Cereal is really the unsung hero of breakfast.
But have you ever wondered how to navigate the cereal aisle with a vegan lens?
It’s simpler than you think!
This guide is your one-stop resource for everything you need to know about vegan cereals.
We’ve included our list of top vegan-friendly breakfast cereals, but if you find yourself wanting to branch out, a quick look at the nutrition panel can help you decide if the box goes in the cart or back on the shelf. For more box reading tips, check out our “Things to Watch For” section below.
Let’s get started…
Is Cereal Vegan?
As a die-hard cereal lover, one of my first questions, when I went vegan, was “can I still eat cereal?”.
I’m happy to say that the answer was (and still is) a resounding YES!
A decade later, I’d say that I’ve tried way more cereals as a vegan than I did when I still ate animal products – and much of that can be attributed to the fact that so many healthy food companies are coming out with vegan-friendly cereals for those with dietary restrictions.
Whether you need a healthy, whole-grain start to your day, or you want to dive back into childhood with something sugary and fluorescent, there are plenty of options that will satisfy your stomach and stay in line with your morals.
Vegan Cereals Worth Getting Out of Bed For
Quaker Oats Life Cereal Original
Quaker Oats Life Cereal is a heart-healthy choice for the whole family. Made with whole grain oats, it’s an excellent source of 5 B vitamins. Its sweet flavor is loved by both adults and children, making it a versatile addition to your breakfast routine. Perfect for those seeking a nutritious yet delicious start to their day. Standout features include its heart health benefits and the inclusion of essential vitamins.Shop Quaker Oats
Nature’s Path Whole O’s Cereal
Nature’s Path Whole O’s Cereal is a delightful blend of organic whole grain rice and corn. Sweetened naturally with pomegranate juice, this cereal offers a unique flavor profile that doesn’t compromise on health. With 14g of whole grains per serving, it’s a great choice for those seeking a gluten-free, non-GMO, and organic cereal option. Its standout feature is its simple, whole food ingredients, making it an excellent choice for health-conscious individuals.Shop Nature’s Path
Cascadian Farm Organic Raisin Bran Cereal
Cascadian Farm’s Raisin Bran Cereal is a delightful organic spin on a classic favorite. Made with organic wheat bran flakes and juicy organic raisins, it offers 7g of fiber and 21g of whole grain per serving. This cereal is a great choice for those who appreciate organic ingredients and a high fiber content. The standout feature is its organic twist on a beloved classic, making it a perfect choice for eco-conscious cereal lovers.Shop Cascadian Farm Organic
Cap’n Crunch Original
Cap’n Crunch Original Cereal is a sweet and golden delight that offers a satisfying crunch. This classic cereal is perfect for those who enjoy a nostalgic breakfast or a quick, easy snack. Its standout feature is its timeless taste that has been loved for generations. Ideal for those who appreciate a classic, uncomplicated cereal that pairs perfectly with their favorite type of milk.Shop Cap’n Crunch
Barbara’s Shredded Wheat
Barbara’s Shredded Wheat Cereal is a classic, clean, and lean breakfast option. Made from 100% whole grain with 0g of sugar per serving, it’s a heart-healthy choice. This cereal is perfect for those who prefer a no-frills, nutritious start to their day. Its standout feature is its simplicity, offering a pure and wholesome cereal experience. Ideal for those following a low-sugar diet or anyone who enjoys the hearty texture of shredded wheat.Shop Barbara’s
Kashi Organic Blueberry Clusters Cereal
Kashi’s Organic Blueberry Clusters Cereal is a delightful blend of sun-ripened blueberry granola clusters and crispy oat flakes. This cereal is an excellent source of fiber and provides more than half the recommended amount of whole grains. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy a fruity twist in their breakfast. Its standout feature is the inclusion of blueberry granola clusters, offering a burst of flavor in every bite. Ideal for those seeking a fun, wholesome, and satisfying start to their day.Shop Kashi
Three Wishes Unsweetened Grain Free Cereal
Three Wishes Unsweetened Cereal is a simple yet satisfying breakfast option. With zero sugar, 8g of protein, and no gluten or grains, it’s a healthy alternative to traditional cereals. This cereal is perfect for those who prefer a clean, uncoated crunch in their breakfast. Its standout feature is its high protein content and absence of sugar, making it a great choice for health-conscious individuals. Enjoy it with a smoothie, in a yogurt parfait, or straight out of the box!Shop Three Wishes
