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Of Course I want Cereal for Breakfast!

Of Course I want Cereal for Breakfast!

Is cereal for breakfast good or bad
liz weiss dietician nutritionist

One of the best ways to be sure your kids have all their nutritional bases covered is to pour a bowl of cereal with milk. If kids don’t have milk in the morning, it’s unlikely they’ll get the three servings they need each day.

Liz Weiss, Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian

Choices of cold cereal for breakfast with milk and wooden spoons

We all do it. Day and night.

We grab a bowl of cereal for a quick meal. Meh. We’re hungry and don’t want to take the time to make something else.

But . . . if you had the time, the ingredients and more energy, would you choose something else instead?

Or are you happy with a bowl of your favorite cereal as a healthy choice?

(In fact, you’re thinking about how much you want it right now, aren’t you?)

muscular good looking guy eating cereal for breakfast

Use this flowchart to decide if you want cereal right now.

Please humor me. There’s a method to my madness.

I’m trying to prove an important point about knowing if breakfast is good for us.

Is cereal for breakfast good or bad? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Do you really want cereal right now? We answer these questions. Really. 1

Did you notice Kellogg’s logo at the bottom of the infographic?

Do you feel like the flowchart was slanted towards convincing you to have a bowl of cereal? Even when the information is basically true?

Now you know how doctors, nutritionists and dietitians felt for decades.

Lenna F. Cooper, B.S., was the first to declare breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day in a 1917 issue of Good Health.

Vintage kelloggs corn flakes commercial

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it is the meal that gets the day started. Above all, it should be made up of easily digested foods, and balanced in such a way that the various food elements are present in the right proportions. It should not be a heavy meal, consisting of over five to seven hundred calories.

Makes sense, right? Who could argue with that? No one argued with her reasoning.

They doubted its message because the magazine was edited by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.

Yeah, that Kellogg.

As director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Dr Kellogg developed vegetarian foods that were easy for his patients to digest.

breathing exercises at the battle creek saniarium in michigan

In 1877 Kellogg created a cereal made of oat, wheat and corn flakes. It was so popular with his patients that he founded the Sanitas Food Company to make them available to the public.

In 1894 Corn Flakes as a cereal became a thing. John Kellogg, his wife Ella and his brother Will all claim to be the one who invented it. On April 14, 1896 John Kellogg received a patent for his cereal flake process – in his name only.

They used this patented process with other grains too, like rice. And sold Rice Krispies.

You know the rest of the story.

Breakfast became a big deal, and all the Kelloggs became rich.

kids sticking their tongues out at each other while eating breakfast

Not all cereals are created equal, and with grocery aisles dedicated to boxes of flakes, puffs, rings and more, it can be hard to know which cereals to choose.

Here are some basic tips:

  • Understand nutrition labels. Paying attention to the serving size, calories, protein and vitamin and mineral percentages will make you more informed about just what you can get out of each particular cereal.
  • Some cereals give nutritional information including the milk you’re going to pour on it, so read carefully when comparing one to another.
  • Look for options that are a good source of fiber (at least 3 grams per serving) to help you get a jump start on the fiber you need each day.
  • Experiment with additions such as fresh or dried fruit and nuts to create even more nutrients.
Is cereal for breakfast good or bad? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Do you really want cereal right now? We answer these questions. Really. 2

A healthy breakfast can help kids perform better in the classroom or the playing field.

Is cereal for breakfast good or bad? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Do you really want cereal right now? We answer these questions. Really. 3

Research has shown that children who eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning have an easier time focusing on their schoolwork since they are not distracted by hunger.

Dr. Teresia O’Connor, assistant professor of pediatrics at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital

twin boys in chemistry class at school

Dr. O’Connor says a healthy breakfast includes whole grains to make you feel fuller longer, such as oatmeal, whole wheat toast or whole grain cereal. (See our article on the search for a better breakfast.)

“It’s also a good time to eat fruit.”

See? The age-old breakfast of cereal with milk and a glass of orange juice is still considered a healthy breakfast. Choosing whole fruit over juice is even better. “Whole fruit provides dietary fiber, which is a part of a healthy diet and can help prevent heart disease and cancer.”

Make sure your family is eating only ONE breakfast per day.

Dr. O’Connor warns that your kids may be having too many calories in the morning if they are eating breakfast at home AND at school.

If your children’s school has a breakfast program, have a talk with them to see if they would prefer eating at home with their family or at school with their friends.

Cute toddler girl making faces while eating cereal for breakfast
The Takeaway Today

Is cereal for breakfast good or bad?

When you choose the right boxed cereal, it can be a good choice:

  • Corn Flakes and other whole-grain cereals were created by a doctor to benefit his patients.
  • A leading pediatrician gives thumbs up to whole-grain cereal for breakfast combined with fruit and nuts.
  • Cereal is a quick and easy meal that can give you energy any time of day.

