**MORE** regular cereals that are gluten-free (and my thoughts on cross-contamination)

05/06/09  Edited to add, because this post from two years ago is still getting a lot of hits:  General Mills is now making Rice Chex entirely gluten-free;  they’re produced in a dedicated facility, and labeled as gluten-free.  I have read reports that most of the rest of Chex products (excluding, of course, Wheat Chex) will soon be gluten-free, but I have yet to see the products myself.

General Mills is making an effort to produce gluten-free cereals, though they’re not promoting them as such.

This is from Jenny Path, General Mills Consumer Services:

It is our goal to help our consumers determine whether or not they can include our products in their diet. To accurately accomplish this, we believe it is best to refer to the specific ingredients listed on each product package.

However, we do understand that ingredients can be confusing, so we want to assure you if the ingredient label does not list wheat, barley, rye, oats or gluten containing ingredients sourced from these grains, then the product would be gluten-free. Sources of gluten are listed on the label even if the source of gluten is part of another ingredient (such as flavoring or spice). Because ingredients may vary from one package to another due to product reformulation, you should use the product’s ingredient label to provide you with current and accurate information.

Basically, she’s saying just be careful to read the label.

And, obviously, there’s always a risk of cross-contamination… but in general, I take that risk.  I mean, most of the things I eat are totally from scratch — virtually no risk.  I knowingly eat *nothing* that has gluten in it, not even if it’s way-down on the ingredient list.  So, eating something that may have cross-contamination is something that I can weather.  Others might make different choices, but, IMO, in the grand scheme of things, I think that the threat of possible cross-contamination is small.  And, I kind of read between the lines in the ingredient list:  For instance, just tonight, I purchased a pack of macaroons house-branded from Whole Foods, which is a very gluten-aware natural foods market (they even have a dedicated gluten-free bakery that ships to its stores, nation-wide).  The macaroon ingredients list unsulfited coconut, sugar, cage-free egg whites, potato starch, water, glucose, salt.  They also list the fact that that there might be “traces” of wheat, soybeans and tree nuts.  BUT, I’m buying a product from a store that’s aware of gluten issues, and have gone so far as to list that the food starch is from potato…  IOW, I’ve assessed that it’s a fairly small risk.

ANYways.  Back to the cereal.  GM has come out with the Dora Stars cereal, which I already joyously blogged about.  It is a very low-sugar sweetened corn & cinnamon cereal, which both Wesley & I enjoy.  They also have two more cereals, with gluten-free ingredients, which I haven’t tried yet.  They’re both “kid” oriented.

The first is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Berry Crunch:

(Thanks to Ed for the pic.)

The ingredients list, basically, corn, sugar, color, flavors and vitamins.  Each serving has 9g of sugar, which makes it on the lower-sugar end of sugary cereals.  I generally avoid foods with artificial colors in them, but I’ll probably buy this if it’s on sale.

The other cereal is Little Einsteins Fruity Stars.  They have an ingredient list that is virtually identical to the Berry Crunch cereal, has the same shape as the Dora Stars, and also has 9 g of sugar.  However, since Wes has historically fared poorly with “fruity” flavored foods, we’ll probably not buy this one.

I had also heard that Cocoa Puffs and Trix now have all g.f. ingredients.  I checked them out on the General Mills website, and that appears to be true, too.  But they both have too much sugar, so I won’t be buying them, either.   (05/06/09:  Cocoa Puffs does contain a small amount of wheat flour, but Trix is gluten-free, and we do buy it occasionally.)

Even with the risks associated with cross-contamination, as GM is not committing to gluten-free facilities, nor, to my knowledge, are they getting their products tested for gluten, it’s still nice to know we celiacs can pull regular cereals off of the shelves and be relatively sure that they’re safe to eat.

Go, General Mills!