365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Morning O’s Cereal
365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Morning O’s Cereal is a wholesome and nutritious breakfast option. Made with organic whole grain oat flour and sweetened with organic cane sugar, this cereal is a great way to start your day. It’s perfect for those who prefer a simple, organic cereal with a familiar O’s shape. Its standout feature is its organic ingredients, making it a great choice for those seeking a clean, organic breakfast option.Shop 365
Arrowhead Mills Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Bran Flakes
Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Bran Flakes are a heart-healthy choice for your breakfast. Made with pure oats and natural fruit sweeteners, this low-sodium, low-fat cereal is an excellent source of fiber. It’s perfect for those who appreciate the benefits of oat bran in a tasty, easy-to-eat form. Its standout feature is its organic ingredients, offering a clean, heart-healthy diet. Enjoy the natural goodness of oats with every spoonful!Shop Arrowhead Mills
Post Grape-Nuts The Original
Grape-Nuts The Original is a classic cereal that packs a punch for the modern-day, active lifestyle. Made with whole grain wheat flour and malted barley flour, this cereal is an excellent source of fiber and is high in iron and folic acid. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a hearty, crunchy cereal that keeps them full and energized throughout the day. Its standout feature is its high fiber content, making it a heart-healthy choice. Enjoy the timeless crunch of Grape-Nuts in your breakfast bowl!Shop Post
Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Almond Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal
For those seeking a unique twist on their morning routine, Ezekiel 4:9 Almond Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal is a must-try. This cereal combines the nutrition of sprouted grains with the delightful crunch of organic almonds. It’s a high-fiber, vegan, and non-GMO option that offers a complete plant protein source. This cereal is a standout for its sprouted grains and inclusion of almonds. It’s a fantastic choice for vegans and those looking for a protein-packed start to their day.Shop Food for Life
Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins Cereal
Indulge in the delightful taste of Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter Cereal. This vegan-friendly cereal is crafted with real peanut butter, making it a hit for breakfast or snack time. With only 9g of sugar per serving and non-GMO Project Verified, it’s a guilt-free treat. This cereal is a standout for its authentic peanut butter flavor. It’s a fantastic choice for peanut butter lovers and those seeking a sweet, yet nutritious breakfast option.Shop Barbara’s
Nature’s Path EnviroKidz Koala Crisp Cereal
Dive into a bowl of Nature’s Path Koala Crisp Cereal for a wholesome and chocolatey breakfast experience. This organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO cereal is lightly sweetened and made with Fairtrade cocoa. It’s a standout for its commitment to ethical sourcing and environmental conservation. A perfect choice for those who crave a sweet, yet nutritious start to their day, and for those who want their purchase to make a positive impact on the environment.Shop Nature’s Path
Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits, Berry Fruitful
Experience a burst of fruity flavors with Kashi Berry Fruitful Whole Wheat Biscuits. This cereal combines the tangy sweetness of grapes, apples, raspberries, and strawberries, all encased in toasted whole wheat biscuits. It’s a fiber-rich choice that provides 100% of the recommended daily amount of whole grains. This cereal is a standout for its unique blend of fruits and whole grains. It’s an excellent choice for those who love a fruity twist to their breakfast and want to stay full and satisfied throughout the morning.Shop Kashi
Cascadian Farm Organic Gluten-Free Fruitful O’s Cereal
Brighten up your breakfast with Cascadian Farm Fruitful O’s Cereal. This gluten-free cereal is made with naturally fruit-flavored sweetened organic corn, offering a delightful crunch with every bite. It’s a standout for its gluten-free recipe and organic ingredients. This cereal is a fantastic choice for those who need a gluten-free diet or anyone who enjoys a fruity, sweet, and crunchy start to their day.Shop Cascadian Farm Organic
Things to Watch For When Shopping for a Vegan Cereal
This is an obvious one in cases of cereals like honey-nut cheerios, but don’t trust a box just because it doesn’t have honey in the name.
