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A bowl full of Cheerios cereal and milk

Portion Guidance

WELCOME TO THE CEREAL SERVING SIZE GUIDE

How much should you put in the bowl? As each cereal is a different shape and size, try our tips to find the answer…

FINDING THE RIGHT PORTION SIZE

A bowl of cereal as part of a balanced breakfast is a great way to start the day, but how much cereal you consume should depend on your energy needs. When it comes to cereal, we have found that a 30 gram portion fits well with the energy needs of a child between 6 and 8 years old as part of a balanced breakfast. In fact, this is the standard reference that we use on most of our cereal packs. This reference value makes it easy to compare the nutrition values of one cereal to another.

However, energy needs are variable. Some of the main factors to determine energy needs are age, size and activity level. Many adults and teenagers have higher energy needs than children simply because they are bigger.  As a result, teens and adults are likely to consume more than children.

Keep things simple by remembering the following approximate portions: 25 to 30 grams for children and 30 to 45 grams for adults.

So what does that mean for my favorite cereal?

Every different cereal has a different shape, volume and thus density, so the same portion may look different from one product to another.  Below, you will find tips to get the right amount in your bowl.

diagram showing how many grams of cereal adults and children need
Different types of healty breakfast cereals

THE THEORY OF CEREAL RELATIVITY

Like a kilo of lead and feathers, different cereals can have the same weight but different volumes. This is what 30 and 45 grams of cereal looks like.

PICK A METHOD TO GET YOUR PORTION

#1: WEIGH. Of course, the most accurate way to get 30 or 45 grams of cereal in a bowl is to weigh it! When you've done it once, you'll know what the portion looks like in your favourite cereal bowl, and you probably won't need to do it again. But to save you time hunting for your kitchen scale, we have some other methods which can help you get a similar result, with the help of our serving chart at the bottom of this page.

Diagram showing the steps for getting the right cereal serving size

THE SPOON STANDARD

#2: MEASURE. An easy way to measure your cereal is to spoon out a certain number of tablespoons. Well, it sounds easy until you remember that spoons come in different sizes! Our tablespoon measures 11.2 ml (and not 15 ml, as often used as a tablespoon cooking measurement), to be as close as possible to the tablespoons you normally use to eat. Here’s the dimensions of the spoon we used, so you can decide which spoon from your drawer should be used for measuring. Once you get the right spoon, refer to your cereal pack, or the chart at the bottom of this page to check how many spoonfuls are in a portion.

Diagram showing spoon size length, width and depth in cm and volume in ml

THE PORTION NUMBERS

#3: COUNT. Counting is fun and kids like it. We’ve found the number of pieces it takes to get the desired weight in the bowl. Of course, this method only works for cereals made of regular pieces that are all about the same weight. You may not have the time to do it every day, but why not try it on the weekend?

The number 283 made from grains

1,2,3,4! Try this measuring method just for fun.

The numbers are approximate and actual numbers might vary.

THE PORTION CHART

Pick your method and use this simple chart to get the suggested portion. Whether you’re measuring the number of tablespoons or number of pieces, you’ll find the suggested portion for your favorite cereal. It’s not as precise as weighing, but it will help you get an approximate portion for everyone from the youngest to the oldest member of your family. We hope you’ll enjoy filling your bowls as much as emptying them! And remember, to complete your breakfast by adding fresh fruit and dairy. Bon appétit!

Recommended cereal serving sizes for children and adults
Cereal and yoghurt in a bowl with fruit

COMPLETE A BALANCED BREAKFAST

For a great breakfast, adapt the bowl size to family members, and complete your meal with fresh fruits, dairy, and nuts, if you like them. Then enjoy!

Footnotes

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    Let'stalk

    We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:

    Do Nestlé products in emerging countries have more salt than products in developed/developing countries?

    For the last 15 years we’ve been working to reduce the sodium (which is the major component of salt) in our breakfast cereals across the world, because we want to keep on making them more nutritious. Achieving consistency on all products, in all countries, takes time - so some may have more sodium than others. Our aim is for all our cereals – globally – to have the same reduced levels of sodium, with a target of less than 135mg per serving in all our children’s products.

    What are the health and nutritional benefits of Nestlé Gluten Free Corn Flakes?

    As well as being a healthy choice for people who want to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, or have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, Gluten Free Corn Flakes are fortified with B-vitamins, folic acid and iron

    How can I find foods made with whole grain?

    Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too. It’s easy to know if a Nestlé breakfast cereal is made with whole grain: just look out for the Green Banner and whole grain tick on top of the box.

    I’ve heard a low GI diet can help me lose weight. Is this true?

    It’s too early to say. The science in this area is still emerging. There is evidence that low GI foods take longer to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer, but none that you’ll eat fewer calories at the next meal.

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    We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.

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