Find out what your options are for gluten-free cereal, brands to look for, and discover if your favorite cereals are gluten-free.
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If you love to enjoy a bowl of cereal for breakfast, you might have had a mini crisis after going gluten-free, realizing that many popular cereals contain gluten. Maybe even your favorites! *gasp!*
That’s exactly what happened to me when I removed gluten from my diet. I realized very quickly that most cereal and processed foods contain gluten, and it was easier for me to cut out all of them and go back to basics while relearning how to feed myself for a while.
This was years ago when eating gluten-free wasn’t trendy and not many people were talking about it. In fact, this was before gluten-free labels were pretty hard to come by on the shelves at most grocery stores.
While I don’t have celiac disease, I do have a gluten intolerance which lead me to remove gluten from my diet.
Since that time, removing gluten from your diet has become so much easier with the introduction of full lines of convenience foods that carry gluten-free labels.
You can walk down almost any store aisle and find a packaged food that will tell you immediately whether it’s safe for your gluten-free diet or not.
If you’re just getting started going gluten-free or you’ve been at it for a while and are looking for some new breakfast options to mix things up once in a while, this post is for you.
In this post, I’m going to outline as many gluten-free cereals as I possibly can, so you have options for both healthy cereals and super sugary sweet cereals that can double as dessert.
I’m also going to dive into some popular breakfast cereals and answer the question you’re probably dying to know the answer to: Is my favorite cereal gluten-free? I did the research and I’ll share my findings with you later in the post.
First, let’s talk about the basics of cereal and a gluten-free diet.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Many processed foods often have gluten in the form of natural gluten grains or an ingredient that has been derived from a gluten-containing grain.
What is cereal made of?
Different types of cereal are made with different ingredients, although most cereal you find on grocery store shelves are some form of wheat, corn, rice, or other grain along with many other ingredients that help give the cereal flavor and texture.
Cereal is a processed food, meaning it’s broken down from its original food source, then put back together in different ways.
If you’ve been gluten-free for any amount of time, you’ll know that the more processing that’s been done to an ingredient, the more likely it is to have come into contact with gluten somewhere during the manufacturing process.
I do my best to enjoy cereals that are certified gluten-free and made from whole grains, but for the sake of the list here, we’ll cover anything that is considered gluten-free, no matter the ingredient list.
Where does gluten show up in cereal?
Gluten can be found in some cereal products in the form of wheat, wheat flour, wheat starch, malt flavor, malt extract, or malt barley. You can also find gluten hidden in flavorings in some cereal.
Since gluten can show up under so many different names, it’s important to read ingredients lists for each cereal you buy. Sometimes one flavor of a cereal is gluten-free, but another from the same brand isn’t.
Companies can change their recipes at any time, so it’s important to do your due diligence before purchasing and look for the gluten-free label on the package or read the ingredients list to make sure that there is no hidden gluten in the cereal.
A gluten-free label indicates that there are less than 20ppm of gluten in the product as per the FDA, ensuring there isn’t’ a chance for a reaction from gluten to the product.
Read on: Is malt flavor gluten-free?
Read on: Is malt gluten-free?
List of Gluten-free Cereals
Find a list of some of the best gluten-free cereals from some well known and lesser known brands here. All of these cereals have gluten-free labels, so you know you can trust them as being gluten-free.
Most of the cereals list are also dairy-free, but not all. Double check ingredients lists before purchasing to make sure there aren’t any hidden sources of milk or dairy products.
If you need help with this, you might want to pick up a copy of my GFDF Take-Along Cards.
One of my little secrets is that I carry around a copy of my GFDF Take Along Cards so that I always have a point of reference when I can sneak a peek at the ingredient list of a food.
Annie’s brand has a number of gluten-free products, but only one cereal to choose from. Look for this one at your local grocery store.
- Sprouted Corn Flakes
- Maple Buckwheat Flakes
Read on: Is buckwheat flour gluten-free?
Barbara’s Bakery offers some gluten-free cereal options, as well as some that contain wheat. There are also products that do not contain gluten-containing ingredients but don’t have a gluten-free label.
You’ll want to choose a cereal based on your level of sensitivity, as well as your comfort level with trace amounts of gluten.
- Berry Burst Protein Puffins
- Honey Rice Puffins
- Multigrain Puffins
- Pumpkin Puffins
- Organic Brown Rice Crisps Cereal
- Organic Corn Flakes Cereal
Many Cheerios flavors are gluten-free! Here is a list of their current flavors that have gluten-free labels on them.
- Toasted Coconut Cheerios
- Blueberry Cheerios
- Maple Cheerios
- Peach Cheerios
- Original Cheerios
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Multigrain Cheerios
- Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
- Chocolate Cheerios
- Fruity Cheerios
- Frosted Cheerios
- Banana Nut Cheerios
- Chocolate Strawberry
- Cinnamon Cheerios
Read on: Are Honey Nut Cheerios gluten-free?
