Ask Shelley Case: Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereals

Question:
I like to eat cereal for breakfast but now that I am on a gluten-free diet I have to give up so many of my favorite ones. Can you offer some suggestions?

Answer:

Cereals made with wheat, barley, barley malt extract, barley malt flavoring, or rye are off limits since they all contain gluten. Also,  regular oats are not allowed since they are frequently cross-contaminated with gluten.  But thankfully for everyone on a gluten-free diet there is now a wide variety of  tasty cold and hot gluten-free cereals on the market. It used to be that you could only find these products in health food stores but now more gluten-free cereals are showing up on the shelves of grocery stores. They are also available online from gluten-free specialty stores like glutenfreemall.com, glutenfree.com, glutensolutions.com, as well as a wide variety on Amazon.com or direct from the manufacturer.

Gluten-Free Ingredients
Cereals that are gluten-free and also nutritious can be made from grains such as brown rice, white rice, corn, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff and pure uncontaminated oats. Some may also contain nuts; seeds (e.g., flax, chia, sesame); dried fruits (e.g., raisins, cranberries, apples); or pulse flours (e.g., yellow pea flour).

Pure Uncontaminated Oats
These specialty oats have been grown on fields where wheat, rye or barley have not been grown for a number of years.  They also have  been harvested with dedicated equipment,  processed in dedicated facilities and have  been tested for gluten using very sensitive ELISA tests. The following companies produce these specialty gluten-free oats:
www.avenafoods.com
www.bobsredmill.com
www.creamhillestates.com
www.glutenfreeoats.com
www.giftsofnature.net
www.mtmonstermunchies.com

To find out even more information on gluten-free oats see my website:  http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/about_gf.php

Focus on Nutrition!
When choosing a gluten-free cereal read the ingredient list and nutrition facts table.  Look for cereals that are low in sugar, sodium, fat and calories; are high in fiber; contains whole grains and are enriched with iron and B vitamins.  Want to see how your favorite gluten-free cereal measures up? Check out my detailed charts comparing various gluten-free cereals on the market in the USA and Canada.

US Chart: http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/img/allergliv-summer2011usa.pdf

Canadian Chart: http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/img/allergliv-summer2011canada.pdf

Learn more about whole grains in my free handout called Whole Grains and the Gluten-Free Diet that offers nutrition information, cooking instructions, tips and recipes.

Gluten-Free Product Listing
I have over 3100 gluten-free products listed by company name, product name and package size in my book Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. In addition to all the products, there is detailed information about the diet including foods allowed and to avoid, meal plans, recipes, cooking hints and substitutions, nutrition information and practical strategies for healthy gluten-free living, a directory of more than 270 companies, resources and much more! See the table of contents at http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/toc.php and you can order the book directly at http://www.glutenfreediet.ca/orderCurrency.php or on Amazon.com.

Shakes, Fruits, Yogurt… and More!
If you are looking for some new breakfast ideas that are both tasty and gluten-free, see these ideas. Some of the breakfast ideas are perfect for “eating on the run” for those that don’t have time for preparing breakfast.

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6 Responses to “Ask Shelley Case: Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereals”

  1. Veronica Says:

    I have been working in the natural food world for a few years now and with all the GF products I have tried, cereal has consistently been my least favorite. I was introduced to Cocomama Foods, a GF packaged cereal that is made with Quinoa. The product is ready to eat out of the pouch, which I was skeptical of at first, but I tried there Banana Cinnamon flavor and it was really tasty, and creamy like oatmeal. With 5g of protein, it’s not to shabby for a GF breakfast. The price point is a bit high to eat at home everyday, – at $4 a bowl but the little pouch is super convenient for on the go. So when you consider people pay $4 for a sugary processed muffin at Starbucks is a regular I would recommend this instead.

  2. Mercy Says:

    Chex (except the wheat of course) is gluten free although not one of your healthier options. I also like to get the puffed rice/corn bags. I can find them for as little as $1.55 a bag.

  3. shelley case Says:

    Unlike puffed rice or corn cereals in bags, Chex cereals are enriched with iron and B vitamins. The other concern is that some puffed rice and corn cereals are made on lines where puffed wheat may also be produced so there is a risk of cross contamination. So it is important to purchase from manufacturers who have strict procedures for cross contamination, test for gluten and/or make claims about gluten-free status.

  4. Margaret Says:

    There are a lot of great looking cereals for gluten free diets on the marker. However, try this one, most have sea salt……… when you are allergic to all fish and sea foods (including smell) the sea salt does not work. Therefore, it is very limited when you look at how few are using standard table salt. Also, having diabetes proves another challenge as there is sugar content to consider in the product as well.

  5. Emma Says:

    Attune Foods also has some great gluten free breakfast options, their line of Erewhon cereals are my favorite.
    http://www.attunefoods.com/products/Gluten-Free-Breakfast

  6. Carin Says:

    Finding that I can have oatmeal. WOW! Glutenfreeda Maple Raisin with Flax This is a certified gluten free oatmeal. I buy 2 boxes a week.

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