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Cereal without milk

Can You Eat Cereal Without Milk? (Surprise! Surprise!)

Milk and cereal are America’s default breakfast pairing. It’s easy to see why people prefer this mixture: it’s wholesome, healthy, and delicious.

That said, many people have been drawn into the debate on whether you can eat cereal without milk.

Since this is something that still perplex many cereal lovers, I thought I should join in the conversation and see what it’s all about.

So, if you are looking for a simple answer, then here it is.

Yes! You can eat cereal without milk. Other ways to enjoy cereal include making a cereal smoothie or parfait, adding the cereal to a cupcake recipe, or just eating the cereal raw. You can also substitute your cereal’s dairy milk with coffee, water, almond milk, oat milk, or hazelnut milk.

In this article, we’ll look at cereal and how people prefer to eat them. Read on to learn everything you need to know about breakfast cereals.

Can You Eat Cereals with Water and Not Milk?

Sometimes you want to eat a bowl of cereal but don’t have milk to go with it. As unconventional as it might sound, you can eat your cereals with water instead of milk. In fact, some people enjoy having cereal with milk over any other liquid.

However, almost everyone else doesn’t like the taste. Cereal with water will taste different because it lacks the smooth, creamy finish that comes from milk.

Why Do People Eat Cereals with Milk?

Cereal without milk
Cereal with milk: Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

People have been mixing cereal with milk since anyone can remember. But why milk?

There are a few reasons why milk is the perfect liquid to add to cereal for most people.

1. Milk’s Physical Properties

Cereal experiences a few microstructure changes when you mix it with a liquid. According to a study by the NIH, breakfast cereal flakes experience faster structural and textural modifications when mixed with water than with milk.

Simply put, due to milk’s fat content, the cereals do not get soggy too quickly.

2. It’s Healthy

Milk is probably the most nutritious natural drink you can pour into a glass. Both cow’s milk and lactose-free alternatives are rich in proteins and calcium.

This makes milk and cereal a well-balanced meal, lacking only a few nutrients you can get in a fruit.

3. It’s Tasty

All things considered; cereals just taste better with milk. This is because milk adds a smooth, creamy finish to the otherwise dry cereal, not to mention the extra flavor.

What Happens if You Eat Cereal Without Milk?

People also wonder if it’s dangerous or unhealthy to eat cereal without milk. This mostly depends on how often and how much cereal you eat.

If you just need to eat your breakfast cereal but run out of milk, you can go ahead and eat it without milk.

However, some people make a habit of snacking on cereal without milk throughout the day believing it’s healthier than regular snacks.

But doing this is dangerous because breakfast cereal is high in processed starch and sugar. As a result, it will raise your blood sugar and insulin, which is not something you want in this age of lifestyle diseases.

How Does an Average Person Prefer to Eat Their Cereals?

According to a poll conducted by BuzzFeed on how Americans eat their cereals, 89% of people who participated in the survey prefer their cereal with milk, while 11% enjoy it without milk.

The poll further revealed that 76% of the participants like crunchy cereal while 24% like them soggy.

A landslide 92% pour cereal into the bowl before milk, with only 8% saying they pour milk first then cereal after. Additionally, a third (33%) of the respondents said they eat cereal with fruit, while 67% said they didn’t like fruits in their cereal bowl.

Although most people (94%)eat their cereal with cold milk, there’s still a small group (6%) that mixes cereal with hot milk. The poll also established that many respondents (81%) eat cereal any time of day, with just 19% saying they eat cereal for breakfast only.

This survey may not be entirely scientific but it gives us a rough idea of how people partake in cereals in the US.

Will Eating Cereals Without Milk Help You Lose Weight?

Again, this will depend on how much cereal you eat. Breakfast cereals are easily available, ready to eat and filling. However, they are not as healthy as most advertisements would have you believe.

Breakfast cereals may be easy to digest and low in fats, but they make up for that with the amount of processed starch and sugar present. This makes them unhealthy for daily consumption.

In fact, milk has less impact on your weight than breakfast cereals. Therefore, eating cereals without milk for breakfast will not help you lose weight.

With that in mind, weight loss is a lengthy and complicated journey that cannot just be achieved with one action. So, you can keep enjoying your breakfast cereal as long as you watch the rest of your diet and exercise.

The Best Ways to Eat Cereal Without Milk

Cereal is versatile and can be enjoyed in different ways. Here are some creative and tasty treats you can make with cereal and no milk.

Cereal Smoothie

Smoothies are some of the most popular milk-less breakfast options. You can make a nice fruit smoothie and top it up with your breakfast cereal.

Choose your ingredients carefully and keep it simple so as not to mess up the flavor.

For instance, shredded wheat, coconut, and mango smoothie only require mango (or mango juice), coconut water, bananas, and the shredded wheat biscuit.

Blend all the ingredients together, and you have yourself a cereal smoothie!

