Is Cereal or Toast with Peanut Butter Healthier for Breakfast?

Finding a quick breakfast option that will sustain you through the morning can be tough. Here we compare peanut butter toast to cereal with milk to see which is more sustaining and nutrient-dense.

Peanut Butter-Banana Cinnamon Toast

Eating a breakfast that fills you up and keeps you satisfied is a healthy way to start your day. But it can be hard to know what to eat with so many breakfast choices.

We put two popular, fast and filling breakfast foods head to head to find out which is healthier: toast with peanut butter or milk and cereal. For a quick, easy breakfast that will fill you up, which is a better choice—1 cup of toasted-oats cereal with 1/2 cup low-fat (2%) milk or 2 slices of whole-grain toast topped with 2 tablespoons peanut butter?

The Winner

Peanut butter with whole-grain toast takes the slight nutritional edge for the win, but really, both of these meals are healthy options that will fuel your morning.

Here's why we picked the toast—and an explanation of why both are nutritious breakfasts.

Staying Power

The peanut butter toast breakfast has more fat—about 16.5 grams of mostly heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, per the USDA. By contrast, the cereal breakfast has just 4 g of fat (with the cereal and milk combined, per the USDA). It's the fat that helps give the breakfast staying power.

When you pair peanut butter with whole-grain toast you're getting a healthy dose of fiber and protein as well, which also help fuel your morning and keep you full.

Vitamins and Minerals in Cereal

Opting for the cereal breakfast will give you a bonus of two nutrients that American diets often lack: calcium and vitamin D.

Thanks to the milk it's served with, the cereal supplies about 247 milligrams of calcium (about 20% of your daily requirement of the bone-building mineral, per the FDA), while the peanut butter toast breakfast has about 81 mg of calcium. Plus, the milk and cereal are fortified with vitamin D, providing about 8% of your DV of the sunshine vitamin.

While the toasted-oat cereal and milk is still a healthy breakfast, we think peanut butter on toast has a slight edge on keeping you full through the morning. Add a glass of milk (about a cup) with your peanut butter toast and now you've exceeded what the toasted-oat cereal and milk offer you on the calcium and vitamin D front, as well.

If you're more of a cereal person, make sure to pick one that's high in fiber and low in sugar. Toss in some berries or a banana for added nutrition.

The Bottom Line

We feel the peanut butter toast will keep you fuller longer than the toasted-oat cereal and milk— mostly due to the healthy fats found in the peanut butter. Slice some banana on top, sprinkle with cinnamon and have a glass of milk to round out your healthy, energy-filled breakfast.

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