The shocking sugary truth about kids' cereals

It's supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but all too often, our kids are starting the day with a bowlful of sugar-packed cereal. Find out which children's cereals are the best and the worst in terms of sugar content

Kellogg's Frosties kids' cereal
(Image credit: Google images)

It's supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but all too often, our kids are starting the day with a bowlful of sugar-packed cereal. Find out which children's cereals are the best and the worst in terms of sugar content

It's supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but all too often, our kids are starting the day with a bowlful of sugar-packed cereal.

In fact, a recent report from Public Health Liverpool has highlighted the shocking amount of sugar in an average portion of kids' cereal, with some family favourites packing more than DOUBLE their daily allowance.

Councillor Tim Beaumont, Mayoral lead for wellbeing in the area, said of the findings: 'It is a myth that breakfast cereals are a healthy choice.'

'Some are, but most are loaded with sugar. Families simply don't realise how much is in them. Combined with other sugary snacks, drinks and chocolate bars, this is contributing to an alarming level of tooth decay and obesity in children. Dentists are having to remove teeth from children as young as five under general anaesthetic on a weekly basis.'

We've rounded up some of the most popular cereal choices on the shelves, from supermarket own makes to brand names, to give you a clearer idea of how much of the sweet stuff your child's serving actually contains. All of the nutritional information in our cereals round-up is based on a 30g bowl of cereal, which is most manufacturer's recommended serving.

It's not all bad news - cereal is a quick, simple, and relatively cheap food, and if it's your usual choice for breakfast, you'll be pleased to hear that it is possible to find a box of healthy cereal. (opens in new tab) However, it's important to stay informed and aware of the sometimes lengthy ingredient lists, so that you can navigate the added sweetener that's lurking in many go-to options.

Click through the gallery to find out which children's cereals are the best and the worst in terms of sugar content - we think some of the results might surprise you...

Kellogg's Frosties

(Image credit: Google images)

Tony the Tiger might well think Frosties are 'grrrrreat!', but we're not so sure. With 11g of sugar in every bowl, your kids will be getting a huge dose of sugar before they've even left the house for school. The figures below are based on a 30g serving, but Public Health Liverpool noted that a 40g bowl contains double the recommended amount of sugar for 7-10 year olds - and let's be honest, who doesn't let them add a little extra from time to time?

Cals: 113 kcal


Fat: 0.2g

Saturated fat: 0.03g


Sugar: 11g


Salt: 0.25g


Weight: 500g


Price: £2.28 at Asda

Mornflake Chocolate Squares

Mornflake chocolate squares kids' cereals

(Image credit: MySupermarket.co.uk)

Kickstarting the day with a bowlful of chocolate anything is probably not a good idea - squares, circles, loops, hoops, the shape isn't the problem...

Cals: 143 kcal


Fat: 6.2g

Saturated fat: 1.2g


Sugar: 9.8g


Salt: Trace


Weight: 500g


Price: £2.20 at Morrisons

Tesco Choco Snaps

Tesco choco snaps kids' cereals

(Image credit: MySupermarket.co.uk)

It's a pretty good bet that anything called 'choco' is going to be a weekend treat rather than an everyday breakfast choice - and these pops are worse for sugar content than the brand name make!

Cals: 117 kcal


Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.4g


Sugar: 9.6g


Salt: 0.2g


Weight: 350g


Price: £1.20 at Tesco

Kellogg's Coco Pops

Kellogg's Coco Pops kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

Chocolate for breakfast is going to set off a red warning light to any nutrition-conscious parent, so Coco Pops aren't a surprising entry in our chart. They may well turn the milk chocolatey, but they also turn it very sugary, too. Unsurprisingly, Public Health Liverpool highlighted them as another sugar-laden option to watch out for!

Cals: 116 kcal

Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.3g

Sugar: 9g

Salt: 0.23g

Weight: 510g

Price: £2.69 at Tesco

Sainsbury's Choco-Hazelnut Squares

Sainsbury's choco-hazelnut squares kids' cereal

(Image credit: MySupermarket.co.uk)

Nuts are a great source of slow release energy, so a perfect choice for children's breakfasts. However, the added sugar in these Sainsbury's Choco-Hazelnut Squares means your kids will also be starting the day with a serious amount of sugar in their cereal.

