In recent years we have seen a growing demand for dairy-free options. More people are embracing alternative dietary choices and seeking healthier, more inclusive food options. This shift can definitely be seen in the realm of breakfast cereals.
Whether you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or just want to explore new dairy free cereals for your breakfast, I have a great list for you!
Why Go Dairy Free?
Dairy-free cereals have gained widespread popularity for a variety of compelling reasons. They are not only delicious but also nutritious, and they perfectly match your dietary preferences. There are a myriad of reasons why opting for dairy-free cereal can be a smart choice for your morning routine.
Many people go dairy free as a result of a lactose allergy or intolerance. If you find gas, bloating and general discomfort after any dairy product, going dairy free may be your best choice.
Others go dairy free as a result of choosing to lead a vegan lifestyle. While there are health benefits to being vegetarian or vegan, you need to ensure that there are other sources of calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
Is Dairy Free Cereal Healthy?
Dairy-free cereal can indeed be a healthy choice, but it depends on the specific product and your overall dietary preferences.
Many dairy free cereals are made from whole grains and are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. They also tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to traditional cereals, which can benefit heart health.
For individuals with lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, or those following a vegan diet, dairy free cereals provide a suitable alternative. It’s essential to be mindful of added sugars, as some dairy-free cereals may contain higher sugar content.
Look for options with low added sugar, high fiber, and incorporate fresh fruits or nuts to make it more nutritious.
Difference Between Dairy Free and Lactose Free
Dairy free and lactose free cereals differ primarily in their approach to accommodating individuals with dairy related dietary restrictions. Dairy free cereals are entirely devoid of any dairy derived ingredients. This makes them suitable for people that are lactose intolerant, vegan diets or individuals with dairy allergies.
Lactose-free cereals are designed for people with a lactose intolerance. These cereals contain dairy ingredients, but they undergo a process that breaks down lactose, rendering it easier to digest.
Both options are suitable for those with a lactose intolerance. But individuals with dairy allergies or vegans should opt for dairy free cereals to avoid any traces of dairy.
Are Dairy Free Cereals Gluten Free Too?
Dairy-free cereals and gluten-free cereals are not the same thing, and their ingredients can vary significantly. While some dairy-free cereals may also be gluten-free, the two characteristics are not necessarily linked.
Gluten-free cereals are made without any form of wheat, barley, rye or other gluten containing grains. This is essential for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
It’s important to read nutrition labels if you need a gluten free cereal. Look for grains like oats, which can be cross-contaminated with gluten free options. They should specifically look for cereals that are certified as gluten-free to ensure they meet both dietary requirements.
What to Eat Dairy Free Cereals With
If you’re choosing a dairy free cereal, chances are you want a dairy free milk as well. Thankfully there are many options of dairy free milk on the market today. Here are my top picks for dairy free milks:
- Cashew milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Oat milk
- Soy milk
- Lactose-free milk
It’s important to note that although these items are called milk, they are not comparable nutritionally to cow’s milk. Make sure that you have a well-rounded diet to provide the calcium, vitamin D, and protein that cow’s milk provides.
Dairy Free Cereals List
Here are the top 30 dairy free cereals to choose from!
|Product Name||Portion Size||Calorie Content|
|Cheerios||1 cup||Approximately 100 calories|
|Rice Krispies||1 cup||Approximately 130 calories|
|Corn Flakes||1 cup||Approximately 100 calories|
|Special K||1 cup||Approximately 120 calories|
|Chex||1 cup||Approximately 120 calories|
|Kix||1 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Honey Bunches of Oats||3/4 cup||Approximately 120 calories|
|Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus||3/4 cup||Approximately 120 calories|
|Barbara’s Puffins||3/4 cup||Approximately 90 calories|
|Cascadian Farm Organic Purely O’s||3/4 cup||Approximately 100 calories|
|EnviroKidz Panda Puffs||3/4 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Nature’s Path Organic Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla||3/4 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Nature’s Path Organic Mesa Sunrise||3/4 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice||1 cup||Approximately 100 calories|
|Uncle Sam Cereal||3/4 cup||Approximately 190 calories|
|Nature’s Path Organic Whole O’s||3/4 cup||Approximately 100 calories|
|Annie’s Organic Cereal||3/4 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Flakes||3/4 cup||Approximately 120 calories|
|Enjoy Life Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal||1/2 cup||Approximately 140 calories|
|Mom’s Best Cereals Crispy Cocoa Rice||1 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps||3/4 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Freedom Foods Tropicos||1 cup||Approximately 110 calories|
|Van’s Cinnamon Heaven Cereal||3/4 cup||Approximately 140 calories|
|Three Wishes Cereal||1 cup||Approximately 100 calories|
|Love Grown Power O’s||3/4 cup||Approximately 130 calories|
|Back to Nature Classic Granola||1/4 cup||Approximately 140 calories|
|Wildway Grain-Free Granola||1/4 cup||Approximately 140 calories|
|Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats||1/2 cup||Approximately 150 calories|
|Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Superfood Granola||1/3 cup||Approximately 140 calories|
|Kind Healthy Grains Clusters||1/3 cup||Approximately 120 calories|
Note that this list is for informational purposes only. If you have an allergy to milk, be sure to read the label for dairy containing ingredients. There is no guarantee that any of the cereals above have not been contaminated with milk ingredients. Always consult with a Doctor or health professional before trying a new cereal if you have an allergy.
These cereals are not only dairy free but also come with various nutritional benefits. This includes whole grains for sustained energy, fiber for digestion, and often lower levels of added sugars. They offer a diverse range of flavors and textures to cater to different taste preferences.
Dairy free cereals are often vegan. They do not contain any dairy derived ingredients for a vegan diet which excludes all animal products. You do need to check individual product labels, as some dairy-free cereals may contain other non-vegan ingredients, such as honey.
As for the health aspect, vegan cereals can be healthy, depending on their ingredients and nutritional profile. A healthy vegan cereal should provide a good balance of whole grains, essential nutrients and minimal added sugars.
Many vegan cereals are made from whole grains and are fortified with vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious choice. Like any food, the nutrition of vegan cereal depends on the specific product. It’s important to read labels and consider factors like added sugars and processing methods when finding one that works best for you.
Whether you’re looking for a dairy free cereal for an allergy or for health preference, there are plenty of options on the market today! Be sure to read the label specifically and know what to look for when it comes to dairy free items.
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Michelle Saari is a Registered Dietitian based in Canada. She has a Master's Degree in Human Nutritional Sciences and is a passionate advocate for spreading easy to understand, reliable, and trustworthy nutrition information. She is currently a full time online entrepreneur with two nutrition focused websites.