While sugar in some form tends to be the sweetener of choice for most breakfast cereals, honey can make its way into the ingredient list – especially if the cereal is from a more health-conscious brand.
It’s also worth noting that some sugars used in cereals can be processed using bone char, which is not vegan. Opting for cereals that use organic sugar can help avoid this issue, as organic sugar is not processed with bone char.
Boiled down feet? In my cereal? No thank you! Gelatin is a tricky ingredient, and you’ll usually find it lurking in cereals that have a frosting, like Frosted Mini-Wheats, or that include marshmallows, like Lucky Charms (sorry, fans).
Since gelatin is made from boiled down feet and connective tissue from [usually] cows and pigs, this means cereals that contain this ingredient are neither vegan nor vegetarian. Look carefully to ensure you’re not accidentally adding this cereal to your cart.
Breakfast cereals are a commonly fortified food, meaning that certain vitamins and minerals that don’t occur in the food naturally are added in during processing. In many cases, this is with nutrients like iron, but another commonly fortified ingredient is Vitamin D.
Vitamin D fortification can be tricky to navigate, as this vitamin can come in two forms. Vitamin D2 is derived entirely from plant sources, while Vitamin D3 can come from either vegan-friendly lichen or lanolin (sheep’s wool). Frustratingly, the source of the Vitamin D3 isn’t usually listed on the cereal box.
If you see that a prospective cereal lists vitamin D3 as an ingredient, you can usually take one of two courses of action.
First, look all over the box (usually on the front, or near the list of ingredients) for the word “vegan”. This has been a really helpful practice many food manufacturers have started doing that removes the time-consuming process of having to scan the entire ingredient list. If you see the word “vegan” (or certifications like “Certified Vegan” or “Vegan Action”) on your cereal, the Vitamin D3 is plant-based.
The other less immediate solution is to reach out to the company and ask about the source of their Vitamin D3. It won’t be instantaneous, but you’ll know for another trip.
Some cereals may list “natural flavors” in their ingredients, which can sometimes be derived from animal sources. It’s always a good idea to reach out to the company for clarification if you’re unsure.
Starting Your Day Off Right – and Vegan!
Whether you’re looking for healthy cereals, bowls of nostalgia, or something in between, there are plenty of breakfast cereals available that don’t rely on the use of animal products.
Many bowls of cereal are USDA-certified organic, use sustainable, natural sweeteners, and are made with ethical farming practices, so you won’t have to compromise to have a healthy breakfast. Look for cereals from companies that prioritize sustainable farming practices and use eco-friendly packaging for an extra layer of assurance.
Should you choose to try a cereal other than one of the ones we’ve listed (there are countless varieties out there), be sure to give the ingredient list a quick scan before making your way to the cash register.
If you see honey, gelatin, animal-based Vitamin D3, or non-organic sugar on the list, put it back on the shelf and try a different variety. Even easier? Look for cereals that list “vegan” or have a vegan certification on the box – not only will you get cereal you can eat, but you’ll also be supporting companies that make it easier to find vegan products.
When it comes to serving, don’t limit yourself to plain non-dairy milk (though it’s a classic for a reason!). Try adding fresh fruit or spices to your cold cereal, warm up the milk, or use your favorite protein shake in place of milk for a healthy post-workout meal.