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on February 13, 2007, in Celiac Disease, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Wow, I hadn’t heard this. And although I would rather not buy them because of all the sugar, the truth is I probably will. I too often eat items that say, ‘made in a facility that also makes wheat products’. Not once have I ever had a reaction to these products. Now, is there a risk, sure there is and one day it will likely hit me. But I just love junk cereal at night, so it’s worth it. I appreciate the news, and I will buying some cocoa puffs tonight! Or will I make it Trix? Darn, now you left me with an actual decision to make….Curses!

  2. UPDATE: While grocery shopping over the weekend, I checked the boxes of Trix and Cocoa Puffs. Trix does appear to be g.f., but buried in the vitamins in the ingredients for Cocoa Puffs, second-to-last or thereabouts, was “wheat flour.” That stinks.

    But, for those of you with a sweet tooth, it appears that Trix *is* safe.

  3. My son is on a GF diet and I have been excited to find “regular” cereals that he can eat….less $ to shell out. He does well on Trix, Fruity Pebbles and of course Rice Chex is GF and they make that claim on their box. He is not officially diagnosed as Celiac at this point…..so I am usually okay with trying something that says it may be cross contaminated.

    I will say though that Honeycomb Cereal he did not tolerate even though the ingredients list does not have anything that would suggest gluten.

  4. unfortunately GM has discontinued these cereals! such a bummer!!

  5. Yes… but I’m hoping that their commitment to gluten-free cereal with Rice Chex (they even have a dedicated facility!) will show them that there’s a viable market for g.f. cereal and that they will make more in the future. I’m particularly bummed out about Dora Stars not being available.

  6. Thank you, General Mills for NOT putting High fructose corn Syrup in your products. I WILL gladly
    buy them!!!
    I also am allergic to gluten and appreciate this too!!!

  7. If they sell them around you, Honey Kix are labeled g.f. (and I’ve had no reaction), and for me at least, much more filling than other g.f. cereals like Trix. I can have a bowl of these and not have my stomach growling 2 hours later, which is always a plus.

    • I clipped a coupon recently for Honey Kix, but I haven’t yet seen it in the stores. Is it oat-free, too? Because, though oats don’t technically have gluten, they give me problems, too (even certified g.f. oats).

  8. If any of you have an Aldi’s or Save-A-Lot supermarket nearby you may be able to find the Disney & Dora cereals there. I’ve seen them there as recently as three weeks ago and my little guy really likes the Mickey Berry Crunch.

  9. I recently picked up a box of Corn Chex & a box of Honey Nut Chex – both clearly labeled as “Gluten Free” on the front of the box.

    The Honey Nut Chex is fantastic!

  10. I stumbled on this post as I routinely look for GF cereals… In my area (CT) we now have the GM Corn CHEX clearly marked as GF. I also saw NEW Honey Nut KIX which has a short ingredient list non of which are gluten related. I was wondering why a “NEW” cereal would lack the clear marking of GF OR the celiac reference as GM but chalked it up to a lack of GF testing and or packaging issue as someone who is involved in packaging in my profession… Love the topic! Good for General Mills!!

    • They probably don’t advertise the Honey Kix as being g.f. because it’s not made in a dedicated gluten-free facility (as Gen Mills’ g.f. Chex products are), and/or are made on equipment shared with regular Kix.

      I’m looking forward to trying the newer g.f. Chex products!! I’ve seen Honey Kix, but am just a bit hesitant to buy it, especially when it was about $5/box, not on sale, and I can find truly g.f. cereal for cheaper than that.

      • Yes that was my thought also Karen. If there is no question on the ingredient list I tend to try the product and accept the potential cross contamination issue. Hopefully in the future GM will make it in a dedicated facility but for now it is a nice treat!

        This discussion is interesting… I hadn’t herd about Trix being GF or Coco Puffs for that matter.

  11. Has anyone confirmed TRIX is GF? Based on the ingredient list I assume it is but is being processed in a plant with other wheat cereals and therefore is not marked GF.

    Also, recently picked up GF Cinnamon chex… My daughter loves them… they are good, but $$.

  12. Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles are GF too, according to the ingredient list.

    • Yes, but Fruity Pebbles, for some reason, always gives my son g.i. trouble. We have never had a problem with Cocoa Pebbles, though if you call Post, their official stance is that NONE of their cereals are g.f.

