What can I use instead of cereal? The best substitutes for cereal include grains like oatmeal, overnight oats, quinoa, whole-grain toast, and granola. Other delicious and nutrient-dense alternatives include eggs, Greek yogurt and fruit, smoothies, chia pudding, and a vegan-friendly tofu scramble.
Experts believe that eating a well-balanced breakfast helps to increase your energy and reduce cravings. Cereal is a yummy, ultra-convenient breakfast choice for busy individuals. However, cereals are often high in refined sugar and unhealthy additives.
Here are ten nutritious alternatives to cereal that will ensure a healthy kickstart to your busy day.
The Best Cereal Substitutes
Oatmeal is a classic, highly nutritious breakfast option made from rolled or steel-cut oats. Oatmeal contains beta gluten, a unique fiber that helps lower cholesterol and keeps you fuller for longer.
Oatmeal offers endless combinations of sweet and savory flavors. You can add milk, chia seeds, peanut butter, nuts, or fruit for an extra source of protein and fiber.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with ¾ cup cooked oatmeal. Although naturally gluten-free, individuals with gluten-related disorders must choose gluten-free certified oats to play it safe.
Overnight oats are a super convenient, nutritious alternative to cereal. Preparing overnight oats allows you to grab a quick breakfast with zero preparation.
Simply stir 1½ parts rolled oats and 1 part milk or yogurt together, top it off with nutritious goodies, and leave it to soak overnight into an irresistible breakfast. Our favorite toppings include nut butter, stewed fruit, maple syrup, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with ¾ cup overnight oats. Use rolled oats instead of instant oats to prevent them from becoming soggy.
Quinoa can be used for more than only for lunch and dinner. It is an excellent alternative to cereal, keeping you fuller for longer. This super grain is rich in protein, fiber, and iron.
Once cooked, season the quinoa with milk, cinnamon, nut butter, and citrus or berries. You can also opt for a savory version by adding an egg and sautéed greens.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with ¾ cup cooked quinoa. Adding citrus and berries to your quinoa breakfast bowl will increase iron absorption.
Whole-grain toast is another quick and easy breakfast option when replacing cereal. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, mineral salts, and complex carbs, which digest slowly and boost heart health.
Toast a slice of whole-grain bread. As for the toppings, choose between nutritious options like avocado, eggs, nut butter, cottage cheese, peanut butter and banana, and sliced turkey.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with 1 slice whole-grain toast. You can use other types of bread, but they won’t offer the same benefits.
Granola or muesli is one of the most straightforward substitutes for cereal. It is jam-packed with vitamin B and fiber, guaranteed to keep you full and energized till lunchtime.
You can simply eat your granola as you would cereal by adding milk or yogurt. However, our favorite is mixing it in a fruit parfait.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with ¾ cup granola. Opt for organic granola and avoid the sugar-filled variety.
Farm-fresh eggs make a simple, healthy breakfast choice that keeps you fuller for longer than cereal. Eggs are a rich source of protein, choline, and vitamins A, D, and B12.
You can enjoy your eggs hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, sunny side up, or in an omelet. Consider pairing your eggs with whole fruit, vegetables, or whole-grain toast.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with 2 eggs for a protein-dense breakfast option.
Greek Yogurt & Fresh Fruit
Greek yogurt works wonders as a quick breakfast option. It is a high-protein, low-calorie option full of health benefits like calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, and probiotics that support digestion.
Simply scoop ¾ cup Greek yogurt into a parfait or bowl. You can drizzle some honey over the yogurt to sweeten it without adding processed sugar. Then, top the yogurt with fruit like berries, mango, peaches, etc., for additional fiber and vitamins.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with ¾ cup Greek yogurt and fruit. You can use sweetened yogurt varieties, but they won’t be as healthy.
Smoothies are a nutritious on-the-go breakfast option that will keep you satiated. You can replace a full breakfast, including cereal, with a smoothie.
For the ultimate smoothie, add a mixture of healthy fats (almond butter, MCT oil, avocado, etc.), fiber (fruit, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc.), protein (hemp, pea, collagen, brown rice protein powder), and greens (kale, celery, spinach, etc.) to water or milk for a nutritionally balanced smoothie.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with 1 cup smoothie. You can experiment with smoothie combinations until you find the perfect drink.
Chia pudding is a delicious substitute for cereal. Chia seeds are low in calories, high in fiber and rich in antioxidants, which promote fullness for longer and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Combine ¼ cup of chia seeds with 1 cup of protein-rich food like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, or a protein shake. Pop the mixture in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top the chia pudding off with berries and nuts and enjoy.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with 1 cup chia pudding. Feel free to experiment with different proteins and toppings.
Tofu scramble is a yummy and healthy alternative for someone following a vegan or plant-based diet. Tofu is rich in protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Chop firm tofu into bite-size pieces and cook it over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add your favorite veggies, herbs, and seasoning, and serve immediately.
Substitute ¾ cup cereal with ½ cup (4oz) tofu.