Is Cream of Wheat Actually a Healthy Breakfast?

Cream of Wheat is like Hogwarts’ breakfast porridge. You can eat it every day, and it never has to be the same.


Feb. 16 2024, Published 1:09 p.m. ET

In the world of breakfast options, Cream of Wheat stands out as a versatile staple. From humble beginnings dating all the way back to 1893 to its place on the modern breakfast table, the well-known porridge has earned a reputation for adaptability and comfort.

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There’s no doubt that it’s still a hot favorite for cold winter mornings, but is Cream of Wheat good for you? Is the farina and wheat germ-based breakfast actually healthy? We turned to expert sources to find out more. Plus, we explain how to make it.

Young person enjoying breakfast in the livingroom while gazing out the window.
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Is Cream of Wheat good for you?

According to Ellis Francis, a sports nutritionalist who shares her learnings on A Wellness Body, Cream of Wheat can be a nutritious breakfast, as it has a variety of health benefits.

Francis explains that the popular porridge not only contains a plethora of must-have nutrients, but it’s also filling without eating too heavily into your daily calorie count.

According to Cream of Wheat's website, a serving of the original instant version contains 45 percent daily value of iron, 20 percent daily value of calcium, and 3 grams of protein.

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On a scale of 1 to 10 (with lower being better), the Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives Cream of Wheat a very respectable 3. It loses points for not being organic and containing "food additives of moderate concern." On the plus side, it scored well for being low in sugar and for being a good source of protein and iron.

It’s important to note that the EWG's assessment focuses on the stove top variety of Cream of Wheat and not the instant option, which may have led the organization to a different conclusion.

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Delicous bowl of porridge topped with chopped nuts, chia seeds and sliced fruit.
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That said, let’s address a major caveat of this breakfast food: Cream of Wheat is only as healthy as you make it. Dressing it up in sugar and butter isn’t a good idea.

A better idea is to follow Livestrong’s serving tips to give your Cream of Wheat a nutritional boost. Amongst other things, the website suggests adding chopped nuts, yogurt, or banana to bulk up the nutrition.

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Here’s how to make Cream of Wheat.

If you’re new to Cream of Wheat, you’re probably wondering how to transform the dry powder into a comforting bowl of goodness. You’ll be pleased to hear that the basic version is actually ridiculously simple.

This recipe from the blog Emily Laurae requires just two ingredients: oat milk and Cream of Wheat. Once the milk has heated up, it takes just two or three minutes for the porridge to cook through. Visit Emily’s post for step-by-step instructions and topping suggestions.

For those of you who learn better from watching rather than reading (hello, friend), Casual Cooking made the above video outlining the process.

The great thing about Cream of Wheat is that you can really get creative with it. For example, Murielle Banackissa's five-minute Cream of Wheat features a number of additional ingredients to dial up the tastebud party. Along with unsweetened soy milk, she adds maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut milk.

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