Quaker Apple Walnut Oatmeal Has More Sugar Than a S'mores Pop Tart

And other surprising facts about your favorite breakfast convenience foods.

| Mon Apr. 15, 2013 5:00 AM EDT

We're told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For many of us, it's also the most rushed. Convenience foods like frozen waffles, toaster pastries, and cereal are quick, comforting, and often nostalgic. (I will always associate Lucky Charms with Girl Scout camping trips.) But how healthy are they? We decided to find out:

Our analysis of the nutritional labels yielded some surprises. For example: Quaker apple walnut oatmeal contained more sugar (22 grams) than a S'mores Pop Tart (19 grams).

For each category, we tried to choose at least one product whose packaging suggested it was a healthy alternative to traditional breakfast convenience foods. The comparisons were sometimes surprising. For example: Eggo's "nutrigrain" waffle had more sugar than its buttermilk version. Nutritionally speaking, the Nature's Path Wildberry Acai toaster pastry was almost identical to the S'mores Pop Tart—the only differences were that the Wildberry Acai pastry contained slightly more calories and saturated fat, and only one gram less sugar, than the S'mores version.

Here's a comparison of the nutritional labels of each product by category:

Cereals:

Breakfast pastries:

Waffles:

Oatmeals:

Cinnamon breads:

All breakfasts: