Gluten Free Rice Krispies [Inside the Label]

Kellogg’s just announced a new addition to its line of Rice Krispies cereals. While in the past we’ve been critical of some of the products and their marketing tactics, this one looks really good, even for gluten eaters:

Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal brings a family favorite back to the tables of people who are unable to eat gluten, offering long-time fans and a new generation of gluten-sensitive kids the joy of eating a bowl of this beloved cereal “that talks”…

The new cereal eliminates barley malt (the source of gluten in the original Rice Krispies® cereal) and is made with whole grain brown rice to differentiate it from the original and for flavor. Each serving of the new gluten-free cereal contains 120 calories, less than 1 gram of sugar, 1 gram each of fat and fiber, 3 grams of protein and 190 milligrams of sodium. The cereal is fortified with several vitamins and minerals. Read more…

The suggested retail price for new Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal is the same as the original cereal and it will hit the shelves starting in June. It is manufactured in a gluten free facility.

So how does it stack up nutritionally?

What you need to know:

Here is the ingredient list:

Ingredients: Whole grain brown rice, sugar, contains 2% or less of salt, BHT for freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Iron, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (alpha tocopherol acetate), niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12.

Note that although sugar is the second ingredient, it is a miniscule amount. There’s only a quarter of a teaspoon per serving, which is very low for a cereal. Good job! (The original Rice Krispies has one teaspoon)

On the other hand, despite being 100% whole grain brown rice, there is only 1 gram of fiber per serving here. The reason is that puffed rice takes up a huge amount of volume with very little product.

As for all the added vitamins and minerals, we’re not big fans of that approach to food. The vitamins and minerals should come from real food, not as add-ons to cereal, where their actual bio-availability may not be as high.

BHT – Butylated hydroxytoluene – is an antioxidant preservative that can lengthen the shelf life of a product. There is some controversy around its safety, with reports of hyperactivity and carcinogenic properties. Unfortunately, almost all cereals use BHT as a preservative.

Despite the low fiber and BHT, this is a decent cereal solution for those with gluten sensitivity as well as the general population.

What to do at the supermarket:

When seeking out cereals in the supermarket – choose those that contain 3 or more grams of fiber per serving and less then 6 grams of sugar.

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  • DrSusan Rubin

    Ah, the health halo of gluten free!

    And the claim of “whole grain brown rice”.

    Yeah, maybe it was whole grain once upon a time. Before they processed it into lightweight, airy little remnants of rice.

    These little puffs still make your blood sugar skyrocket!

    Eat real rice instead for breakfast.

    Get one of those cool Japanese rice cookers with a timer on it. You’ll wake up in the morning to a nice porridge of REAL whole grain that will get you through to lunch without a blood sugar crash.

  • Gretellyn

    Try Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal. Gluten Free. Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Sea Salt. *NO BHT.* My kids love it with a handful of slivered almonds, a handful of Udi’s Vanilla Granola, some fruit and almond milk.

  • Anonymous

    For some of us, gluten free isn’t a ‘health-halo’- it’s the difference between being able to function and being deathly ill. People with celiac disease cannot eat wheat gluten at all- and even barley malt will harm them. And more and more people are turning up allergic to certain proteins in wheat that has been genetically modified to double the gluten content. I am one of those people. So, while to some, ‘gluten free’ might seem to be a fad or ‘healthy’- to those of us who cannot eat the stuff, it is an acknowledgment of a growing problem. I still read labels religiously and question restaurant menus closely- 85% of what is in the grocery store and sold in restaurants is now inedible to me.

    • Phinemamma

      Thank you sunfell. My girls can’t have gluten due to autism spectrum disorders. The baby is being tested for celiacs. We aren’t hiding under the health halo of gf. For my little ones eating gluten equalls a week of misery. I am yet to see these in the store. I would love to make some crispy treats with my girls…i know not the healthiest choice….

  • stephaniekirk

    I have not seen this sold at any stores in Arizona!