Now you can eat breakfast cereal when you’re in a hurry and give yourself a pat on the back as you go out the door – on time.

Some Corn Flake Fun

No, this has not been sponsored by Kellogg’s or Corn Flakes. Surprise! But I did have fun going down the corn flake trail while writing. You’ve gotta see this!

How to Cook Corn Flakes

Now we know Corn Flakes is a part of a healthy breakfast. Especially when you’re half asleep and in a hurry. Here’s a quick reference so you know how to cook corn flakes properly under those conditions.

corn flakes cooking instructions

360° View from Inside a Corn Flakes Box

You know you’ve thought about it. (Aren’t we always half-asleep when we’re munching on Corn Flakes?) You’re sitting at the table, staring at the box, wondering what it would feel like inside.

Is cereal for breakfast good or bad? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Do you really want cereal right now? We answer these questions. Really. 4
Click to see a panoramic view from INSIDE the Corn Flakes box.

Now you know. Mystery solved. You’re welcome.

In Search of a Better Breakfast

In Search of a Better Breakfast

What IS a better breakfast? Healthier? Easier? Tastier? More adult? More fun for kids? Yes. All of the above. 5

What is a better breakfast? Healthier? Easier? Tastier? More adult? More fun for kids? All of the above.

What IS a better breakfast? Healthier? Easier? Tastier? More adult? More fun for kids? Yes. All of the above. 6

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Adelle Davis, Nutritionist, Best Selling Author

Eat breakfast every day for better health.

The International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science says:

the adage breakfast is the most important meal of the day wasn’t taken seriously by science for decades.

(We discuss why here. It’ll knock your socks off.)

But after a 2013 study discovered men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of coronary heart disease, they started taking a closer look and breakfast reigns supreme once again.

Dr. David Agus, doctor to the stars, one of the world’s leading cancer researchers and author of A Short Guide to a Long Life tells us the reasons why breakfast is so important – in only one minute.

It is recommended that we consume 15-25% of our energy intake in the morning.










A better breakfast begins with taking time to eat breakfast.

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association says breakfast is actually a non-meal for 20 percent of children and 32 percent of adolescents. (And they’re not the only ones who are breakfast skippers.) It’s not a surprise that they encourage growing kids and developing teens to try and eat something nutritious when they begin their day.

Great idea icon light bulb with transparent

When our kids were in high school, our daughter got up early to beautify herself, but the 2 boys showered the night before so they could stay in bed as long as possible. “Got no time for dat,” was their breakfast motto.

I always had fruit available, and they would grab a bottle of chocolate Ensure as they ran out the door to catch the bus. I felt like I was still being a “good mom” because Ensure contains 1/3 of their daily requirement of nutrients.

*This is a statement of fact. We have not been sponsored by Ensure.

Still not convinced? The Atlantic Journal discusses the terrors of skipping breakfast (and manholes).

Need some Better Breakfast ideas?

Choose your favorite breakfast ingredient and we’ll show you recipes your family will love.

Puff Pastry Breakfast: Bacon, Egg & Cheese

Puff Pastry Breakfast: Bacon, Egg & Cheese

Amazing ADULT breakfast. (But oh-so-easy.)

This puff pastry breakfast starts the weekend off right. It looks like you strained over the heat of the oven for hours but is easy, warm and yummy. You’ll get lots of kudos!

{Easy Breezy} If you’ve never made something with a puff pastry, don’t worry. It’s very easy when you use a frozen puff pastry sheet from your local grocer.

Here’s a video overview to give you extra confidence.

Puff Pastry Breakfast Recipe with Bacon, Egg & Cheese

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: bacon, cheese, egg
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 438kcal
This breakfast recipe is so divine it melts in your mouth!
Print Recipe


  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheet
  • 2 bacon strips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded havarti cheese
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it’s easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 (about 5-inch) squares. Place the pastry squares on a baking sheet. Prick the pastry squares with a fork.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until the pastries are golden. Using a metal spatula, press down the centers of the hot pastries to make an indentation.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then crumble.
  • Sprinkle cheese in the center of each pastry.
  • Carefully crack 1 egg onto the center of each pastry. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Top with the crumbled bacon, then return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the eggs are softly set.


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 276mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 118mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 807IU | Calcium: 518mg | Iron: 2mg

Want more adult breakfast ideas?

See all of our breakfast recipes:

Interesting Breakfast Recipes

Here are easy but unique breakfast recipes for all ages.

Perfect for getting everyone out the door quickly & easily, for relaxing weekend breakfasts together, and wowing the crowd on holidays.

Breakfast Tapas: Bacon, Egg & Crispy Homestyle Potatoes

Breakfast Tapas: Bacon, Egg & Crispy Homestyle Potatoes

spicy breakfast tapas with bacon egg potatoes

These breakfast tapas are a spicy wake up call for adults.

Having adult friends over for the weekend?

