What breakfast cereal does not have gluten?

Eating a gluten-free diet has become increasingly popular, even for those who do not have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. About 1% of Americans have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, following a strict gluten-free diet is essential to avoid adverse health effects. However, going gluten-free has also gained popularity as a lifestyle choice, with many perceiving it as a healthier way to eat. With the rising demand for gluten-free foods, the market has exploded with products labeled as gluten-free, including breakfast cereals.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. When gluten reaches the digestive tract, the body mounts an immune response that damages the small intestine in those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Gluten is commonly found in foods like bread, pasta, baked goods, cereals, beer, and soy sauce. Reading ingredient labels is crucial for those adhering to a strict gluten-free diet.


There has been some debate over whether oats are safe for those with celiac disease. Oats do not naturally contain gluten but can become contaminated with gluten during processing and transportation. Many experts now agree that pure, uncontaminated oats are safe to consume in moderation for most people with celiac disease. Always look for labels indicating the oats are certified gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Oat Cereals

  • Cream of Rice
  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • GF Harvest Certified Gluten-Free Oats
  • Glutenfreeda Oatmeal

Corn and Rice

Cereals made from corn, rice, quinoa and other naturally gluten-free grains are easy to find. Look for varieties made with certified gluten-free grains that are processed in dedicated gluten-free facilities. Some cereals containing corn or rice may also include gluten-containing ingredients, so always check labels carefully.

Gluten-Free Corn and Rice Cereals

  • Chex (Rice, Corn, Multibran)
  • Barbara’s Puffins
  • Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch
  • Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise
  • Three Wishes
  • Lundberg Rice Cereals
  • Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Cereals

Gluten-Free Kids’ Cereals

Many popular kids’ cereals contain gluten, but there are some good gluten-free options. Watch out for cereals with wheat, barley malt and questionable oats. Opt for fun-shaped cereals made with gluten-free whole grains.

Gluten-Free Kids’ Cereal Options

  • Chex
  • Barbara’s Puffins
  • EnviroKidz
  • Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise
  • Glutino Gluten-Free Cereal
  • Cream of Buckwheat

High Fiber Gluten-Free Cereals

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and may be lacking for those who avoid gluten-containing whole grains. Luckily, there are plenty of high-fiber gluten-free cereals available. Look for cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

High Fiber Gluten-Free Cereals

  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats
  • Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Cereals
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Granola
  • Kind Cinna-Raisin Granola
  • Bear Naked Triple Berry Granola
  • Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola

Gluten-Free Granola Cereals

Granola and granola-based cereals can make a nice crunchy and satisfying gluten-free breakfast. Be aware that many contain wheat, barley or rye derivatives. Opt for brands that are certified gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination.

Gluten-Free Granola Cereal Options

  • Kind Healthy Grains Vanilla Quinoa Clusters
  • Bear Naked Maple Pecan Granola
  • Sunbelt Bakery Sprouted Granola
  • Julian Bakery Paleo Coconut Clusters
  • LyfeFuel Superfood Granola

Whole Grain Gluten-Free Cereals

Many gluten-free cereals are made from refined grains and lack important nutrients found in whole grains. Look for brands featuring nutrient-rich ancient grains like amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff.

Whole Grain Gluten-Free Cereal Choices

  • Bouchard Family Farms Puffed Millet
  • One Degree Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
  • Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola
  • Bear Naked Sprouted Grain Crunch
  • Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Cereals
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Sprouted Hearty Nut

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Cereal

Many people who must avoid gluten also steer clear of dairy due to lactose intolerance or sensitivities. Thankfully, non-dairy alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk and rice milk can be poured over cereal. There are also totally dairy-free gluten-free cereal options.

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Cereals

  • Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls
  • EnviroKidz Amazon Frosted Flakes
  • LyfeFuel Superfood Granola
  • Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola
  • Three Wishes
  • Nature’s Path Optimal Protein Granola

Gluten-Free Hot Cereals

A bowl of hot cereal makes for a warm, comforting breakfast on a cold morning. Oatmeal is the most well-known hot cereal, but there are other nutrient-packed gluten-free options to try. Just check labels since many brands also process wheat.

Gluten-Free Hot Cereal Choices

  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats
  • Cream of Rice
  • Cream of Buckwheat
  • Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Hot Cereals
  • Better Oats Oat Hot Cereal
  • Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Hot Cereal

Gluten-Free Cereals for Babies

The most common first foods for babies include infant rice cereal and oatmeal. Luckily, there are dedicated gluten-free brands of these cereals available for babies who should avoid gluten due to a family history of celiac disease or other reasons. Always consult your pediatrician first.

