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Whether you’ve been following a gluten-free diet for a while or are just getting started, you probably already know how difficult it can be to find replacements for your favorite gluten-containing foods.
Cereal is one of the most popular choices for a convenient breakfast or late-night snack, but many of the top-selling options contain gluten.
All of the products on this list are labeled gluten-free, and half are certified gluten-free by third-party organizations. Each product was chosen based on ingredient quality, flavor, and nutritional content, so you can easily find one to suit your taste preferences and lifestyle.
Here are the top 10 gluten-free cereals money can buy.
Many people who cannot tolerate gluten also have difficulty digesting dairy products. Thus, even if you’re not following a strict vegan diet, a vegan and gluten-free cereal may be most appropriate for your lifestyle.
1. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Muesli
Bob’s Red Mill is well known for producing a variety of high quality gluten-free foods, and their muesli is no exception.
This gluten-free muesli makes an excellent option for anyone looking for a vegan breakfast cereal that can be served hot or cold.
It’s made primarily from whole food ingredients like oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, and each 1/2-cup (58-gram) serving provides 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and only 2 grams of added sugar.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1/4 cup (29 grams).
This product is not certified gluten-free by a third-party organization, but it is produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Plus, each batch is tested for gluten contamination before and after packaging.
2. Purely Elizabeth Gluten-Free Granola
Purely Elizabeth’s line of gluten-free granola is another great vegan breakfast cereal option that’s loaded with flavor and satisfying crunch.
The company offers 12 flavor varieties, all of which are sweetened with coconut sugar and made with a variety of nuts, seeds, and gluten-free whole grains, such as quinoa and amaranth.
A 1/2-cup (45-gram) serving of the Original Ancient Grain variety provides approximately 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 10 grams of added sugar.
This product is a little higher in added sugar than the other options on this list. If you’re watching your added sugar intake, be sure to moderate your intake so you don’t accidentally consume too much.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1/3 cup (30 grams), and its products are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
If you’re a chocolate lover, Nature’s Path Cocoa Coconut Superflakes may be just what you’re looking for.
It has the taste, crunch, and mouthfeel of traditional corn flake cereal, along with a more balanced nutrient profile and rich chocolatey flavor.
Primarily made from a combination of sprouted black bean flour, brown rice flour, fair trade cocoa, and coconut flakes, it’s lightly sweetened with honey and coconut sugar.
Each 1/2-cup (28-gram) serving provides 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and only 3 grams of sugar.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1 cup (55 grams), and the product is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
If you’re feeding little ones with food allergies, it can be challenging to find options that meet their nutritional needs and please their picky palates.
Here are several tasty cereals that are kid-friendly and gluten-free, and they contain no more than 3 grams of added sugar per 1/2-cup serving.
4. Barbara’s Honey Rice Puffins
Barbara’s Honey Rice Puffins cereal is a treat for kids and adults alike.
The base of this cereal is made from whole grain brown rice, and it’s lightly sweetened with a combination of cane sugar, molasses, and honey.
Each 1/2-cup (20-gram) of cereal provides 1.5 grams of fiber, 1.5 grams of protein, and 3 grams of added sugar. It’s also fortified with calcium to support the growth and development of your kid’s bones.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1 cup (40 grams).
This product is not certified gluten-free by a third-party organization, but Barbara’s independently tests all individual ingredients, as well as each product batch to ensure gluten levels do not exceed 20 parts per million (ppm).
5. Nature’s Path Envirokidz Turtle Splash
Nature’s Path produces a line of kid-friendly, gluten-free cereals called Envirokidz. Each variety features a wild animal on the package alongside fun, educational activities.
The Turtle Splash cereal is chocolate-strawberry flavored and made primarily from brown rice and navy beans. It’s sweetened with organic cane sugar and free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Each 1/2-cup (20-gram) of cereal provides 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and 3 grams of added sugar.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1 cup (40 grams), and this product is certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
Cheerios are one of the most popular breakfast cereals around the world, but many people don’t realize they happen to be labeled gluten-free.
Cheerios are made from whole grain oats and fortified with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and vitamin D. They’re also relatively inexpensive, low in sugar, and kids of all ages enjoy them.
Each 1/2-cup (13-gram) serving provides 1.5 grams of fiber, 1.5 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of added sugar.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1.5 cups (39 grams).
This product is not certified gluten-free by a third-party organization. However, the company tests its products to ensure compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for gluten-free labeling.
You can likely find them at your local grocery store, or you can buy them online.
Hot cereal can be a welcomed alternative to cold cereal and milk, especially on chilly mornings.
Perhaps the best feature of hot cereal is how customizable it can be. Choose one as a base and then add all of your favorite toppings and add-ins to make it uniquely yours.
7. Gluten-free oatmeal
Adding oatmeal to your morning routine is a great way to increase your intake of whole grains.
