Food Quantities

How Much Cereal is in a Bowl: We Measured 9 bowls!

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Embarking on a new diet plan or simply aiming for conscious eating? Counting calories and measuring portions can be a game-changer. When it comes to breakfast, many rely on the humble cereal bowl. But have you ever wondered, “How much cereal is in a bowl?” Let’s delve into the dimensions, calories, and the impact of milk in this cereal adventure.

Bowl Size Matters:

The first and most evident variable in the cereal bowl equation is the bowl’s size. In our study, we examined nine different bowls ranging from what could be considered a popcorn bowl to one resembling a large tea cup. While sizes varied, five out of the nine bowls closely matched the average dimensions of a 6-inch wide, 3-inch deep standard bowl.

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Here’s a glimpse into our findings:

Width (inches) Depth (inches) Cups
5 2.5 3/4
6 2 1
7.5 2 1 1/2
6 2.5 1 1/4
6 2 1
6 2.5 1 1/4
7 3 2 1/2
6 3 2
6.5 3.5 2 1/2

How We Measured:

To ensure accuracy and variability, we borrowed bowls from different households, measuring their diameter and depth in inches. We then gauged how much dry cereal each bowl could hold until it was about half an inch from the rim, accounting for both spoon and milk use.

How the Calories Add Up:

The average number of calories per cup of cereal is around 150, according to MyFitnessPal. Combining this with our bowl study, an average bowl of cereal without milk contains roughly 225 calories. However, the addition of milk brings a whole new dimension to the calorie count.

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It’s Different with Milk:

Pouring milk before cereal, a common practice for some, can slightly affect the cereal quantity in your bowl. Those who adopt this method tend to pour more milk and less cereal, accommodating about a quarter cup less cereal. This small change results in an average of 188 calories per bowl without milk for milk-first pourers.

Milk has a substantial impact on calorie count, with a 67-calorie difference per cup between whole milk (150 calories) and skim milk (83 calories).

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The Type of Cereal Doesn’t Change Much:

Contrary to popular belief, the type of cereal doesn’t significantly alter the amount that fits in a bowl measured in cups. Whether it’s granola or Rice Krispies, a cup is a cup. However, serving sizes may vary, emphasizing the importance of checking cereal serving recommendations.


the average amount of dry cereal that fits in a bowl is 1 and 1/2 cups or 225 calories. Milk introduces a notable difference, both in terms of quantity and calorie count. So, whether you’re a cereal connoisseur or a casual snacker, understanding these dynamics can help you make informed choices on your breakfast journey.

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