Malt-O-Meal vs Cream of Wheat

Malt-O-Meal vs. Cream of Wheat: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between these two breakfast porridges – Malt-O-Meal and Cream of Wheat is the texture of the cereal. Cream of wheat is smooth, whereas Malt-O-Meal has a coarse, grainy texture.

Malt-O-Meal and Cream of Wheat are nutrient-rich hot breakfast cereal options with wheat as the main ingredient.

Adding malt flavoring gives Malt-O-Meal its distinctive taste and aroma, whereas Cream of Wheat is neither sweet nor bitter but plain in flavor.

Comparison Chart: Is Malt-O-Meal the Same as Cream of Wheat?

Malt-o-Meal Cream of Wheat
Coarse texture Smooth texture
Product of wheat (farina) Product of wheat (farina)
Richer taste (flavorful) No flavor (bland)
Bulkier and fills the stomach faster (less required when preparing) Lighter (more required to prepare)
Contains malted barley No malted barley in the ingredients

Malt-O-Meal Explained


Malt-O-Meal is a breakfast grain cereal with over 30 delicious flavors and is part of the Post Cereals Brand company. It’s a wheat-based cereal known for its coarse texture and sweet malt flavor, often made into a hot porridge or gruel. It is primarily sold in the United States.

The unique flavor of Malt-O-Meal, stemming from its combination of whole grains and malted barley, appeals to many taste buds.


The main ingredients in Malt-O-Meal are wheat farina and malted barley flour. The malted barley flour gives Malt-O-Meal its distinctive flavor and malt-like taste, and wheat farina is a cereal made from the ground endosperm of hard wheat grain.

Other vital ingredients include:

  • Calcium carbonate
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin mononitrate)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine hydrochloride)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate)
  • Vitamin D

The essence of Malt-O-Meal is malted barley flour, which is produced by cooking and drying malted barley.

In its final form, malt flour contains proteins and carbohydrates from the original barley grain.

How to Cook, Serve, and Eat Malt-O-Meal

Preparing Malt-O-Meal is a straightforward process. You’ll need the following ingredients for a single serving:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of cereal Malt-O-Meal
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Mix the water and salt and bring the solution to a boil in a pot or pan.
  2. Add the Malt-O-Meal, constantly stirring until the cereal thickens to your desired consistency.
  3. Turn off the heat and serve with milk, brown sugar, or maple syrup. The best way to eat Malt-O-Meal is to use a spoon.

History of Malt-O-Meal

Malt-O-Meal dates back to 1919 when John Campbell founded the Campbell Cereal Company.

The company produced hot cereals for mass production and retail distribution.

John Campbell invented a combination of farina wheat and malted barley flour to create a rich, nutty-flavored hot cereal.

John Campbell’s recipe became the foundation of what would later become Malt-O-Meal.

Campbell Cereal Company changed its name to Malt-O-Meal Company in 1927, and later, in 2015, it changed its name to Post Consumer Brands with headquarters in Lakeville, Minnesota.

Malt-O-Meal is produced in Northfield, Minnesota.

Price and Where to Buy

Prices for products vary by store, location, and availability. Malt-O-Meal is generally a less expensive alternative and often sold in larger packages. A typical 18-ounce box of Malt-O-Meal might cost between $2-3 in a grocery store but can vary.

You can buy Malt-O-Meal at any local grocery store or online on Amazon.

The availability of the cereal also depends on its shelf life. Make sure to check the expiration date on the package before purchasing.

Malt-O-Meal Nutritional Information

Malt-O-Meal is a healthy breakfast option for people of all ages. It is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin B6, carbohydrates, folate, and iron.

Nutritional Information for a 3-Tablespoon Dry Serving (35 grams) – 130 Calories

Amount of Vitamins, Minerals, and Fats % DV (Daily Value)
Total fat 0g 0%
Saturated fat 0g 0%
Trans fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total carbs (27g) 10%
Dietary fiber (<1g) 4%
Total sugars (0g) 0%
Added sugars (0g) 0%
Vitamin B6 41%
Calcium 100mg 8%
Carbohydrates 10%
Iron 10.8 mg 60%
Riboflavin 20%
Niacin 30%
Thiamin 30%
Phosphorus 4%
Potassium 30mg 0%
Folate 200mcg DFE (120 mcg folic acid) 50%


Malt-O-Meal is noted for its rich source of vitamin B, making it a healthy choice for a balanced diet.

Cream of Wheat Explained

Cream of Wheat

Cream of Wheat is a brand of farina, wheat-based breakfast cereal made from ground wheat milled into a smooth powder.

Unlike other breakfast bowl products, it has a unique creamy, porridge-like consistency.

Eating Cream of Wheat can be a delightful experience, especially when topped with a poached egg for a protein-rich breakfast. It’s the perfect comfort food.

How to Cook, Serve, and Eat Cream of Wheat

Preparing a bowl of Cream of Wheat is easy. You can use water or milk, depending on your preference and taste. Many people prefer milk because it gives the cereal a richer and sweeter flavor.

The following ingredients will make a single serving:

  • 1 cup of milk or 1 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat

There are two ways to prepare a Cream of Wheat. In the first method, you can use either water or milk, while in the second method, you can choose to mix water and milk (half a cup for each).

Many people prefer mixing water and milk because it gives the desired balance in flavor and consistency, creating a creamier cereal. Using water alone maintains the bland taste of the Cream of Wheat.

Cream of Wheat with Water or Milk

The first method is made with your choice of water or milk. In a pot or pan, combine 1 cup of water or 1 cup of milk with 3 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes until it thickens, then serve.

Cream of Wheat with Mixed Water and Milk

The second method is made with a mixture of water and milk. Mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of milk and bring the mixture to a boil.

Gradually add the 3 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat while constantly stirring until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.

Allow the Cream of Wheat to simmer for 2 minutes for a porridge-like consistency.

Serve with your choice of toppings. Try maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, spicy ingredients like jalapenos, or fruits like cranberries, strawberries, or bananas.

Both methods yield a creamy texture and smooth consistency. The porridge-like character of Cream of Wheat makes this cereal a popular choice for breakfast.

Enjoy Cream of Wheat in the winter months for a warming, nourishing meal, often served with fresh fruit for an added health boost.

History of Cream of Wheat

Cream of Wheat is an American ground wheat product commonly associated with the North Dakota region, where it was invented.

The product debuted in the American market in Chicago, Illinois, during the Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Cream of Wheat traces back to the Diamond Milling Company in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

When the company faced a reduced demand for flour during the 1893 famine, the head miller at the time came up with a brilliant idea to help solve the slowing demand.

He proposed a recipe made with the mill’s flour and used by his wife to prepare porridge.

The company sent samples of its new cereal to distributors, and orders started flowing in.

Diamond Millers then directed its factories to produce Cream of Wheat as its primary product, leading to tremendous success.

Price and Where to Buy

The average price of Cream of Wheat falls within the range of $0.14 to $0.30 per ounce. Prices for products vary by store, location, and availability.

Cream of Wheat is available at most grocery stores and online on Amazon.

Make sure to check the expiration date on the package before purchasing. Look out for discounts and coupons to get a better deal on prices.

Cream of Wheat Nutritional Information

Cream of Wheat is a healthy and nutritious part of any diet. It’s rich in iron and essential B vitamins such as B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B6 (pyridoxine).

Cream of Wheat is also rich in selenium, a vital antioxidant mineral.

Nutritional Information for a 3-Tablespoon Dry Serving (33g)

Amount of Vitamins, Minerals, and Fats % DV (Daily Value)
Vitamin B6 (0.34mg) 20%
Total fat (0g)
Trans Fat (0g)
Polyunsat. Fat (0g)
Monounsat (0g)
Cholesterol (0mg) 0%
Sodium (100mg) 4%
Total sugars (0g) 0%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium (260mg) 20%
Riboflavin (0.26mg) 20%
Iron (9.3mg) 50%
Niacin (3.2mg) 20%
Thiamin (0.24mg) 20%
Potassium (30mg) 0%
Vitamin D (4mcg) 20%
Dietary fiber (1g) 6%
Protein 3g 5%
Folate 80 mcg DFE 20%

Cream of Wheat is noted for its rich source of plant-based iron, and can be a good option for those with irritable bowel syndrome due to its easy digestibility.

Choosing Cream of Wheat vs. Malt-O-Meal

Malt-O-Meal and Cream of Wheat are breakfast cereals with wheat as the main ingredient, and they differ slightly in taste and texture.

Malt-O-Meal is a malt-flavored, coarse-textured cereal, while Cream of Wheat is a flavorless, smooth, creamy porridge.

Other similar foods used as alternatives to Cream of Wheat and Malt-O-Meal include steel cut oats, oatmeal, cornmeal, cream of rice, and organic cornflakes.

FAQs About Malt-O-Meal and Cream of Wheat

Is Malt-O-Meal actually good for you?

Yes, Malt-O-Meal can be a pretty solid and nutritious breakfast choice! It packs helpful B vitamins like B6 and B12, as well as important dietary minerals such as iron and calcium that support overall health and nutrition. The whole grain content also provides valuable sources of fiber.

What is a good substitute for cream of wheat?

Oatmeal makes an excellent and tasty substitute and swap for Cream of Wheat, providing a similar comforting, smooth texture and nutritional profile. Other great alternatives include grits, rice porridge, quinoa flakes, or even polenta depending on your specific preferences and dietary needs.

Is Cream of Wheat a healthy breakfast choice?

You bet – Cream of Wheat delivers a powerhouse kick full of iron and B vitamins to help nourish your body and provide lasting energy to start the day. It’s also gentle on digestion and easy to eat too, with the smooth, creamy texture that goes down easily.

Is Cream of Wheat or oatmeal healthier?

They both have their nutritional benefits, offering different ways to enjoy a hearty breakfast. Oatmeal edges out when it comes to protein and fiber content, which is more satisfying and filling to keep you full. But Cream of Wheat provides more bioavailable iron and calcium, and its oh-so-smooth texture is easier on sensitive stomachs.

Is Malt-O-Meal high in carbs?

Yes, Malt-O-Meal does deliver a pretty decent carbohydrate punch – its main ingredients are wheat farina and malted barley after all. But it can provide good sources of energy when incorporated into a balanced breakfast meal and paired with protein, healthy fats or fiber.

Does Malt-O-Meal have vitamin B12?

Yes, absolutely – Malt-O-Meal contains a range of B vitamins, including vitamin B12. This is essential for healthy nerve and brain tissue function and red blood cell production. Many fortified cereals add B12 to up their nutritional value.

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