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What Cereals Are Gluten Free? From Oatmeal to Cornflakes

What Cereals Are Gluten Free

Gluten-free cereals have gained much attention recently because of the growing awareness of gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, and rye and can cause digestive issues, inflammation, and other health problems in some individuals. For this reason, people who are sensitive to gluten or who have celiac disease should avoid foods containing it, including many types of cereal.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to gluten-free cereals. Many people who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease often struggle to find cereals that are safe for them to eat. With so many different types of cereals available, it can be challenging to know which ones are gluten-free and which are not.

This article will also provide tips on reading cereal labels to ensure they do not contain gluten. This piece aims to help individuals who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease make informed choices about the types of cereals they consume. Readers can enjoy a delicious and nutritious breakfast without compromising their health by providing detailed information about gluten-free options.

Key Takeaways

  • The availability of gluten-free cereals has increased in recent years, with many famous brands like Rice Chex, Honey Nut Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles now offering gluten-free options.
  • When looking for gluten-free cereals, read the label carefully and check for hidden sources of gluten, such as malt flavoring or wheat starch.
  • Some cereals such as corn, sorghum and oats require special processing to remove gluten, making them safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

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What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, and rye. It is a complex mixture of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. When these proteins combine with water, they form a sticky and elastic substance that gives bread and other baked goods their characteristic texture.

Related: Healthy Living Made Easy: Going Dairy and Gluten Free

Why Some People Need to Avoid Gluten

While gluten is harmless for most people, some cannot digest it properly. People with celiac disease, for instance, have an autoimmune condition that causes their bodies to react negatively to gluten.

When they consume gluten, their immune system attacks the small intestine, leading to various health problems, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and malnutrition. Over time, celiac disease can also damage the lining of the small intestine, leading to other complications, such as anemia and osteoporosis.

Why Some People Need to Avoid Gluten

In addition to celiac disease, some people may have gluten sensitivity or intolerance. While these conditions are not as severe as celiac disease, they can still cause uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Because of the adverse effects of gluten on specific individuals, many food manufacturers have started to produce gluten-free products, including cereals. These cereals don't have wheat, barley, rye, or other gluten-containing ingredients. Instead, manufacturers often make them from alternative grains like rice, corn, quinoa, or millet.

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Gluten-Free Cereal Options

Naturally Gluten-Free Cereals

Rice Cereals

Rice cereals are a popular gluten-free option. They come from rice flour and come in different flavors. Some of the famous rice cereal brands include Rice Chex and Rice Krispies.

Corn Cereals

Corn cereals are another gluten-free option that is widely available. They contain corn flour and come in different flavors. Some of the popular corn cereal brands include Corn Chex and Corn Flakes.

Quinoa Cereals

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain. Quinoa cereals are a nutritious gluten-free option that is becoming more popular. Some popular quinoa cereal brands include Ancient Harvest and Quinoa Queen.

Buckwheat Cereals

Buckwheat is a gluten-free grain that is high in protein and fiber. Brands like Arrowhead Mills offer buckwheat flakes that make a tasty and healthy cereal.

Gluten-Free Versions of Popular Cereals

Here are four popular kinds of cereal and their gluten-free counterparts.


Cheerios, the popular oat-based cereal, now offers a gluten-free version. This cereal is gluten-free, low in fat and cholesterol, and made with whole-grain oats. The gluten-free Cheerios taste like the original, with the same great texture and flavor. Plus, they're perfect for a quick and easy breakfast.


Chex, the classic cereal brand, has several gluten-free options. From corn to rice to cinnamon, Chex offers a variety of flavors to choose from. These cereals are gluten-free and free of artificial flavors and colors. Enjoy them with milk or as a crunchy snack on their own.

Fruity Pebbles

Fruity Pebbles, the colorful and fruity cereal, also has a gluten-free version. This cereal is gluten-free, low in fat and cholesterol, and made with whole-grain rice. The gluten-free Fruity Pebbles taste just as fruity and crunchy as the original, making them a fun and delicious breakfast option.

Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies, the classic crispy cereal, now offers a gluten-free version made with brown rice. This cereal is gluten-free and free of artificial flavors and colors. Enjoy it with milk or as a base for homemade gluten-free treats like crispy rice.

