7 Regular Breakfast Cereals and their Shelf Life

regular breakfast cereals and their shelf life

They are the go-to choice on a busy morning. We all have our favourite style and choice. Here are 7 regular breakfast cereals and their shelf life.

1. Granola

Granola has a special spot on the breakfast table. The first recipe is attributed to a health spa doctor, in late 19th century. Initially, it was referred to as granula. However, it soon fell off the radar, before its popularity sprang in the later part of 1960, where it became known as granola.

As a breakfast cereal option, it has remained one of the most popular. Basic ingredients used include nuts, seeds, oats as well as fruits. They are combined with a sweetener such as honey, brown sugar or syrup.

Nowadays, there are diverse variations, with others including multi-grains. In addition, it is also made into energy bars.

Granola is touted for its fiber-rich properties as well as essential minerals and vitamins.

Another close variation to granola is muesli. The two major differences between them are – muesli doesn’t contain a sweetener and it is served uncooked, unlike granola, which is usually left to set or baked.

How long does granola cereal last? (In the pantry)

Commercially packaged granola comes with printed dates. It keeps well in the pantry for up to 6 months. However, leaving them unopened exposes them to air, which causes staleness as well as dryness.

Shelf life of homemade granola bars

In the pantry, freshly made bars last up to 1 week. Store them in airtight containers, well-spaced out. Alternatively, refrigerate or freeze to enjoy them longer. In the freezer, they keep well for up to 1 month.

2. Oatmeal

You can count on oatmeal to fill you up anytime of the day. Oats are some of the ancient grains that have been consumed for ages.

Not only are they filling, they are easy to prepare, high in fiber and iron. As such, they are ideal for the entire family.

Besides the usual hot oatmeal, overnight oats are also the go-to cereal for many.

Shelf life of packaged oatmeal

Oats come in different types – instant (1 minute or 5 minutes), flavored, rolled or steel-cut. They keep well in the pantry, when stored in a cool, dry area.

How long does cooked oatmeal last? (In the fridge or freezer)

Cooked oatmeal is best consumed immediately. This is especially the case if you have added milk or cream. As such, avoid leaving at room temperature due to bacterial growth.

However, you are bound to have some leftovers. In this case, store in airtight containers and refrigerate. Consume within 7 days.

On the other hand, freezing is not ideal for cooked oatmeal.

Shelf life of overnight oats

Overnight oats are eaten cold, after being refrigerated. As such, you can prepare several portions, refrigerate and consume within 1 week. The longer they stay in the fridge, the softer and creamier they get.

3. Weetabix

Also known as weetbix, these breakfast cereals have grace breakfast tables for decades. They were first introduced in early 20th century, by an Australian. They are synonymous with their biscuit-like shapes.

Weetabix are primarily made from wheat. Nonetheless, there are countless of other varieties and flavors. These include: Oatibix, crispy minis, Weetabix protein, chocolate, banana as well as fruit-nut flavored ones.

How long does Weetabix last?

After its best before date, packaged Weetabix lasts for up to 6 months in palatable condition. Prepared Weetabix is best consumed immediately. It is not recommended to either refrigerate or freeze prepared type.

4. Cheerios

This brand of cereals is a household name. They are made from puffed whole oats and fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Nutritionally, cheerios are rich in dietary fiber, are fat-free and gluten free. They are suitable for all age groups. Not only are they used as breakfast cereals, you can also incorporate cheerios in baking products.

How long do cheerios last? (In the pantry)

Unopened packets remain in top shape for 8 months. Once opened, consume within 6 months or less. Store away from direct light and moisture.

5. Flakes

Among the 7 regular breakfast cereals and their shelf life, flakes have their special spot. Corn flakes are considered the first among cereal flakes. They are attributed to the Kellogg brothers, who created them in late 19th century and early 20th century.

Flakes are made by spreading and drying out wet mixture of meal, whether corn, wheat, quinoa, bran (outer husk of cereals) or oats. Ingredients such as sugar, malt extract and salt are added for flavor. In addition, they are fortified with the required vitamins and minerals. After drying, they are toasted and crushed into small flakes.

Homemade versions are also popular, with people customizing recipes as per their preferences. Flakes are rich sources of fiber, which promotes bowel movement.

How long do prepared corn flakes last? (At room temperature)

Since they are usually served with milk or juice, they become soggy. As such, consume as soon as you prepare, or within 2 hours at most. Refrigerating or freezing prepared cornflakes is not recommended.

6. Multigrain cereals

This variety is a combination of several whole grains. Common mixtures include oats, millet, barley, rye, buckwheat, bulgur wheat and brown rice. In addition, nuts, seeds as well as sweeteners are commonly added.

Multigrain cereal is usually cooked and served hot, although you can opt to serve cold with milk.

How long do dry multigrain cereals last? (In the pantry)

In the pantry, plain dry cereals without nuts or seeds keep well up to 1 year. When opened, utilize within 6 months when they are still in good quality.

If fresh nuts and seeds are present, rancidity can render the cereals unpalatable after a few months.

7. Rice Krispies

You may be wondering how rice grains end up puffed into Krispies. These everyday breakfast cereals have added crunchiness in palates for almost a century.

They are made from a paste of rice flour, sugar and fat. This mixture is then shaped, cooked and dried before being toasted. The resulting products are puffed, crunchy and light.

Besides being eaten as cereals, Krispies are normally incorporated into sweet dessert treats such as marshmallow-rice Krispies.

How long do Krispies last?

In their package, Krispies keep well for up to 8 months. When prepared, consume immediately.

Shelf life of Krispies treats

Homemade marshmallow-Krispies treats are too delicious, I doubt they can last long. However, you can store leftovers in airtight bags.

At room temperature, they last for 3 days at most. For long-term storage, freeze in heavy-duty freezer bags for up to 2 months.

Whereas the listed 7 regular cereals and their shelf life are only a fraction, they are popular among breakfast items.




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