Ask Levi: What About Malt-O-Meal and Cream of Wheat?

Today’s question is about Malt-o-Meal and Cream of Wheat, and if they compare to oatmeal…

I read a lot of magazines and talk to a lot of riders about what food to eat. I’ve been riding for only 2 years. Yet, no one ever mentions malto-meal, cream of wheat or cream of rice. Are these good to eat or should I just stick with Oatmeal? I eat them anyway, but not as a meal before riding.


Hi Matthew,

cream of wheat

I used to eat cream of wheat years ago. I liked it, but I’d get sick of it after a while and have to take a break.

I may have tried Malt-O-Meal but I can’t remember. I think that is very similar to Cream of Wheat.

Cream of rice… I’ve never actually seen that.

Along those same lines, I don’t think many of my buddies ever ate cream of wheat or even knew what it was. Whereas everyone just knows what oatmeal is. I’m not completely sure why, but the other hot cereals just don’t get any publicity it seems.

Oatmeal, I always liked it, and it was something I could eat every day.

Anyway, here are a couple reasons I don’t really eat cream of wheat or rice:

1. I already get whole grain wheat and rice in my diet.

I get plenty of wheat in my diet already from whole grain bread, pita bread, and sprouted grain bread. I don’t need any more.

I enjoy eating long grain wild rice or brown rice on their own, in their natural state. I’ve never felt a need to get more by eating a cereal made of it.

Oats on the other hand, I don’t really eat them outside of my oatmeal (and sometimes my homemade protein bars.)

2. These hot cereals are processed foods.

The main reason I skip hot cereals now is because they’re still processed foods. I think of them like the instant oatmeal packets you can get in stores – highly processed, contain too much sugar, etc.

The original Cream of Wheat is basically just wheat (no added sugars and flavors,) but it still reminds me too much of white flour rather than whole grains of wheat.

So I stick with oatmeal because I can get the oats plain and start fresh, which gives me much more control over the cooking process.

And that’s what I recommend. Buy some steel cut oats, cook your steel cut oats, flavor your steel cut oats, and enjoy!

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4 Comments so far

  1. Stu K. on August 1st, 2011

    Cream of wheat is practically the same thing as oatmeal. I prefer a heartier oatmeal over anything with “cream” in the name.

  2. Levi on August 10th, 2011


    Yeah, the texture may be similar to instant oatmeal, but oats and wheat are very, very different grains.

    Good hearty steel cut oats can’t be beat :)

  3. k.parker on March 3rd, 2013

    Hi Levi,
    I just found your site, as I was looking for information about steel cut oats. But I have to weigh in on your comments about Malt-o-Meal. I’ve been eating it since I was a child and find it as tasty and nourishing as oatmeal. It is a combination of wheat farina (from ground whole germ wheat) and malted barley. There are no processing chemicals added. They do add iron, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2. The nutritional values per serving break down as follows: Cal.-130; Total Fat: 0.5; Cholesterol-0; Sodium-0; Fiber-1g; sugars-0; carbs-27; protein-5g…nutrionally, almost identical to oatmeal, except for the added vitamins in the M-o-M. I’m not suggesting you substitute it for oatmeal if you don’t like it, but it is much heartier and better tasting than cream of wheat, and a nice variation on daily oatmeal. We always add cinnamon and fresh blueberries. It’s at least worth a try.

  4. Levi on May 10th, 2013


    Thanks for the info and especially the comparison between Cream of Wheat and Malt-O-Meal.

    Wheat products really don’t work out well for me, but I may give it a shot out of curiosity now.

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