Unless you’re looking carefully at the ingredients of a food item marketed as breakfast, it could very well be a sneakily packaged dessert. What I mean is, American breakfast foods are full of sugar.
That’s what makes the recent “healthy” cereal play so smart. You’ve got the nostalgia, the sweetness, the convenience, and you’re promising nutritional value. It almost seems too good to be true.
Our reviews editor Sara Hendricks talked to dietitians to find out whether Magic Spoon, the “it” girl of healthy cereal, is actually good for you.
If you’re comparing it to the classics—Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Cap’n Crunch, even Honey Nut Cheerios—it’s an unequivocal yes. If you’re looking at it as a standalone breakfast item, the answer is a bit more nuanced.
Magic Spoon is high in protein (12 to 14 grams), low-carb, grain-free, has no added sugar, and is around 140 to 170 calories per each one-cup serving.
“In my opinion, it is not lacking any ingredients,” says Sequoia Ridley, RDN. “Magic Spoon offers a good amount of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) as well as a decent amount of sodium and fiber.”
But Ridley doesn’t recommend it as an everyday breakfast. She says your diet should also consist of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy 80% of the time, with Magic Spoon being a viable option to fill in the gap.
“Foods that are more processed, or ultra-processed, with additives such as sweeteners, protein powders, and added fibers, can make up that other 20%, which is where Magic Spoon would fall,” Ridley told us. “I would suggest a client have Magic Spoon a couple times per week, but then the other days focus on whole foods such as fruit, whole grains, and lean protein (such as eggs).”
There’s also the worry that it might not fill you up on its own, since it is low in calories and carbs, the things we need to feel full and satiated. So maybe you have a piece of fruit or some toast on the side, if you find that’s the case for you.
I’ve tried Magic Spoon and, like Sara, I liked it. It’s definitely something I’d have some days if I was craving a sweet and easy breakfast. And as Sara pointed out in her review, you can take liberties: She mixed hers with Grape-Nuts —her cereal tastes “tend to veer on the geriatric side” (her words)—which helps supplement the absent carbs and stretch her box a bit longer.
If you’ve got what I’m going to call “dessert cereals” in your cabinet, Magic Spoon is worth a try if you’re interested in a healthier alternative. (That being said, a box of Magic Spoon at Target is $10 compared to $3 for a box of Fruity Pebbles, so it’s not a cheaper option.) If you wake up and enjoy your overnight oats, eggs and toast, or other dietitian-approved breakfast, I’d say you’re probably healthier without making the switch. Unless you want it as a sweet little snack.
Have you tried Magic Spoon? What were your thoughts?
Melanie, editor at Nessie Sightings