Cals: 129 kcal


Fat: 4.3g

Saturated fat: 1.5g


Sugar: 8.9g


Salt: 0.19g


Weight: 375g


Price: £1.20 at Sainsbury's

Asda's Frosted Flakes

Kids' cereals

It's probably not that surprising that a cereal with the word 'frosted' in its name are high up in our sugary cereals poll. They're not the worst frosted flakes on the market, but 8.6g per 30g is still notably high.

Cals: 116 kcal

Fat: <0.5g

Saturated fat: <0.1g

Sugar: 8.6g

Salt: 0.16g

Weight: 500g

Price: £0.95 at Asda

Tesco Frosted Flakes

Kids' cereals

Although they rank better than many of their frosted rivals, Tesco Frosted Flakes still contain quite a lot of sugar per serving.

Cals: 116 kcal

Fat: 0.3g

Saturated fat: Trace lowest saturated fat!

Sugar: 8.6g

Salt: 0.2g

Weight: 500g

Price: £1.20 at Tesco

Weetabix Chocolate

Weetabix kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

You could have these sweet Weetabix as a special weekend treat, but we wouldn't suggest them for every day. (This information based on a 2 biscuit serving, as Weetabix isn't a 'pourable' cereal!)

Cals: 166 kcal


Fat: 1.8g

Saturated fat:  0.8g


Sugar: 8.1g


Salt: 0.10g


Weight:  540g


Price: £2.69 at Tesco

Nestle Cookie Crisp kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

At least the name of this cereal gives away its high sugar content! If you wouldn't give your kids cookies for breakfast, maybe give Nestle's Cookie Crisp a miss too.

Cals: 114 kcal


Fat: 1g

Saturated fat: 0.4g


Sugar: 8g


Salt: 0.23g


Weight: 565g


Price: £3.38 at Asda

Kellogg's Froot Loops

Kellogg's Froot Loops kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

Don't be fooled into thinking Kellogg's has simply spelt fruit with a double 'o' to make the logo look good, it's because there's no fruit in this cereal...

Cals: 117 kcal


Fat: 1.1g

Saturated fat: 0.3g


Sugar: 7.5g


Salt: 0.34g


Weight: 350g


Price: £2.50 at Iceland

Nestle Honey Cheerios

Nestle Honey Cheerios kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

Honey is natural and considered a healthier option than white sugar, but it still counts towards your kids' GDA, so watch out for honey-coated cereals if you're trying to cut back on your children's intake.

Cals: 113 kcal


Fat: 1g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 7g


Salt: 0.28g


Weight: 565g


Price: £2.50 at Asda

Kellogg's Frosted Wheats

Kellogg's Frosted Wheats kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

Again, the clue's in the title. Frosted. In other words, covered in sugar. These 'wheats' are also high in calories compared to most of our round up.

Cals: 146 kcal


Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 6.8g


Salt: 0.01g


Weight: 600g


Price: £2.99 at Tesco

Kellogg's Honey Loops

Kellogg's Honey Loops kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

As with some of the other honey-flavoured cereals in our chart so far, Honey Loops have more sugar than honey, adding up to a grand total of 6.3g per serving.

Cals: 114kcal


Fat: 0.9g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 6.3g


Salt: 0.11g


Weight: 335g


Price: £2.50 at Iceland

Asda Multigrain Hoops

Kids' cereals

With slightly more worthy packaging than some of the more

kiddie-targeted cereals, and with 'multigrain' in the name, we were

hoping these Multigrain Hoops were going to have a low sugar content,

but unfortuantely that's not the case.

Cals: 115 kcal


Fat: 1.1g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 5.7g


Salt: 0.17g


Weight: 375g


Price: £0.95 at Asda

Asda Malted Wheaties

Kids' cereals

It's higher in fibre than many of its counterparts, but this malted cereal still packs a hefty punch on the sugar front.