Whether you prefer to make your oatmeal with rolled, instant, or steel cut oats, you’ll reap the benefits of boosting your intake of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals (
A 1/2-cup (40-gram) serving of rolled oats provides 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 0 grams added sugar — unless you add your own (
Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they’re often grown or processed in facilities that also handle gluten-containing grains like wheat. This can lead to inadvertent gluten contamination of the oats, making them unsuitable for people following a gluten-free diet (
To avoid accidentally consuming gluten from contaminated oats, make sure you opt for oats that are certified gluten-free.
Most grocery stores sell gluten-free oats, but you can also buy them online.
8. Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes
Although usually served as a lunch or dinner item, quinoa can also be used to make a comforting, nutritious, and hearty hot breakfast cereal.
Much like oatmeal, Ancient Harvest’s quinoa flakes are shelf stable and cook quickly, but they’re made exclusively from organic white quinoa.
A 1/2-cup (60-gram) serving provides approximately 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and 0 grams of added sugar.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1/3 cup (40 grams). Ancient Harvest’s quinoa flakes are labeled gluten-free but not certified gluten-free by a third-party organization.
One major drawback of most breakfast cereals is their relatively low protein content.
If you’re looking for a convenient cereal that contains higher than average amounts of protein, Erin Baker’s Ultra Protein Granola is worth a try.
It packs 10 grams of plant-based protein in each 1/2-cup (55-gram) serving, alongside 4 grams of fiber and just 7 grams of sugar.
Made from a combination of oats, peanut butter, and pea protein, it’s sweetened with brown rice syrup and molasses.
This product is not certified gluten-free by a third-party organization, but Erin Baker’s independently tests its products to ensure compliance with the FDA’s gluten-free labeling requirements.
Love Grown Power O’s offer the taste and function of a classic breakfast cereal without compromising on ingredient quality or nutrition.
Navy beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, brown rice, salt, and vitamin E are all you’ll find in these tasty little O’s.
Each 1/2-cup (80-gram) serving of the original flavor provides a whopping 10 grams of fiber, 12 grams of protein, and no added sugar.
Note the manufacturer recommends a serving size of 1/4 cup (40 grams). Plus, this product is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
Deciding which gluten-free cereal is best for you depends entirely on your personal goals.
Before making your final selection, you’ll want to consider the ingredient, sugar, and protein content, as well as the price, whether it’s certified gluten-free, and how you plan to use it.
In the United States, the FDA requires that any packaged food labeled gluten-free must contain fewer than 20 ppm of gluten. This threshold was chosen because it’s the lowest level that can be reliably detected using scientifically validated methods (
Notably, the FDA does not have a specific gluten testing standard for companies to comply with. Although each company is required to ensure products contain no more than 20 ppm of gluten, how they go about it may vary.
The lack of standardization regarding testing methods and frequency opens up more potential for inadvertent gluten exposure during processing. Thus, some people prefer to stick to products that are certified gluten-free by independent third-party organizations.
A variety of private organizations, such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and Allergen Control Group, provide gluten-free certification.
Many private certification organizations utilize the same 20 ppm gluten threshold that the FDA does, but some choose to set their own standards.
For instance, GFCO sets a threshold of 10 ppm gluten and requires the annual testing of all products, as well as the inspection of manufacturing facilities to maintain the certification.
If you have celiac disease or any other condition that requires strict avoidance of gluten, be sure to choose cereals that possess a gluten-free certification or check with the individual manufacturer to ensure compliance with FDA gluten-free labeling regulations.
If you intend to use cereal as the base of a complete meal, you may want to opt for those that are higher in protein and fiber. Alternatively, choose those that are easy to add complementary protein and fiber sources to.
For example, you could add nuts, seeds, or eggs to quinoa porridge, or sprinkle high protein granola over Greek yogurt.
Many of the most popular breakfast cereals contain lots of added sugar. Excess added sugar intake may contribute to tooth decay and increase your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes (
To minimize any potential health risks, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of added sugar to no more than 25 grams per day for women and 37 grams per day for men (
If you’re trying to reduce your intake of added sugar or promote blood sugar balance, opt for cereals containing little or no sugar.
It may also be helpful to be particularly mindful of your portion sizes, as it can be easy to accidentally consume more servings of cereal than you intended to.
If you need a cereal for on-the-go snacking, you probably want to choose one of the cold options, as the hot versions will require more time and tools for preparation.
If versatility is a priority, muesli or granola-style cereals may be your best bet, as they can be served hot or cold, or used as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, or toast.
There’s no wrong answer, as long as you choose the one that meets your needs.
Finding high quality, nutritious gluten-free cereals can be challenging.
Fortunately, a variety of tasty options are certified gluten-free and won’t make you compromise on flavor or ingredients.
Before choosing a cereal, it’s important to consider its ingredients, nutritional profile, price, and how you want to use it.
Taking those features into account will help you choose the one that’s best suited for your needs.