Wow them with amazing pub food for breakfast.

This recipe keeps it {easy breezy} using frozen homestyle potato slices from your grocer’s freezer.

If you want to go {DIY}, make baked potato chips from scratch with Martha Stewart’s recipe. (They take 40 minutes to prepare.)

Or take the flavor to the next level and make Sweet Potato Chips. Maybe add some Siracha sauce. That will get everyone awake and ready for the day!

Spicy Breakfast Tapas

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: bacon, egg, homestyle potatoes, spicy
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 332kcal
Spicy breakfast tapas for adults with bacon, egg, and homestyle potatoes.
Print Recipe


  • 1 pkg Simply Potatoes® Homestyle Slices
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 4 bamboo skewers
  • salt, pepper, paprika to taste


  • In large bowl toss Simply Potatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil; coat well.
  • In small bowl stir together salt, chili powder and sugar.
  • Sprinkle spice mixture over potatoes; toss to coat potatoes.
  • In 12-inch nonstick skillet heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add Simply Potatoes, in single layer on bottom of skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, 5 to 6 minutes, or until potatoes begin to brown.
  • Turn potatoes; continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and tender.
  • Fill 4 small bowls to top with potatoes slices.
  • Fry eggs and place on on top of each bowl of potato slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper & paprika to taste.
  • Put skewer through each slice of bacon, put on paper towel on plate and microwave on high until crisp, about 4 minutes.
  • Stand each skewered bacon slice on one bowl of potato and egg for an appetizer appeal.


Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 6mg

Stuffed Apples or Baked Apples – Your Choice for an Autumn Breakfast

Kids love to eat muesli from an apple bowl – so serve stuffed apples cold. Or, on a cold winters day it is so comforting to start the day with baked apples – same ingredients, just warmed.

Stuffed Apples Breakfast
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Teresa McEachern
Serves: 4 baked apples
Can be served hot or cold depending on how much time you have in the morning or your family’s preference.
  • 4 gala apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup muesli cereal (with dried fruit & nuts)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 8 tbsp drained cottage cheese
  • 4 tsp orange marmalade – if baking
  • Star anise & powdered sugar to decorate (optional)
  1. Cut top of apple (stem part) off for a lid.
  2. Scoop out the seeds & center of the apple leaving 1/2″ at the bottom of the apple.
  3. Rub the lids and edges of the apples with the lemon to keep from discoloring.
  4. In a medium bowl mix the butter, museli, brown sugar, walnuts, apple pie spice and drained cottage cheese.
  5. Fill apples with mixture just to the top edge of the apple.

You can serve stuffed apples like this with star anise for decoration, or proceed for baked apples.
    Baked Apples
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Put 1 tsp orange marmalade on top of each apple and place in baking dish or muffin tin.
    3. Place lids on apples.
    4. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes. Don’t overcook or apples will look wrinkly.
    5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to decorate
    6. [img src=”” width=”350″ height=”524″ class=”aligncenter size-full” title=”baked stuffed apples”]


    This is a fun & healthy breakfast recipe but can also be served with vanilla ice cream as an autumn dessert.

    Easy, Stress Free Way to Start Your Day

    Plan ahead:

      • After dinner have one child clear the table and help with dishes as you (or another child) prep the table for breakfast. Have him set the table with placemats, napkins, bowls, spoons and cereal boxes as part of your dinner wrap-up routine. When the alarm sounds in the morning, add milk and fruit to have a nutritious start to the day.
      • Check the weather and have kids choose their wardrobe for the next day and lay it out. Apart from sleeping in, this is the part of the morning routine that can be time consuming. It’s a great habit to start early in life.
      • Check your schedule and gather up an items that are required for special events such as library day, sports practice, band practice, etc.
    • Put non-chilled food items in their lunch boxes – and while you’re at it, prepare any food for breakfast that can be made in advance and heated too.

    Establish a “Morning Zone”:

      • backpack ready for schoolPutting all critical items into an established “morning zone” can eliminate a lot of headaches during the morning rush.
      • Use a hanging shoe organizer with pockets to keep essentials and accessories by the door such as dried mittens & hats ready for another day. If they have their MP3 players and cellphones in here there’s no rush to find them in the morning & you’ll know they aren’t using them while they’re in bed.
      • Motivate and track time with an “up and at ’em” music playlist that suits the ages of your children. Everything is more fun and moves more quickly with tunes, and you can track how much time has passed. If you use the same sound track every day, they’ll know that by such-and-such a song they should be this-far in their morning routine. No more nagging from mom!
      • Change the morning sound track on birthdays and special holidays to add excitement to the day.
    • When the “Zone” is clear, your family is cleared for take-off.

    cleared for takeoff

    Getting kids off to school and adults to work on time can be one of the biggest challenges of the day. I hope these ideas help you have a stress free morning – and also puts a little play in your day with dancing to your morning playlist.

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