Raw Cereal

Cereal without milk
Raw Cereal: Image by ExplorerBob from Pixabay

If you can’t stand the taste of soggy cereals, you can eat them as-is or without any liquid. They are crunchy and tasty but will probably hurt your mouth if you bite too hard.

Plus, as we saw earlier, snacking on raw cereals can turn into a nasty and unhealthy habit. We recommend you only eat raw cereal if you don’t have your preferred liquid to mix it.


Another great idea for breakfast cereals is incorporating them into a cupcake recipe. You can also just add cereals to your everyday cupcakes. Just sprinkle a few Cheerios on top of the frosting and see how you like it.

Cereal Parfait

All you need for this alternative breakfast idea is some fresh fruit, yogurt, and cereal. Scoop out layers of each ingredient into a parfait dish or clear glass and garnish the mixture with your preferred topping.

However, if you don’t want to consume the parfait right away, mix the ingredients such that the cereal touches more of the fruit and less yogurt to extend its shelf life.

What to Use for Cereal When Out of Milk?

We’ve all been there; you fill your bowl with cereal, then realize you’re out of milk, or your milk is expired. You probably don’t have time to make cereal parfait or other cereal treats. Here are a few things you can use as milk alternatives.


Don’t fret if you run out of milk but still have some coffee. While it might sound unconventional, some people actually prefer cereal with coffee instead of milk.

Of course, it will not taste the same as it does with milk, but that might be a good thing depending on who you ask.

The cereal is also likely to get soggy very fast, but you’re good to go if you look past this. Remember to add sugar, like you would if you were only having coffee without cereal.


Water is a controversial, perhaps even infamous milk substitute for cereal. However, those who appreciate it in cereals stand by it.

If you run out of milk and don’t have any other beverage in the house, you should definitely try cereal with water.

It may not be as tasty as milk, but you might end up enjoying the cereal’s uninterrupted flavor more.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is another excellent dairy milk alternative for cereal. It still has the creamy texture that most people love with their cereal. Research also shows that oat milk’s added fiber makes it more filling than other milk alternatives. 

Almond Milk

Many people are pleasantly surprised when they try almond milk in cereal for the first time. It retains much of the taste and texture you’d get with dairy milk but with the added advantage of being naturally gluten-free.

Hazelnut Milk

This is probably the most underrated plant-based milk. It is an excellent choice for nut lovers and adds a nuttier flavor to the cereal. It’s also healthy and full of Vitamin E and fiber.

You can also get hazelnut milk in a chocolate flavor, which is fantastic when combined with cereal.

Our Top Recommended Breakfast Cereals

Here is our list of the best cereals you can have for breakfast.

1. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets are low in sugar and high in nutrients. They consist of 7 types of whole grains, including rye, oats, wheat, buckwheat, barley, and triticale. These provide it with lots of fiber, providing 14 grams per 1 cup (340 grams).

2. Homemade Granola

Homemade granola is another healthy breakfast cereal option. It’s made by baking a combination of nuts, rolled oats, and dried fruits until they’re crispy.

Despite high nutrient content, store-bought granola is often full of added sugar. Homemade granola is great because you choose what and how much to add.

3. Homemade Cinnamon Crunch Cereal

There are a few types of cinnamon crunch cereal on the market. However, most of them are loaded with added sugar.

You can avoid this by making your own healthy alternative using hemp seeds, flaxseeds, apple juice, cinnamon, and coconut oil.

4. Oats

Oats are a popular, nutritious cereal choice. They are often crushed to be consumed as porridge or oatmeal.

They are also rich in essential nutrients and high in fiber.

You can purchase pre-flavored oats at the store, but we recommend you make your own to avoid added sugars.

Cereals FAQs

Can You Eat Cereals at Night?

Yes. You can eat cereals at night or any other time of day. In fact, polls indicate that 81% of people eat cereals at any time of the day, while only 19% eat cereal strictly at breakfast.

Can You Eat Cereals on a Keto Diet?

It depends on what cereals you want to eat. For instance, Cheerios cereal is not keto-friendly because it’s a high-carbon processed food with many unhealthy ingredients.

However, most homemade breakfast cereals are keto-friendly.

Can You Eat Cereal with Braces?

It’s best to avoid hard and crunchy cereals when you have braces. Hot cereals are perfectly fine, so you can continue to eat rice cereal, oatmeal, and similar soft cereals.

Do You Put the Cereal or Liquid First?

Most people use the tried and tested method, cereal first. Some claim that it allows you to know how much liquid to add instead of pouring the liquid first and then realizing it was too much when you add the cereal.

However, there’s no significant difference between the two methods. The result is a cereal-liquid mixture.

Will Dogs Eat Cereals Without Milk?

Yes. In fact, if you like to treat your dogs to some human cereals, please do so without the milk. This is because most dogs are lactose intolerant.

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