Cals: 146 kcal

Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.1g


Sugar: 5.6g


Salt: 0.23g


Weight: 750g


Price: £1.10 at Asda

Tesco Multigrain Hoops

Kids' cereals

Although these hoops contain a lot less sugar than some of the cereals in our round-up, each one is still coated in it!

Cals: 115 kcal


Fat: 1.1g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 5.1g


Salt: 0.2g


Weight: 375g


Price: £1.20 at Tesco

Alphabites Multigrain

Alphabites Multigrain kids' cereals

(Image credit: MySupermarket.co.uk)

These Alphabites Multigrain have a moderate sugar content, but it comes from coconut flowers! This type of sugar has a much lower GI index, which keeps blood sugar levels steadier, helping stop sugar rushes and moody dips. (PS: in case you don't like the flavour, coconut flowers don't taste like coconuts!)

Cals: 112 kcal


Fat: 0.5g

Saturated fat: 0.1g


Sugar: 4.5g


Salt: Trace
 lowest saturated fat!

Weight: 375g


Price: £2.69 at Waitrose

Kellogg's Rice Krispies

Kellogg's Rice Krispies kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

Sainsbury's and Tesco's own brand versions of the original Snap, Crackle and Pop rice cereal are cheaper and contain less sugar. So if your little ones are fans of a noisy breakfast, save some pennies by making the healthier choice. Public Health Liverpool flagged these as a 'medium', due to the whole sugar cube in every 40g.

Cals: 115 kcal


Fat: 0.5g

Saturated fat: 0.1g


Sugar: 3g


Salt: 0.34g


Weight:  510g


Price: £2.79 at Asda

Sainsbury's Wholegrain Malties

Sainsbury's wholegrain malties kids' cereals

(Image credit: MySupermarket.co.uk)

There's just over a spoonful of sugar in every bowl of these Sainsbury's Wholegrain Malties. Not a lot compared to some of the cereals we've featured, but it's still flagged as amber on the box.

Cals: 147 kcal


Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 5.6g


Salt: 0.24g


Weight: 750g


Price: £1.80 at Sainsburys

Sainsbury's Wholegrain Malties

Kids' cereals

There's just over a spoonful of sugar in every bowl of these Sainsbury's

Wholegrain Malties. Not a lot compared to some of the cereals we've

featured, but it's still flagged as amber on the box.

Cals: 147 kcal


Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 5.6g


Salt: 0.24g


Weight: 750g


Price: £1.80 at Sainsburys

Sainsbury's Rice Pops

Sainsbury's rice pops kids' cereals

(Image credit: MySupermarket.co.uk)

With far less sugar than the original Kellogg's version, these Sainsbury's Rice Pops are a healthier choice for your kids' breakfasts.

Cals: 118 kcal


Fat: <0.5g

Saturated fat: <0.1g


Sugar: 2.8g

Salt: 0.21g

Weight: 500g


Price: £1.50 at Sainsbury's

Tesco Rice Snaps

Kids' cereals

Rice snaps/bubbles/puffs - whatever it is you call them in your family -

are a real hit with kids. And what's great, is that with these Tesco

Rice Snaps, you can let them have seconds without worrying about their

sugar intake!

Cals: 115 kcal


Fat: 0.4g

Saturated fat: 0.1g


Sugar: 2.7g
 low in sugar!

Salt: 0.2g


Weight: 375g


Price: £1.20 at Tesco

Weetabix

Weetabix kids' cereal

(Image credit: Google images)

Great news! Good, old-fashioned Weetabix (opens in new tab) have only got 1.7g of sugar per two biscuit serving. They are also low in sat fats and what's even better is that kids love them. As with most cereals you can jazz them up a bit with some fruit - although this of course increases the sugar levels. But even adding half a banana (6g sugar) won't come close to matching the sugar content of lots of these cereals - another reason why Public Health Liverpool rated them (along with other own brand versions) as a 'healthier' option!

Cals: 136 kcal


Fat: 0.8g

Saturated fat: 0.2g


Sugar: 1.7g lowest in sugar!

Salt: 0.10g


Weight:  24 x 18g


Price: £2.49 at Tesco