Top 10 Breakfast Cereals You Can Consume During Pregnancy

✔ Research-backed

Cereals are an ideal and go-to breakfast for most people. However, to choose the best cereal for pregnancy, you need to be aware of its nutritional composition. Being the first meal of the day, if you want to have cereal for breakfast, it should provide you with energy to get you through the rest of the day. It should also be enriched with vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, and other nutrients to cater to your nutritional needs during pregnancy. The right type can help you stay healthy and also benefit your baby.

Cereals are easy to prepare and the best accompaniment of milk. So in this post, we have listed out some of the best breakfast cereals for pregnant women, including their nutritional profiles.

In This Article

What Should Your Cereal Have?

There is a very simple rule that governs the right diet for your pregnancy months. Eat anything that helps your body attain all the vital nutrients and minerals that you specifically need during these nine months. Simple!

Trista Best, a registered dietitian, environmental health specialist, and adjunct nutrition professor, says, “During pregnancy, it is important to consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support your and your baby’s health. When choosing a cereal, look for one high in nutrients and low in added sugars. Some options include oatmeal, whole grains, and cereals enriched with folic acid and iron.

Also, vary your cereal choices and include a variety of other nutrient-dense foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Speak with a healthcare professional before changing your diet during pregnancy.”

  • Now, applying this to your breakfast cereal, you can very well figure out that you need a cereal that has the following basic properties:
  • It should be high in fiber content. This is necessary as, during pregnancy, you need to increase your intake of fiber-rich food. It helps prevent constipation, which is a common problem faced by pregnant women. So, look for whole-grain cereal or high-fiber cereal.
Best cereal for pregnancy should be high in fiber, minerals and vitamins

Image: Shutterstock

    • Your folic acid intake needs to be high during your pregnancy. So look for a fortified cereal that has high folic acid content. Lack of folic acid can lead to the formation of birth defects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3% to 6% of babies are affected by these defects annually.
  • Your cereal should have an ideal balance of carbohydrates that shall give your body the required fuel for energy.
  • The cereal that you eat during your pregnancy should also be organic and fortified with vitamins and minerals that are necessary during pregnancy.
  • The sugar content in the cereal should be substantially lower, so go for a low-sugar cereal option. Too much sugar is a big no-no!

protip_icon Quick fact
Barley-, oat-, and psyllium-based cereals lower cholesterol concentrations, and wheat-based cereals improve bowel function (1).

The Benefits Of Cereal

It is a myth that pregnant women must eat cereal for breakfast without fail. This makes no sense and it is not humanly possible for a person to eat cereals without a break every day!

The fact that cereals are recommended during pregnancy stems from the fact that it is a great way to give your body what it needs. There is no doubt that eating cereal for breakfast is quite filling. The benefits associated with eating cereals are:

  • Cereals are a great way to include milk in your diet. There are a lot of women who do not usually drink milk. So, cereals are a great way out for these women to have milk on a regular basis.
  • Whole grain cereals are rich in fiber and other minerals and vitamins. Hence, it is a good way to make sure that your body gets the stipulated amount of these every day.
  • Cereals can be had in many different ways. You can have it plain with milk only. You can jazz it up by adding fruits, berries and nuts to increase the flavor. Doing this also helps ensure you get all the required pregnancy nutrition.
You can have cereal during pregnancy with milk only

Image: Shutterstock

  • Eating cereal is fuss-free. Since you will have mood swings because of switching hormone levels, you may get hunger pangs anytime during your pregnancy. Cereals are a great way to deal with those pangs. Pour out your favorite multigrain cereal, add your favorite toppings, and you are set to combat your hunger the healthy way.

YouTuber and mother of one, Devyn, documented her pregnancy journey and shared tips on healthy eating during her pregnancy. In one of her videos, she described her healthy breakfast routine. She says, “I start my day with something simple and quick, and this is cereal. The cereal that I’m eating is oats and almonds, so it’s not too high in sugar or anything. Then, I like to add in half of the banana (as I always like to get fruit when I can) and some calcium-fortified almond milk (i).”

protip_icon Point to consider
Read the nutrient label of your breakfast cereal and ensure that it contains 5g or less sugar per 100g (2).

