According to a survey, conducted by Mintel, on the breakfast habits of millennials, 40 percent of Generation Y doesn’t eat cereal for breakfast. The number will undoubtedly surprise Gen-Xers who grew up eating heaps of the sugary goodness, usually in front of the television during a marathon of Saturday morning cartoons, but the reason why is even more shocking. Millennials say they stay away from cereal because they don’t want to clean the bowl afterwards.
To celebrate cereal, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 breakfast cereals of all time. While some of the brands on my list haven’t been available for years, adventurous millennials who aren’t afraid of getting dishpan hands can find most of the cereals on my list in the cereal aisle of the grocery store, today.
Honorable Mention – Smurf-Berry Crunch Cereal
Smurf-Berry Crunch was a favorite cereal of mine growing up for a few reasons. First, after compiling the list of my favorite cereals for this article I realized I’m a sucker for berry-flavored cereals and second because growing up I loved the Smurfs animated series. Smurf-Berry Crunch was actually a pretty simple cereal with red and purple cereal “berries.” While I loved Smurf-Berry Crunch, I wasn’t a fan of its successor Smurf Magic Berries cereal, which included marshmallows. Sadly, neither Smurf-Berry Crunch or Smurf Magic Berries cereals are available today.
#5 – Honey Nut Cheerios
Honey Nut Cheerios is the go to cereal when you want to have a semi-healthy bowl of cereal without eating something that tastes like the cardboard box it comes in. The honey nut flavor helps ensure the cereal tastes good and is not as flavorless or thirst inducing as plain as Cheerios. Honey Nut Cheerios cereal was the only way that poor neighborhood kid whose parents wouldn’t allow him to eat sugary cereals could get a taste of what they were missing. Can you imagine?
#4 – Nintendo Cereal System
#3 – Honey Graham O’s
If you haven’t tried Honey Graham O’s because they’re deceivably found alongside the high-fiber cereals like Grape-Nuts, Fiber One or some other bowel cleansing mix you’re missing out. Honey Graham O’s have a corn and oat outer ring that’s filled with bits of graham cracker, crispy rice, and honey. The cereal is at its best when the milk in your bowl gets the rings slightly soggy, putting the emphasis on the crunchy filled center. My biggest complaint about Oh’s is that they’re only offered in a small 12 oz box size so it only takes a few bowls before they run out.
#2 – Franken Berry
You really can’t go wrong with any of General Mills’ monster cereals. The monster cereals have a good ratio of marshmallow to cereal pieces and an amazingly sweet taste. While I personally prefer Franken Berry’s strawberry flavor, Boo Berry is a close second, followed by Count Chocula. I’m not a fan of Fruity Yummy Mummy, but I know people who swear by it. The best part about Franken Berry is that when you’re finished with the cereal–because getting the right ratio of milk to cereal is nearly impossible–you have a delicious bowl of pink-colored, strawberry milk as a bonus. The Monster Cereals are usually stocked heavily around Halloween time, but I’ve seen them at other times of the year, occasionally, as well.
#1 – Lucky Charms
To this day, I’m still after Lucky the Leprechaun’s Lucky Charms. Frosted Lucky Charms truly are magically delicious even though chewing the marshmallows can give your teeth that nails on chalkboard feeling when they haven’t had enough time to soak in the milk. Lucky Charms’ marketing strategy has kept it going strong since 1964 from memorable commercials with their Leprechaun mascot, to the introduction of new marshmallows throughout the years (purple horseshoes in 1983, red balloons in 1989, green trees in 1991, rainbows in 1992, pots of gold in 1994, blue moons in 1995) and now new flavors (Chocolate Lucky Charms and Berry Lucky Charms). While childhood obesity concerns resulted in a reduction in the amount of sugar in the cereal, changing its taste, Lucky Charms remains my favorite all-time cereal.