie Byod recently posted..What is my home worth in Mitchelton?My Profile

  15. Evelyn April 18, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    I want to provide all the greatness to my children, and Healthy cereals is one of my partners to make it successfully…
    Evelyn recently posted..WSO ReviewsMy Profile

  16. John Poole April 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    The photo reminds me of the cafeteria scene in Animal House: “Guess what I am now?” :-)

    No, I’m just kidding…you’re much cuter than John Belushi!

  17. Shira April 19, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Well, I’m glad to learn about some new cereals that don’t contain an ounce of chicken crap (or was that the chicken itself?). Sound like some great alternatives on days when I’m not interested in my typical egg white omelet breakfast. Best part of the post though is the photo – classic! :)
    Shira recently posted..Can romantic bliss blast your waistline?My Profile

  18. Laura April 20, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    I couldn’t picture my life without my everyday cereal dose in the morning. I’ve tried several types, although I haven’t heard about Erewhon before. I think I should give it a try, because your review sounds great and I am totally assured!
    Laura recently posted..Beer and toothache through LondonMy Profile

  19. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf April 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    I’m a huge cereal fan too. It’s a rare morning that I don’t start my day off with a bowl. Amazingly, I haven’t tried Attune cereals yet. I’m excited to go them now! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge