13aug children s breakfast cereal hero default

Kids’ cereals

Cereal manufacturers aren’t getting the message their products are too high in sugar. The sugar hit in many kids’ breakfast cereals has barely changed since we last looked at these products. Six cereals had even more sugar than they used to, with one packing a whopping 30 percent increase.

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A nutritious breakfast is the best way for your child to start the day. Studies show breakfast is associated with a healthy body weight and better nutrient intake. In addition, children are more likely to be hungry mid-morning and snack on unhealthy foods if they skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast can also negatively impact academic performance and mood.

When we looked at breakfast cereals marketed to kids in 2008 and 2013, we found many products were high in sugar and salt, and low in fibre. Our latest survey of 50 cereals has found companies have cut the sodium but it’s a different story when it comes to sugar.

What we found

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About our survey

We analysed the labels of 50 cereals that appeal to children using bright packaging, cartoon characters, promotional activities and sweet flavours, as well as some healthy options commonly eaten by children (such as wheat biscuits and porridge). We didn’t include all brands of porridge or wheat biscuits in our survey because they all have similar nutrition information.

Where possible, we’ve compared the sugar, sodium and fibre content with previous surveys. We’ve also calculated the health star rating and used green, orange and red symbols to show the sugar and sodium in the products. A red symbol means the product is high in sugar or sodium; green means the food has low amounts of it; orange fits somewhere in between.

There’s not a lot of fat or saturated fat in most of these cereals so we haven’t included fat or saturated fat in our survey.

Our criteria are:

  • Sugar (g/100g):

    Green ≤5 Orange 5.1-22.5 Red >22.5.

  • Sodium (mg/100g):

    Green ≤120 Orange 121-600 Red >600.

Our criteria have been developed by UK health agencies.

We say

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Report by Belinda Castles.

