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Kids’ Cereals: Some Are 50% Sugar

Consumer Reports Rates Nutritional Winners and Losers
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The Worst-Rated Cereals

Eight of the 27 rated cereals were scored as "Fair" choices -- the lowest rating given by Consumer Reports. All were low in fiber and most, but not all, were high in sugar.

Case in point: Kellogg’s Rice Krispies had just 4 grams of sugar per serving, less than most of the other tested cereals. But it still rated poorly because it was high in sodium and had no fiber.

Post’s Golden Crisp and Kellogg’s Honey Smacks made the list because they had the most sugar of any of the cereals tested.

Adults might remember these cereals from their childhoods as “Super Sugar Crisp" and “Sugar Smacks." Although the names have been changed, the report notes that “the levels of sugar in the cereals have remained about he same.”

The five other lowest-rated cereals included:

  • Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch (Quaker Oats), with 9 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, and 200 milligrams of sodium in a 3/4 cup serving. 
  • Cap’n Crunch (Quaker Oats), with 12 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, and 200 milligrams of sodium in a 3/4 cup serving. 
  • Apple Jacks (Kellogg), with 12 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 135 milligrams of sodium in a 1 cup serving. 
  • Froot Loops (Kellogg), with 12 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of fiber, and 135 milligrams of sodium in a 1 cup serving. 
  • Corn Pops (Kellogg), with 12 grams of sugar, no fiber, and 110 milligrams of sodium in a 1 cup serving.

The Middle of the Pack

Fifteen of the tested cereals were rated as "Good" choices, but the investigators noted that there was room for improvement in sugar and/or fiber content for most.

Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size scored highest of the cereals that got the rating, with 12 grams of sugar, 6 grams of fiber, and just 5 milligrams of sodium.

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar scored lower than regular Frosted Flakes. Although it had 8 grams of sugar per serving instead of 11 grams, the reduced-sugar version also had more calories and sodium than the original.

Cereals rated as "Good" included:

  • General Mills: Cookie Crisp, Golden Grahams Honey Graham, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Reese’s Puffs. 
  • Kellogg: Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size, Frosted Flakes Gold, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Krispies, and Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar. 
  • Post: Fruity Pebbles, Honey-Comb, Cocoa Pebbles.

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