Best Healthy Breakfast Cereals In Australia
With over 480 ready-to-eat breakfast cereals on offer in the average Aussie supermarket, making a healthy choice can be stressful and confusing!
The good news is that breakfast cereals are an inexpensive way to get plenty of fibre, wholegrains and calcium (most people eat cereals with milk/yoghurt). They are often fortified with B-group vitamins, Iron, vitamin C and more - which can help you get all the nutrients you need. Heathy breakkie cereals are also an easy and convenient way to eat breakfast so 'not having time' to eat a bowl (or teacup!) of cereal, isn't so valid.
More than one third of us Aussie's are eating breakfast cereals, so today I'm re-looking at the breakfast cereal aisle and taking the stress out of picking a healthy breakfast cereal with this simple guide.
Australia's Best Healthy Breakfast Cereals
I've gone through my supermarket and found my favourite high-fibre, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. I haven't included muesli and oats in this review but I will soon do another post on them so keep checking the blog.
Here are some of my favourite healthy breakfast cereals in Australia - in no particular order:
It's not trendy, but it is really good for you. I used to eat this all the time. It's a pretty simple cereal - just flakes with not much added. At first it doesn't taste sweet at all but when your taste buds adjust to prefer less sweet things you can really taste the sweetness. This product also get 5 stars on the health rating system - for good reason.
Whether you get the Wheat Flakes or Original, I love All-bran because it is super high in fibre. This is one of my favourite picks of all time because I can get clogged up if I'm not careful. My favourite way to eat All-Bran in winter is to add milk to the Original, and then microwave until it becomes like porridge. I sprinkle on cinnamon and some seeds. It's so YUM!
Goodness Superfoods Cereals
This Aussie company makes awesome, high fibre breakfast cereals. My fav is the Protein 1st (green). If you need to add fibre into your diet - this is a great pick for you. Note that the super high fibre content of these cereals doesn't agree with every tummy (think lots of gas) but most people can tolerate it. It's worth testing to see if you can have this range...
Uncle Toby’s Bran Plus
This is kinda the Uncle Toby's version of All-Bran and it's really a great pick. Try the different products (All-Bran and Bran Plus) and find the one you prefer. Also, don't mix this product up with Uncle Toby's Fibre Plus as they are different.
Vogel’s Ultra Bran and Soy
You may not have heard of this one but it's high fibre, low sugar and yummy. It's a lesser known brand but this product is super healthy. Once again, it's not trendy but I love the simple ingredients, low GI content and subtle flavour of this healthy breakfast cereal.
Woolworths Homebrand Processed Bran
The name doesn't make you think it's a good pick but it's a cheap alternative to All-Bran. Loads of fibre and not too much sugar. I haven't tried it though so not sure if it tastes good ...
Kellogg's Sultana Bran Original
I'm including this one here because even though it's higher in sugar than what is ideal, it is naturally sweetened with sultanas so I love this option for kids if they won't eat plain flakes or bran. It tastes yummy. If you can get your kids eating this one, you can feel really happy they are eating a healthier pick. Pick the Original instead of the buds or clusters.
Sanitarium Weet-Bix Hi-Bran
This is the supercharged version of traditional weet-bix and it's pretty good for you! The only sugar or salt (pretty much) is from what you add. I think it could do with a sprinkle of seeds for added fibre/protein or enjoy with some fresh fruit like a banana or berries.
Uncle Toby’s Shredded Wheat
Another really simple breakfast cereal with loads of fibre and low sugar content. It gets 5 stars on the new health star rating system and it's pretty obvious why. Once again, I've never tried this one before but it looks really healthy.
High Commended Mentions
These come in as runners up because they have more fibre but less sugar so if you can't palate the winners (above), these are the next best choices...
Uncle Tobys Oat Brits
Uncle Tobys Weeties
Uncle Tobys VitaBrits
Coles Smart Buy Wheat Biscuits
Woolworths Homebrand Wheat Biscuits
Freedom Foods Active Balance Multigrain & Cranberry
Freedom Foods Active Balance Buckwheat & Quinoa
Be Natural Cashew, Almond, Hazelnut & Coconut
Freelicious Fibre Up Flakes
TIP: To supercharge my breakfast cereal, I always add a handful of seeds or nuts. I like pepitas, sunflower and flaxseeds. It's a great way to boost fibre, add plant-protein and get some healthy fats.
Tips for Picking a Healthy Breakfast Cereal
FIBRE // Look for lots of fibre - >10g/100g
A healthy breakfast cereal is a great way to get your recommended 25-30g of fibre. Most of us aren't coming close to hitting this target so make sure you're getting a high fibre choice like the ones I have recommended.
WHOLEGRAINS // More is best
The more wholegrains in a breakfast cereal, the better. They tend to advertise how much is wholegrain on the front so look for 50% of more. Generally, more refined cereals are going to have lower whole grain content.
PORTION SIZE // Be mindful
I used to binge on cereal (like many people) but since I quit diets and restriction, I can eat them mindfully again. We know breakfast cereals can be easy to overeat particularly when some packs recommend you only have 25g (thats tiny). Instead of weighing out my food which makes me feel like I'm dieting, I use a tea cup and a teaspoon to eat my breakfast cereal and I don't go back for seconds. If I am still hungry after an hour later, then I'll eat something else like a banana or piece of toast but I don't go back for seconds anymore.
CLUSTERS // Yummy but...
Yep - they taste great but what do you think keeps the clusters together? Generally sugar and fat. It's tough to find a healthier-for-you cluster so unless you find a unicorn (healthy clusters) rather just stick to normal brans and cereals. The healthiest one I could find is from Goodness Superfoods.
GLUTEN FREE // Lower in fibre
Unless you have to avoid gluten, know that gluten free products tend to have way less fibre. These products also cost a bit more and you'll get a lot of puffed rice. I really wouldn't recommend you go gluten-free unless you have to.
SUGAR // From where... But less than 10-15g<100g
Do you add sugar or honey to your weet-bix or bran? It seems that some people buy less sugary cereals but tend to add sugar anyway. Instead of adding sugar, why not try adding a banana or berries to naturally sweeten your cereal. That said, I'd much prefer you buy a high-fibre bran cereal and add honey than get a Frosty Fruits, Nutrigrain or Crunchy Nut.
When it comes to sugar content - Yes, less is best. I recommend you look at the ingredients list. Ideally, sugar should be coming from fruit (like in Sultana Bran) instead of refined sugars.
LOW GI // Slow-burning
Some cereals will say on pack if they are low-GI but companies have to pay quite a bit to legally say this so it's not a guaranteed way of knowing. A tip to keep in mind is that low fibre and fast-burning (high-GI) breakfast cereals tend to go soggy really quickly when you add milk. The fibre in cereals gives the grain more structure helping it to stay crunchy for longer. Compare Rice Krispies, Coco Pops and Puffed rice (which go soggy super fast) with Sultana bran, Guardian and oats. This doesn't always work but it's a good trick to keep in mind.
This is an independent review and I have no conflicts of interest to declare.