Cereals compared

Products Health
Star Rating
Fibre
(g/100g)
Fibre
% change
Sodium
(mg/100g)
Sodium
% change
Sugar
(g/100g)
Sugar
% change
Sugar
(tsps per 30g)
Previously surveyed in 2008 and/or 2013
Harraways Rolled Oats 5 9.2 0 Green 9 0 Green 1.0 0 0.1
Sanitarium Weet-Bix 5 10.1 -8 Orange 270 -4 Green 2.8 0 0.2
Home Brand Wheat Biscuits 4.5 9.7 -12 Orange 275 -2 Green 2.6 -10 0.2
Kellogg's Sultana Bran Buds 4.5 15.1 0 Orange 150 0 Red 23.8 -10 1.8
Pams Wheat Biskits 4.5 9.7 -10 Orange 275 -3 Green 2.6 -10 0.2
Harraways Oat Singles Honey & Golden Syrup 4 9.2 39 Green 11 -38 Red 25.1 10 1.9
Home Brand Honey Poppas 4 7.3 40 Green <5 0 Red 31.0 -20 2.3
Kellogg's Nutri-Grain 4 5.1 89 Orange 360 -40 Red 26.7 -20 2.0
Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Honey Flavoured Crunch 4 5.1 232 Orange 360 -23 Red 26.7 -20 2.0
Nestle Milo 4 8.2 55 Green 115 -8 Red 26.9 -10 2.0
Sanitarium Honey Puffs 4 6.0 5 Green 6 -45 Red 24.4 20 1.8
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Bites Wild Berry 4 9.2 0 Orange 300 0 Orange 22.2 0 1.7
Uncle Tobys Cheerios 4 7.3 38 Orange 265 -45 Orange 14.7 -30 1.1
Uncle Tobys Honey Cheerios 4 7.0 226 Orange 265 -28 Orange 17.8 -20 1.3
Kellogg's Coco Pops O's 3.5 7.4 0 Green 95 0 Red 33.4 0 2.5
Kellogg's Corn Flakes 3.5 5.1 96 Orange 550 -24 Orange 8.1 0 0.6
Nestle Milo Duo 3.5 7.6 23 Green 100 -13 Red 27.9 -10 2.1
Nestle Nesquik 3.5 8.2 58 Orange 250 4 Red 29.9 -10 2.2
Pams Honey Snaps 3.5 5.2 0 Green 5 -55 Red 37.7 -10 2.8
Home Brand Corn Flakes 3 2.3 10 Orange 550 -8 Orange 5.8 -10 0.4
Home Brand Rice Pops 3 1.0 B Orange 570 -12 Orange 9.6 0 0.7
Hubbards Cornflakes 3 2.1 0 Orange 600 0 Orange 6.8 0 0.5
Hubbards Thank Goodness Gluten Free Cocoa Puffs 3 2.7 8 Orange 310 194 Red 32.7 0 2.5
Kellogg's Rice Bubbles 3 2.5 227 Orange 530 -26 Orange 10.6 20 0.8
Sanitarium Skippy Cornflakes 3 2.7 -13 Orange 550 -29 Orange 7.7 -10 0.6
Sanitarium Ricies 2.5 1.0 -41 Orange 540 -37 Orange 8.6 0 0.6
Home Brand Cocoa Puffs 2 2.0 B Orange 410 -15 Red 34.8 -20 2.6
Kellogg's Coco Pops 2 1.7 42 Orange 425 -25 Red 36.5 0 2.7
Kellogg's Coco Pops Chex 2 3.3 38 Orange 530 -16 Red 37.4 20 2.8
Kellogg's Crispix Honey 2 1.6 60 Orange 530 -27 Red 28.2 20 2.1
Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes 2 2.5 0 Orange 375 6 Red 31.7 0 2.4
Kellogg's Froot Loops 2 2.4 0 Orange 340 -28 Red 38.0 -10 2.9
Kellogg's Frosties 2 2.4 60 Orange 320 -24 Red 41.3 0 3.1
Select Honey Nut Corn Flakes 2 2.5 0 Orange 330 0 Red 34.5 0 2.6
Newly surveyed
Harraways Oat Singles Plain 5 11.9 Green 1 Green 0.8 0.1
Kellogg's Mini-Wheats Little Bites Original 4.5 9.9 Green 5 Orange 14.6 1.1
Select Wheat Biscuits 4.5 9.9 Orange 275 Green 2.6 0.2
Freedom Foods Maple Crunch 4 7.7 Orange 255 Orange 15.7 1.2
Kellogg's Disney Frozen Cereal 4 11.0 Orange 145 Orange 22.2 1.7
Kellogg's Star Wars Cereal 4 7.8 Orange 180 Red 26.6 2.0
Kellogg's Rice Bubbles Multigrain Shapes 4 11.0 Orange 145 Orange 22.2 1.7
Nestle Milo Protein Clusters 4 8.2 Green 58 Red 25.1 1.9
Home Brand Multi Grain 3.5 5.8 Orange 240 Red 23.9 1.8
Hubbards Rice Pops 3 1.7 Orange 410 Orange 6.7 0.5
Hubbards Choc Mix Rice Pops 2.5 1.9 Orange 350 Red 24.8 1.9
Fibre content not listed on packaging
Pams Corn Flakes 3.5 2.7A -13 Orange 570 -27 Orange 8.7 -10 0.7
Pams Rice Snaps 3 1.0A -55 Orange 540 -31 Orange 8.6 -20 0.6
Budget Cocoa Puffs 2 0.6A 0 Orange 310 -36 Red 34.8 -20 2.6
Pams Coco Snaps 2 0.6A 0 Orange 310 -36 Red 34.8 -20 2.6
Home Brand Fruity Rings nc ns Orange 235 -18 Red 32.8 30 2.5

GUIDE TO THE TABLE PRODUCTS are listed by health star rating in alphabetical order. HEALTH STAR RATING nc = not able to be calculated. FIBRE, SODIUM & SUGAR (per 100g) is from label information. Fibre Anot listed on packaging but provided by company. Bnot listed in previous surveys. ns = not stated. % CHANGE compared with 2008 and/or 2013 surveys.

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