Tips For Buying Gluten-Free Cereals

When buying gluten-free cereals, it is essential to be cautious and diligent in your approach. Here are tips to help you make the best choices:

Read Labels

Reading the labels is the first step to ensure that the cereal you buy is gluten-free. Check for the gluten-free certification logo or any indication that the product is free from wheat, barley, rye, and oats. It's important to note that oats are naturally gluten-free, but manufacturers often process them in facilities that also process gluten-containing products. Therefore, looking for oats with a gluten-free label is essential.

Check for Cross-Contamination

Even if a product has a gluten-free label, it's essential to check if it is from a facility that processes wheat, barley, or rye. Cross-contamination can occur during manufacturing, leading to gluten traces in the final product. Look for products manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility or those that undergo rigorous testing to ensure they are free from gluten contamination.

Be Wary of Added Ingredients

Some gluten-free cereals may contain added ingredients unsuitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For example, some cereals may contain barley malt extract or flavoring which is not gluten-free. Always check the ingredient list, even if the product has a gluten-free label.

Try New Options

Several gluten-free cereal options are available, so don't be afraid to try new products. Experiment with different flavors and brands to find the ones that suit your taste and dietary needs. You may discover a new favorite cereal you would have never considered.

Related: What Liquors Are Gluten-free? A Detailed Guide

Making Your Gluten-Free Cereal

In the same way you can bake your own gluten-free bread, why not try making your cereal? Thiscan be a great solution if you want a more personalized approach to your gluten-free breakfast. Here are some ideas for making your gluten-free cereal:

Granola Recipes

Making gluten-free granola is an excellent way to create a customized cereal blend that meets your dietary needs and tastes delicious. You can start with a gluten-free oats base and add other ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Mix all the ingredients and bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy. You can experiment with different flavor combinations to create a unique blend that suits your preferences.

Homemade Puffed Rice Cereal

Puffed rice cereal is a popular breakfast option, but most store-bought varieties contain gluten. Fortunately, you can make your own gluten-free puffed rice cereal at home. You only need brown rice, oil, and a hot air popper. First, pop the brown rice until it's puffed and crispy, and then store it in an airtight container. Next, add sweeteners like honey or maple syrup to the rice to make it more palatable.

Other DIY Cereal Ideas

There are plenty of other DIY cereal ideas that you can try at home. For example, you can make gluten-free cornflakes by mixing gluten-free cornmeal with water and baking it until crispy. You can also create a gluten-free muesli blend by combining gluten-free oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Another option is to make gluten-free breakfast bars by mixing gluten-free grains like quinoa, millet, or amaranth with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Next, add a bit of honey or nut butter to help bind the mixture together, and then bake until firm.

Related: What Chips Are Gluten-Free? Make Your Own at Home

What Cereals Are Gluten Free? FAQs

Q: Are Cheerios Gluten-Free?

A: Yes, Cheerios are gluten-free. They contain whole-grain oats specially grown, harvested, and processed to remove wheat, barley, or rye-containing gluten. This makes Cheerios a safe and tasty option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance symptoms.

Q: What Box Cereal Is Gluten-Free?

A: Many box cereals are now available in gluten-free varieties. Some popular gluten-free options include Rice Chex, Honey Nut Cheerios, Fruity Pebbles, and Cocoa Pebbles. These cereals have alternative grains or ingredients that do not contain gluten.

Q: Is Corn Flakes Kellogg's Gluten-Free?

A: No, Corn Flakes Kellogg's are not gluten-free. They have milled corn, sugar, and malt flavoring containing barley gluten. People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease should avoid Corn Flakes Kellogg's and look for gluten-free alternatives.

Q: Which Cereals Have Gluten?

A: Cereals that contain wheat, barley, or rye are likely to have gluten. This includes popular cereals such as Wheaties, Special K, and Frosted Mini-Wheats. However, many companies now offer gluten-free versions of these cereals or alternative rice, corn, or quinoa options. Always check the ingredient list to ensure a cereal is gluten-free before consuming.

Related: What Candy Is Gluten-Free? The Complete Guide


Buying gluten-free cereals can be challenging, but it's crucial for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. To ensure you're making the best choices, read labels carefully, check for cross-contamination, and remain wary of added ingredients. Additionally, consider making your cereal using homemade granola, puffed rice, or other DIY cereal ideas. Experiment with various flavors and combinations to find what works best for you. These tips allow you to enjoy a delicious and nutritious gluten-free breakfast daily.