Many flavors of Chex are gluten-free. Wheat Chex contains gluten, so this option needs to be avoided if you plan to be on a gluten-free diet.
- Rice Chex
- Corn Chex
- Peanut Butter Chex
- Cinnamon Chex
- Honey Nut Chex
- Vanilla Chex
Read on: Is Chex cereal gluten-free?
This cereal by Nature’s Path is organic and comes in a few different flavors. These products are labeled as gluten-free, so you know they’re safe for your gluten-free diet.
- Chocolate Koala Crisp
- Peanut Butter Panda Puffs
- Gorilla Munch Corn Puffs
- Chocolate Choco Chimps
- Berry Blast Cheetah Chomps
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Leapin’ Lemurs
- Frosted Amazon Flakes
- Strawberry Chocolate Turtle Splash
This brand uses rice as a base for their cereals. Since we know rice is naturally gluten-free, this is a good brand to trust.
- Cinnamon Crispy Brown Rice Gluten-free Cereal
- Harvest Medley Gluten-free Cereal
- Crispy Brown Rice Gluten-free Cereal
Forager has organic whole grain-free O’s that are made with cassava root and navy beans as a base for their recipe. They are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
Love Grown Foods offers cereals, granola, and oatmeal. All their products are gluten-free.
- Truly Fruity Sea Stars
- Cinnamon Lion Hearts
- Chocolate Comet Crispies
- Honey Nut Grain Free Cereal
- Cinnamon Sweet Potato Grain Free Cereal
- Toasted Coconut Almond Grain Free Cereal
Lucky Charms original flavor are gluten-free and dairy-free, but their other flavors contain gluten. Stick with the original!
Read on: Are Lucky Charms gluten-free?
There are a few different flavors of Nature’s Path cereals that are available. Try one of these gluten-free options from Nature’s Path. They are also the parent company of Envirokidz, so this brand has quite a few choices.
- Fruit Juice Sweetened Corn Flakes
- Fruit Turmeric Corn Flakes
- Honey’d Corn Flakes
- Mesa Sunrise Cereal
- Mesa Sunrise Cereal with Raisins
- Sunrise Crunchy Honey
- Sunrise Crunchy Maple Cereal
- Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla Cereal
- Sunrise Crunchy Cinnamon Cereal
- Sunrise Crunchy Honey Cereal
- Purple Acai Cereal
Read on: Are raisins gluten-free?
One Degree has a number of different gluten-free cereal options and flavors.
- Sprouted Cacao O’s
- Sprouted Honey O’s
- Sprouted Oat O’s
- Sprouted Ancient Maize Flakes
- Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps
- Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
- Sprouted Corn Flakes
Believe it or not, Post offers gluten-free cereal. Their Pebbles cereal are made with rice.
- Fruity Pebbles
- Cocoa Pebbles
Read on: Are Fruity Pebbles gluten-free?
All flavors of Three Wishes cereal are gluten-free.
This one flavor of Thrive Market brand cereal is gluten-free, but all their other options are not.
What cereal is gluten-free?
Find out if your favorite brands of cereal are gluten-free. I’ve done the research so you don’t have to! Scroll down to look for your favorites.
Are Apple Jacks gluten-free?
Apple Jacks show that they contain wheat flour in their ingredients list, as well as being produced on equipment that also processes gluten-containing ingredients. You’ll want to avoid this cereal on a gluten-free diet.
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios might be a good gluten-free alternative.
Read on: Are Apple Jacks gluten-free?
Is Captain Crunch (Cap’n Crunch) gluten-free?
According to the Cap’n Crunch website, the oats they buy are handled and transported in bulk by their suppliers. They acknowledge that cross contact is possible and probable, so you will likely want to steer clear of this cereal option.
Read on: Is Captain Crunch gluten-free?
Are Cheerios gluten-free?
Cheerios contain no gluten-containing ingredients AND they have a gluten-free label on the packaging. For any food product to have a gluten-free label, it must contain less than 20ppm of gluten.
We can safely say that Cheerios are gluten-free and safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet.
Read on: Are Cheerios gluten-free?
Are Chex gluten-free?
Many flavors of Chex are gluten-free and have gluten-free labels on their boxes. Wheat Chex contains gluten, so this flavor should be avoided if you’re following a gluten-free diet.
Review the list above for a full list of gluten-free flavors and options.
Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch gluten-free?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch contains whole grain wheat as the first ingredient, meaning it is not safe for a gluten-free diet. Choose a gluten-free alternative with a cinnamon flavor from the list as a substitute, like Cinnamon Chex.
Are Cocoa Krispies gluten-free?
Cocoa Krispies contain malt flavor, which is a gluten-containing ingredient that comes from barley. This is not a gluten-free cereal.