Gluten-Free Infant Cereals

  • Gerber rice cereals
  • Earth’s Best rice cereals
  • Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Free DHA & ARA cereal
  • Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Gluten Free Hot Cereal

Most Popular Gluten-Free Cereal Brands

When looking for gluten-free breakfast cereal options, stick to brands that specialize in gluten-free products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Here are some of the top gluten-free cereal brands:

Popular Gluten-Free Cereal Brands

  • Chex
  • Barbara’s
  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • EnviroKidz
  • Nature’s Path
  • Cascadian Farm
  • Kind
  • Bear Naked
  • Three Wishes
  • Arrowhead Mills

Tips for Choosing Gluten-Free Cereal

With so many gluten-free cereals available, it can be tricky to identify truly gluten-free options safe for those with celiac disease or on a gluten-free diet. Here are some tips for choosing safe gluten-free cereal:

  • Check labels for these off-limit grains: wheat, barley, rye, malt, triticale
  • Look for certified gluten-free labels
  • Choose brands that specialize in gluten-free products
  • Call the company if uncertain about processing practices
  • Avoid oats unless labeled gluten-free
  • Watch out for cross-contaminated corn and rice cereals
  • Reference gluten-free watchdog sites for brand reviews

What to Avoid in Gluten-Free Cereals

When selecting a gluten-free cereal, there are certain ingredients and labeling terms to steer clear of. Watch out for these on ingredient lists:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Malt
  • Oats (unless certified gluten-free)
  • “May contain wheat”
  • “Processed in a facility with wheat”
  • No gluten-free certification

Cooking Gluten-Free Hot Cereal

Enjoying a hot bowl of gluten-free oatmeal or other hot cereal takes just a few easy steps:

  1. Select a certified gluten-free oat, rice, buckwheat or quinoa hot cereal
  2. Measure out desired serving size into a saucepan
  3. Add recommended liquid (milk, water, non-dairy milk)
  4. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently
  5. Once thickened, remove from heat
  6. Let stand 1-2 minutes to continue thickening
  7. Transfer to a bowl and add toppings if desired

Delicious Gluten-Free Hot Cereal Toppings

  • Sliced fruit like bananas or berries
  • Chopped nuts or seeds
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Brown sugar or maple syrup
  • Milk or non-dairy milk
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg

Storing Gluten-Free Cereal

To maintain freshness and gluten-free integrity, store unopened cereal in a cool, dry place. Once opened, keep cereal in an airtight container to prevent cross-contamination. Cereal can last about 6 months past a best-by date if properly stored.

Gluten-Free Cereal Storage Tips

  • Store unopened boxes of gluten-free cereal in a pantry or cupboard
  • Transfer opened cereal into an airtight container
  • Keep storage containers in a cool, dry place
  • Label containers clearly as gluten-free
  • Use oldest cereals first
  • Discard cereal if moisture, mold or musty smell develops

Traveling with Gluten-Free Cereal

Bringing gluten-free cereal along on trips allows you to enjoy a convenient, safe breakfast on the go. Follow these tips for traveling with gluten-free cereal:

  • Pack single-serve cereal packets or mini boxes
  • Put cereal in resealable plastic bags or portable containers
  • Bring shelf-stable non-dairy milk or powdered milk
  • Use disposable bowls and utensils
  • Ask for a mini fridge, microwave and toaster if staying in a hotel
  • Wash hands before preparing cereal to prevent cross-contamination

Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance is a term used to describe those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Those with NCGS experience intestinal or extraintestinal symptoms when ingesting gluten. The symptoms tend to resolve when following a strict gluten-free diet. While less severe than celiac disease, gluten intolerance can cause significant disruptions in quality of life. Working with a nutritionist and doctor is key for diagnosing gluten intolerance. Trialing a gluten-free diet for 4-8 weeks can help determine if gluten is the culprit.

Common Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Rashes
  • Brain fog


Following a gluten-free diet has become much easier thanks to the wide variety of gluten-free breakfast cereals available. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can enjoy hot and cold cereals made from gluten-free whole grains like corn, rice, quinoa and certified gluten-free oats. Reading labels carefully and choosing brands that specialize in gluten-free foods are key to finding safe options. With so many delicious gluten-free cereals to try, living a gluten-free lifestyle is more achievable than ever.

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