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The Unhealthiest Kids' Cereals

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. They never were!

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. (Spolier alert: it's tons of sugar, and not much else.)

Check out our breakdown of the 10 unhealthiest, worst kids' cereals out there. 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, 0 g trans 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, 0 g trans 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 navigate the store aisles even more, your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

3

Honey Smacks

Kelloggs honey smacks cereal

Per serving: 130 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans 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.

4

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.

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, 0 g trans 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, 0 g trans 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

Cocoa Krispies

Kelloggs cocoa krispies - unhealthiest worst cereals

Per seriving: 160 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated), 150 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (0 g fiber, 15 g sugars), w 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!

8

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!

9

Cereal Mashups Frosted Flakes + Fruit 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 Fruit Loops. But together, they make for one sugary cereal combination that lands a spot on our list of the worst kids' cereals.

10

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. Sorry, but it's best not to think out eating this every morning.

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