  13. GF cinnamon chex are completely amazing, and gf, but they DO contain lactose (as i found out about 30 mins after eating 2 bowls). So if you have issues with that too, stay away!

    • Yes, they have a whole bunch of stuff we can’t have — peanut flour among the ingredients, too!! But, I’m glad that they’re GF, even if our family can’t eat them.

  14. Nice to see someone who is open-minded about the risk of cross contamination. I’m so sick and tired that people freak out and act like every person has the same sensitivities that they do. I don’t react from trace amounts of wheat or from oats and I’m tired of people telling me what I need to do when they don’t know my specific needs.

  15. Gm does clean equipment thouroghly between cereals (inside source) so i feel comfortable with cross contamination. I am sensitive to that and i have no problems. Go general mills!

  16. i am gluten free and i do wonderful on fruity pebbles and the off brand chocolate chex and honey chex… it’s always great to know there’s a lots of people out there that has the same issue with gluten….

  17. Attune Foods also has some great gluten free breakfast options, their line of Erewhon cereals are my favorite.

    • Yes, I love Erewhon cereals — the strawberry crisp one is fabulous. What I meant by this (really old) post is that there was a growing number of “regular” gluten-free cereal options. Erewhon can be hard to find, and often isn’t carried by regular grocers.

  18. I have a question: I am needing lots of extra iron. Felt so bad we did blood work and believe I need (desperately) gluten free foods. I am one of those who had (like 7 yr. ago) gastric bypass. I for sure see the connection without doing the c testing (no insurance) (oh, can a person determine c disease with regular blood tests? Maybe I could decipher?

    So I can’t eat my iron much (in food) I am looking for 100% iron in gf cereals, etc. I had found 100% iron, but with wheat cereal darn! Can you suggest? By the way, I HAVE NEVER EVER done a blog but this is great to find these cereals….THANKS SO MUCH.

    Ps. all these years I’ve gone without understanding I am sensitive (if not totally affected) by gluten. (I’ve got ALL the symptoms and I am not hypochondriac just started and feel a little better already.

  19. Thanks a lot. I am on a new journey here. I will for sure get some chex.

    I like the idea of a big bowl of cereal but I can only consume 3/4 cup whiich is good anyway. I am at least doubling up on my iron supliment. The funny thing was, that with the blood work, I was well below the LOWEST end on iron AFTER I HAD BEEN TAKING IT FOR 1.5 MONTHS ALREADY. Wow! So I doubled it up but would rather have cereal for some of that. So the 45% will help. I am lucky to not be seriously sick. I do have those nasty things happening with my bowels, and memory is not so good (and I am going to college too ha!) I

    Tell me, how mu h better do you feel………….throughout……………since you’ve been gluten free and how long did it take for you to notice the change? Thanks again!

    • Oh, yes. DUH. You wouldn’t be able to eat a large bowl. I’m very sorry about that.

      I’m wondering if iron supplements would work AT ALL for you. With decreased stomach volume and acid, it seems like most supplements wouldn’t break down quickly enough.

      I have been g.f. for more than nine years. I can’t say that I feel in OPTIMAL health. I still think I get more tired than most people, more quickly. And, though I’m often credited with smarts, I don’t feel sharp and quick, and I’m slow to piece things together — to see connections. BUT, I was telling someone recently how I could previously not even see myself walking around the block, let alone running or hiking. I used to cry before going out anywhere, because I knew how it would drain me, and it made me SO stressed out and discouraged and even fearful in advance. And, it’s not like that any more.

      In some ways, I felt better within only a couple of weeks. I had an ongoing feeling of “something is just not right”, plus digestive trouble. That cleared up fast. Other things, like exhaustion and mental fog and a tight feeling in my chest, took much longer, from 6 months to two years. And, like I said, I still don’t feel 100%. But, a good 80-90% is manageable.

  1. Pingback: Simpli Gluten-Free Instant Apricot Oatmeal — Review « Only Sometimes Clever

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