Best Cereals For Pregnant Women

Choose the 10 best cereals during pregnancy from the table given below:

Sl. NoCerealServing SizeNutrition profiling Index ScoreTotal Carbs (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)Fiber (g)Sugar (g)
1Post Spoon Size Shredded Wheat1 Cup8240g1g6g6g0g
2Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs2 Cup8230g1g4g2g0g
3Kellogg’s Unfrosted Mini Wheat Bites1 Cup8246g1g6g6g1g
4Uncle Sam Flakes¾ Cup7838g5g7g10g1g
5Fiber One – Original1 Cup7850g2g4g28g0g
6Nature’s Path Synergy 8 Cereal¾ Cup7824g1g3g5g4g
7Weetabix½ Cup7426g1g4g4g4g
8Kellogg’s All-Bran Original½ Cup7223g1g4g10g6g
9Cascadian Farms Multigrain Squares¾ Cup7025g0.5g3g2g4g
10General Mills Cheerios1 Cup5820g2g3g3g1g

So, the next time that you are out in the supermarket, stock up on cereal of various types, such as folic acid fortified cereal, folate-rich cereals, iron-rich cereals, calcium-fortified cereals, and protein-rich cereals, while keeping in mind the pointers that we mentioned.

Check the sides of the box for the ingredients and the nutritional value of the cereal you choose and make a healthy choice for a happy pregnancy!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a pregnant woman eat cornflakes?

Carbohydrate- and mineral-rich cornflakes can be a healthy breakfast option for pregnant women when paired with low-fat milk. Moreover, opt for plain rather than flavored variety, as the former may have added sugar (3) (4).

2. Why do I crave cereal so much while pregnant?

Increased requirements of nutrients and energy during pregnancy can make you crave nutrient-rich foods, such as cereals (5) (6).

3. Do my cereal cravings determine my baby’s gender?

A small study showed that pregnant women craving and eating breakfast cereal gave birth to boys more than girls (7). However, large-scale research is needed to establish this finding.

Cereals are excellent sources of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them the most-preferred breakfast meal during pregnancy. With various types of cereals available, it could be difficult for you to choose the best cereal for pregnancy. However, to help you out, we have listed 10 highly nutritious cereals along with their nutritional profile. Choose a cereal rich in nutrients and folic acid to meet your nutritional requirements during pregnancy. Also, do not forget to check the ingredients and nutritional value of the cereal before purchasing.

Infographic: What Should Your Cereal Have?

Selecting the appropriate cereal can help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and manage your weight while pregnant. Furthermore, it provides vital nutrients to you and your baby. Here is an infographic to guide you in choosing a safe and healthy cereal during pregnancy.

features of a nutritious cereal for pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Reference : 1

Key Pointers

  • It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods during pregnancy.
  • Cereal consumption is recommended for expectant mothers as it can provide essential nutrients and satisfy hunger.
  • When choosing a cereal during pregnancy, it is crucial to assess its ingredients and nutritional content.
  • An ideal cereal option for pregnant women should have high fiber, significant amounts of folic acid, an appropriate balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and minimal sugars.
best cereal for pregnancy_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Is it okay to eat Special K cereal during pregnancy? The following video explains to you the pros and cons of eating this cereal.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Peter G Williams; (2014); The benefits of breakfast cereal consumption: a systematic review of the evidence base.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25225349/
  2. 5 easy breakfast ideas in pregnancy.
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/nutrition-in-pregnancy/5-easy-breakfast-ideas-pregnancy
  3. Corn flakes; USDA
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/383344/nutrients
  4. Breakfast cereals ranked best to worst; British Heart Foundation
    https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/breakfast-cereals-ranked-best-to-worst
  5. A. J. Hill et al.; (2016); Nutritional and clinical associations of food cravings in pregnancy; Journal of human nutrition and dietetics; NCBI
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5054961/
  6. Cereals ready-to-eat, granola, homemade; USDA
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171646/nutrients
  7. Fiona Mathews et al.; (2008); You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing foetal sex in humans; Proceedings. Biological sciences; NCBI
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2602810/
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Dr. Irene (Eirini) Orfanoudaki is a gynecologist-obstetrician, having a private practice in Heraklion, Crete, and collaborating with private health clinic 'MITERA' - Euromeda in Heraklion. With around 21 years of experience as a gynecologist-obstetrician, she specializes in ultrasound, colposcopy, minimal and advance gynecologic surgery, aesthetic gynecology, fertility consulting, menopause consulting, operative obstetrics, high-risk pregnancy, normal deliveries, antenatal, intra-parum, postnatal care,...read full bio