Cereal, it’s such a quick, easy and tasty breakfast for anyone. The only problem? It’s often not the healthiest choice, and we tend to pour way too much in our breakfast bowls. But how much is too much? How much cereal should you eat?
When it comes to cereal portion sizes, the recommended amount for adults is usually 30g (without milk). In grams, this may seem arbitrary, but it’s actually a far smaller amount than you realise – it usually only equates to around 4 or 5 tablespoons of cereal. In total, you should be aiming to consume around 300 to 400 calories at breakfast.
You may think that you don’t need to worry about how much cereal you’re consuming, but if you’re focused on weight loss or nutrition, you’ll want to think again. One of the biggest issues with breakfast cereals is that they’re high in sugars and saturated fats. So, if you’re going over the recommended portion size, you may very well be consuming the recommended daily sugar intake before you even leave the house.
Nutrition experts say that we should consume around 300 to 400 calories at breakfast. Now, if you’re not following the recommended guidelines on the cereal box, the amount of calories you consume in the morning can quickly double.
What does a 30g cereal serving size look like?
Well, 30g of cereal will look different depending on which type of cereal you’re measuring out. If you had to equate it to spoons, some cereal portion sizes would consist of around 4 tablespoons, whilst others will be up to 12 tablespoons. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly eaten breakfast cereals.
This crunchy breakfast cereal is probably one of the better alternatives on this list. If you’re looking to fill your bowl with 30g of this cereal, you should be spooning 4 tablespoons into your bowl – that ends up being 100 kcal without milk. Bran flakes are high in fibre with 5.1g per 30g and low in saturated fats (1.0g). However, a single portion size contains 4.2g of sugar.
As you may have guessed from the name, this choccy cereal is definitely higher in sugar and contains low amounts of fibre. The recommended portion size is 4 tablespoons or 30g. If you stick to this serving guide, you’ll be consuming about 129 kcal for breakfast – that’s before adding milk.
This chocolatey breakfast cereal is oh-so-yummy, but when it comes down to nutritional value, is it that good? These choco pops are super popular amongst kids, but the only issue is that they tend to be full of air, and so it’s unlikely that a 30g serving will fill your little one’s tummy. So it’s easy to see why so many people pour a full bowl of this cereal.
Sticking to the portion guide, which equates to 4 tablespoons, will result in you consuming about 166kcal in cereal alone.
Made primarily from maize and barley, these golden flakes are relatively low in fibre as well as sugar (2.4g per 30g). If you follow the 30g serving size, you’ll end up with 4 tablespoons of this cereal in your bowl – that works out to 113kcal.
Frosted flakes are almost like corn flakes on steroids, except it just has sugar and not steroids. As you may have guessed, Frosted Flakes are very high in sugar – almost half the daily recommended amount of 30g. On top of that, this cereal contains minimal fibre. So, if you’re serving up 30g of this cereal for yourself or your little one, you’ll get to scoop 5 tablespoons out of the package and consume 131kcal without adding milk into the equation.
Honey Hoops are generally made with wholewheat, oat and barley flour. In a 30g serving, you’ll consume about 5.5g of sugar, which is quite a bit! Also, 30g will only get you 4 tablespoons of honey hoops and 116kcal.
When it comes to porridge sachets, the amount of sugar, fibre and other ingredients it contains will vary from product to product. In general, 30g is equal to 6 tablespoons of porridge which will cost you 241 kcal.
This fun breakfast cereal is a great source of vitamin D and many of vitamin B’s. One of the main ingredients in this cereal is rice, followed by sugar. Despite this, rice crisps aren’t too high in sugar – it generally has 2.4g of sugar per 30g serving. If you stick to the 30g serving recommendation, you can spoon 4 tablespoons worth of this cereal into your breakfast bowl, and you’ll only be consuming 117 kcal, perfect for breakfast.
Wheat biscuits are fortified with many vitamins and minerals. They’re also low in sugar and high in fibre, making them one of the better cereal choices on this list. If you follow the recommended portion size – 30g or 5 tablespoons- you’ll be having just 119 kcal.
Primarily made from whole grain wheat, this breakfast cereal is high in fibre and protein too! This cereal recommends a slightly bigger portion size of 40g, which equates to 6 tablespoons in your bowl. While it does have 5g of sugar per serving, it only costs you 130 kcal.