A bowl full of Cheerios cereal and milk

    Portion Guidance


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


    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


    #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


    #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


    #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?


    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