Recently, the SpoonHQ team ranked some classic childhood cereal by taste and calorie count. But have you ever wondered why these cereals taste so good? The reason is simple: sugar. You probably experienced at least once in your childhood your mom not letting you have your favorite flavor, because there was just “too much sugar.”

The truth is, some of these brands are almost like having dessert for breakfast. Here’s ten of your favorite childhood cereals ranked from lowest to highest by sugar content.

10. Rice Krispies – 3 grams per serving

Photo by Alex Furuya

Rice Krispies have only 3 grams of sugar per 33 gram serving. This makes sugar only 9 percent of the total serving, which is something to snap, crackle and pop about. Maybe mom let you have this cereal every once in awhile. With such a low sugar content, you can feel free to add marshmallow and tons of other add-ins and make your own Rice Krispie treats, like these five epic recipes.

9. Lucky Charms – 11 grams per serving

Photo by Kirby Barth

They’re magically delicious…and 31.4 percent sugar (or 11 grams per serving). You watched the commercials jealously, wishing you were one of those kids chasing the lepuchran around. Then, when you grew up and Mom couldn’t tell you what to do, you started eating Lucky Charms for every meal. Maybe you even baked them into sugar cookies, like this recipe here.

8. Cinnamon Toast Crunch – 10 grams per serving

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Before there were Cinnamon Toast Crunch milkshakes and shots made with Fireball, there was the cereal. With 10 grams of sugar that made up 32.3 percent of the serving, you probably weren’t allowed to munch on this with your Saturday morning cartoons. But that’s all right, because the possibilities now are endless. Sorry Mom, but you’re craving those crazy squares.

7. Frosted Flakes – 10 grams per serving

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Frosted Flakes may have always seemed healthy to you, but Mom wasn’t fooled. She knew that a serving was 34.4 percent sugar (10 grams) and not so g-g-g-GREAT. She never let you use Red Bull as milk either, but that’s probably for a different reason.

6. Reese’s Puffs – 10 grams per serving

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Candy for breakfast? There was no talking Mom into buying this brand for you, especially when she found out it had 10 grams of sugar. But that’s okay, because then you grew up and discovered all the other things you could do with Reese’s, like make double dark chocolate pancakes or chocolate peanut butter pie. Cereal schmereal.

5. Cookie Crisp – 9 grams per serving

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Coming in right above the candy for breakfast is cookies for breakfast. Big surprise there. I’m not sure why you even tried asking Mom for this cereal. With 9 grams of sugar making up 34.6 percent of a bowl, you might have had better luck asking Mom for a real cookie. If you have a craving for Cookie Crisps these days, make your own homemade version.

4. Fruit Loops – 12 grams per serving


Photo courtesy of @thepigbakesclay on Instagram.

Toucan Sam wanted you to follow the nose, but he didn’t tell you that at the end there would be 41.4 percent of sugar per serving. Although you were sad back then, it’s probably for the best that you didn’t get to eat these that often. Those rainbow-colored loops just don’t seem natural, and who knows what it does to our bodies?

3. Apple Jacks – 12 grams per serving

Photo by Jayna Goldstein

It doesn’t taste like apples… but more likely, the 12 grams of sugar it contains (42.9 percent). You watched Cinna-mon and Apple only from the shelves of the grocery store, never your kitchen table. If you have enough a sweet tooth these days, add some Apple Jacks into your pancakes for a festive fall breakfast.

2. Trix – 13 grams per serving


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13 grams of sugar is just for kids! Er, wait, what? It’s true that you shouldn’t be taking advice from a giant talking bunny, but that didn’t stop you from craving this cereal. Trix may have changed shapes over the years (now it’s just boring old circles) and gotten rid of some of the artificial coloring, but it’s still the same good ole’ Trix we love and remember. Read more about the history of Trix here.

1. Captain Crunch – 12 grams per serving

Photo by Nicole Solomon

And the highest sugar content goes to Captain Crunch. Mom might have let you have this cereal once a year, maybe on your birthday or as a special treat. With 12 grams of sugar, sugar makes up 44.4 percent of the total nutrition. That’s almost half made up entirely of sugar. It makes sense why Taco Bell has Captain Crunch donut holes now. But how good do Captain Crunch Berry Pancakes sound right now?