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14 Kids' Cereals You Always Leave on Grocery Store Shelves

A bowl of any of these options will have you starting off your morning the wrong way.

The bowl of cereal. There really is nothing more nostalgic than pouring yourself some of your favorite sugary, sweet, colorful, and even chocolatey cereal as you watch some Saturday morning cartoons. It reminds you of a simpler time, when you would slurp up that leftover milk that most likely became the color of the cereal you were feasting on. Kids' cereals are true treats, but that doesn't mean they're good for you. Sorry, but they never were, and these worst' kids cereal options are proof.

In case you're suddenly in the mood to stock your pantry with these childhood favorites, or you're thinking about serving them to your own children, you'll want to take a closer look at exactly what's in these boxes. (Spoiler alert: it's tons of sugar, and not much else.)

Check out our breakdown of the worst kids' cereals out there so you know exactly which boxes to walk right by when you're in the grocery store. And if you're looking for more healthy habits you should be trying out instead, here are the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time!

1

Golden Crisp

Golden crisp cereal

Per serving: 150 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 85 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (0 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein

Don't let that bear fool you! One serving of this cereal costs you 21 grams of sugar. (And keep in mind one serving is one cup.) That's all added sugar we're talking about here, too.

If you're munching on a breakfast food that is packed with that much added sugar every morning, there's a good chance this will lead to weight gain, according to a BMJ meta-analysis.

2

Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles

marshmallow fruity pebbles cereal

Per serving: 160 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (0 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 2 g protein

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble can't be trusted—at least when it comes to the cereal boxes they appear on. These Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles are packed with sugar and tons of artificial colors—Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and Blue 1. Big yikes.

And to help you better navigate the store aisles, your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

3

Malt-O-Meal's Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys

Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys
Courtesy of Post
Per serving: 170 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (1 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 1 g protein

Chocolate and marshmallows, while a tasty combination, isn't, well, healthy. Not only is one serving of Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys packing more sugar than two French Crullers from Dunkin', but it's highly processed, which means it's loaded with ingredients such as Yellows 5 & 6, Blue 1, Red 40 dyes.

4

Honey Smacks

Kelloggs honey smacks cereal

Per serving: 130 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 2 g protein

When you see the first ingredient is "sugar," you already know there isn't really any hope this cereal will be considered healthy. One serving of Honey Smacks has 18 grams of the sweet stuff. It's important to note that if you're often eating sugary foods, you're going to end up craving more sugar. This can then lead to weight gain.

5

Cap'n Crunch's Cotton Candy Crunch

capn crunch cotton candy crunch cereal

Per serving: 150 calories, 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 2 g protein

Cotton Candy for breakfast? Absolutely not! This edition of Cap'n Crunch says "artificially flavored" right on the box and is described as "overflowing with blue and pink pieces full of cotton candy flavor." Just skip it.

6

Mega Stuf Oreo O's

mega stuf oreo os

Per serving: 160 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (1 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 1 g protein

Mega Stuf Oreos are not a cookie you should be eating often, so the cereal version is a no-go as well. One serving has nearly as much sugar as two Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts!

7

Funfetti Cereal

funfetti cereal

Per serving: 160 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (1 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 1 g protein

This cereal really gets across the message that breakfast can be a party, but starting your day with colorful sprinkles is just not right. Sorry.

8

Cocoa Krispies

Kelloggs cocoa krispies - unhealthiest worst cereals

Per serving: 160 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (0 g fiber, 15 g sugars), 2 g protein

Kellogg's might have gone ahead and finally removed artificial flavors and partially hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat) from this classic cereal, but that doesn't mean it's suddenly "healthy." There is still far too much too much sugar in one serving.

Plus, this cereal (like a few others on this list) is lacking in fiber. Eating foods that are high in fiber will have you feeling fuller for longer. So that means you'll be hungry soon enough after a bowl of this stuff!

9

Sour Patch Kids Cereal

Post sour patch kids - unhealthiest worst cereals

Per serving: 170 calories, 3.3 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 2 g protein

Sour Patch Kids is one of the worst candies out there, so it's no surprise the cereal version is just as scary. Pretty sure your mom wouldn't approve of you eating candy for breakfast, no matter how old you are!

10

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros

cinnamon toast crunch churros cereal

Per serving: 180 calories, 4.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 230 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 3 g protein

Churros are a truly decadent sweet treat, so starting your morning with it in cereal form is not ideal. While this version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch might be lower in sugar than the other cereals on this list, it's still packing in fat, carbs, and sodium.

11

Honey Maid S'mores

Post honey maid smores cereal - unhealthiest worst cereals

Per serving: 160 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (1 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 1 g protein

S'mores might be the perfect campfire treat you indulge in every summer, but it makes for a terrible breakfast option. One serving has 17 grams of sugar. It's best not to think out eating this every morning.

12

Krave Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

krave cereal

Per serving: 170 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 2 g protein

Starting your day off with chocolate chip cookie dough sounds like a dream, but this one is just too good to be true. Krave had great intentions here, but it's not easy to make this dessert treat healthy, and this cereal misses the mark coming in with 4 grams of fat and 16 grams of sugar per serving.

13

Cereal Mashups Frosted Flakes + Froot Loops Mash-Up

frosted flakes and fruit loops cereal mashup

Per serving: 160 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 230 mg sodium, 39 g carbs (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 2 g protein

Kellogg's mashups seem like a dream come true, as one box combines two childhood favorites: Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops. But together, they make for one sugary cereal combination that lands a spot on our list of the worst kids' cereals.

14

Dunkin' Caramel Macchiato Breakfast Cereal

dunkin cereal

Per serving: 150 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (0 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 1 g protein

Yes, you're seeing this right—Dunkin's Caramel Macchiato comes to life with crunchy cereal pieces and caramel-swirled marshmallows. It's made with actual Dunkin' coffee, so it might seem like a harmless way to lure in non-coffee drinkers to try the flavor out in a familiar treat. But coming in at 19 grams of sugar per serving is just a no-go, no matter how old you are!

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more