If you love Cocoa Krispies and are looking for a gluten-free alternative, try Chocolate Koala Crisps by Envirokidz.
Are Cocoa Puffs gluten-free?
Cocoa Puffs have a note on their ingredients list stating “May contain wheat ingredients.” This signals there is gluten in the cereal, and you’ll want to avoid it on a gluten-free diet.
Try one of the other chocolate flavored cereals in the gluten-free cereal list earlier in the post.
Read on: Are Cocoa Puffs gluten-free?
Are Corn Flakes gluten-free?
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are not gluten-free, as they contain malt flavor. Malt flavor is derived from barley, a gluten-containing grain.
There are some brands that make corn flakes without malt barley, so you can still enjoy this type of cereal without having to risk eating gluten.
Read on: Are Corn Flakes gluten-free?
Are Corn Pops gluten-free?
Unfortunately for us gluten-free folks, Corn Pops do contain gluten and aren’t safe for this diet. In the ingredients list, wheat starch is listed as an ingredient.
Wheat starch along with almost all wheat derivatives contain gluten and should be avoided on a gluten-free diet.
Read on: Are Corn Pops gluten-free?
Is Crispix gluten-free?
Crispix used to contain barley malt as a main ingredient in their cereal. They do not use this ingredient any longer, but the brand also doesn’t have a gluten-free label on their packaging.
While there is conflicting information online through different website, going straight to the source, Kellogg’s makes this statement regarding whether or not there is gluten in Crispix:
“Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Krispies, Crispix, and Frosted Flakes are wheat free but are not labeled gluten free because they contain malt which comes from barley and may contain gluten.”
Read on: Is Crispix gluten-free?
Are Frosted Flakes gluten-free?
Frosted Flakes contain malt flavor, which is derived from barley. Barley is a grain that contains gluten. This cereal is not gluten-free and is not a good option for folks following a gluten-free diet.
Read on: Are Frosted Flakes gluten-free?
Are Fruit Loops gluten-free?
Fruit Loops lists wheat flour in their ingredients list, making this not a gluten-free cereal option. If you love the flavor of Fruit Loops, try Fruity Cheerios or Truly Fruity Sea Stars by the Love Grown Foods brand.
Read on: Are Froot Loops gluten-free?
Are Fruity Pebbles gluten-free?
Believe it or not, Post offers gluten-free cereal. Their Pebbles cereal are made with rice and have a gluten-free label on the packaging.
Read on: Are Fruity Pebbles gluten-free?
Are Kix gluten-free?
Kix Cereal contains no gluten-containing ingredients, however it does not have a gluten-free label on the product. This could mean there’s a potential for cross contamination from manufacturing or the company just hasn’t taken steps to test the product.
Eat Kix cereal at your own risk, knowing what your level of sensitivity to gluten is and what your reaction might be to trace amounts from cross contamination.
Is Life Cereal gluten-free?
The ingredients list for Life Cereal contains whole wheat flour, making this not a good gluten-free cereal option. If you like this cereal, you might try one of the many flavors of gluten-free Chex that are available.
Read on: Is Life Cereal gluten-free?
Are Lucky Charms gluten-free?
As I was researching this, I was actually surprised to learn that Lucky Charms is a gluten-free AND dairy-free cereal. This cereal has a gluten-free label and contains no gluten-containing ingredients.
Is Raisin Bran gluten-free?
The first ingredient listed in the ingredients list for Raisin bran is whole grain wheat. This cereal contains gluten and is not safe for a gluten-free diet.
If you love Raisin Bran, try a cereal like One Degree Corn Flakes and add your own raisins to the bowl for a gluten-free alternative.
Read on: Is Raisin Bran gluten-free?
Are Rice Krispies gluten-free?
Rice Krispies contain malt, a gluten-containing ingredient derived from barley. There are brands of puffed rice cereal you can buy that are gluten-free that you can use as an alternative.
Read on: Are Rice Krispies gluten-free?
Is Special K gluten-free?
Special K lists wheat gluten, defatted wheat germ, and malt flavoring as ingredients in their cereal. It’s safe to say that this is not a gluten-free product and you’ll want to find an alternative to meet your gluten-free needs.
Read on: Is Special K gluten-free?
Is Trix gluten-free?
The main ingredient of this cereal is corn, not wheat. Trix cereal does not list any gluten ingredients in their ingredients list, however it does not have a gluten-free label on the packaging.
Cross contamination may be a possibility with this cereal, so use your best judgement based on what you know about your body and your level of sensitivity to gluten.
Read on: Is Trix gluten-free?
I hope if you’ve been on the hunt for a gluten-free cereal, that this list gives you hope that you can still enjoy a bowl of cereal any time you like and stick to your gluten-free diet.
If your favorites didn’t make the gluten-free cut, know that there are a lot of great alternatives out there for most cereal options.