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

You’ve probably just started a new diet plan, or you simply want to be more conscious of how many calories you’re eating. On this new adventure, you’ve come to find that when counting in food you measure in cups, not plates or bowls.

An average 6 inch wide 3 inch deep bowl holds about 1 and 1/2 cups of cereal without milk. Although cereal bowls differ in size, this dimension is most common. The average number of calories for 1 and 1/2 cups of cereal is 225 calories without milk. Including milk may decrease the average amount of cereal that can fit in a bowl.

Of course, just like most every question, there is a wide range of “it depends” answers to this question out there. Here, we address the most important topics that impact the average amount of cereal in a bowl and debunk a few things you may think impact it but really don’t.

Bowl Size Matters

The most obvious variable to the question “how much cereal is in a bowl” is the actual size of the bowl that is being used. Bowl sizes vary widely from home to home so it may be hard to give an average. But we tried anyway.

In our study, our bowls ranged from what could reasonably be a popcorn bowl to a bowl roughly around the size of a large tea cup. This was to enable us to get the most accurate results across the board.

We found that the smallest cup, measuring 5 inches in diameter and 3 inches in depth, held 3/4 cup of cereal. The largest bowl, 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches in depth, held 2 and 1/2 cups. That left a difference of 1 and 3/4 cups, which is a lot when you’re counting calories.

It is important to note though, that the two bowl sizes measured above were somewhat of outliers in their region. Of the 9 different bowls that we collected, 5 of them fell within an inch of the average 6 inch wide 3 inch deep standard bowl.

How We Measured

To begin our little experiment we borrowed 9 different bowls from various homes. This was to ensure two things:

One, variability. If we were to have collected from the same house or even the same types of families, we think bowl size would be pretty much the same. By collecting from different homes and families we made sure to account for the cereal lovers and their massive bowls and the occasional snackers with their tiny ones.

Two, we ensured that these are bowls that every day people use for cereal. We didn’t just pick them up from a second-hand store or anything like that. We used real people’s bowls. This gave us what we believe to be the most accurate results to suit a wide variety of everyday life.

After collecting the bowls we measured the diameter and depth of each bowl in inches. We then measured out how much of the same dry cereal would fit in each bowl until it was full.

We considered full to be about a half-inch away from the rim of the bowl. This was to account for both a spoon and milk. So those of you who only eat dry cereal, bowls will probably fit a little more for you.

So here is the raw, unfiltered dates that you can see for yourself the bowl size to cereal ratio.

Width (inches)Depth (inches)Cups
7.521 1/2
62.51 1/4
62.51 1/4
732 1/2
6.53.52 1/2
Width was across the middle of the bowl

How the Calories Add Up

Back to the undertone question. What many of you may really be asking is how many calories am I consuming when I eat a typical bowl of cereal?

This really depends on the cereal you’re eating, but the average number of calories per cup of cereal is 150 according to MyFitnessPalOpens in a new tab..

By putting this information together with our own study of average bowl size, it is safe to say that an average bowl of cereal contains roughly 225 calories without milk.

With milk is a whole other story.

It’s Different with Milk

When it comes to both calories and how much cereal is in a bowl, milk is the real game changer.

Many of you out there may pour your milk into the bowl before you pour your cereal (no judgment here), but this actually has a small effect on how much cereal fits into your bowl.

Often times, people who pour milk before cereal pour more milk and less cereal. Typically someone who pours milk first can fit about a quarter cup less of cereal.

Although this may not seem like a tremendous difference, it does affect calorie count ever so slightly. Milk before cereal people averages about 188 calories per bowl of cereal without milk.

Milk probably has the greatest effect on the calorie count of a bowl of cereal. Depending on if you drink skim milk or whole milk it’s a 67 calorie difference per cup. Whole milk is 150 calories while skim milk is 83.

The Type of Cereal Doesn’t Change Much

Contrary to popular belief, the type of cereal does not really change how much cereal you can fit in a bowl in regards to cups. When it comes down to it, a cup is a cup. The average number of cups in a bowl stays the same, however, the serving size may be different.

Let us explain.

No matter what, if you measure out a cup of granola or a cup of Rice Krispies it’s a cup. However, it may definitely seem like you are getting way more Rice Krispies than granola when you look at them comparatively.

This is why it’s important to look at the serving sizes for cereal. Although you may only fit 1 and 1/2 cups in a bowl. Depending on the cereal that may be one serving or it may be three.

To wrap it up the average amount of dry cereal that fits in a bowl is 1 and 1/2 cups or 225 calories. Milk makes a big difference and types of cereal don’t. Hopefully, this post is the end to your endless morning rummage through the kitchen.

Anna Silver

Anna Silver is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to new go-to original recipes. Inspired by her grandmother’s love of cooking, Anna has a passion for treating the people in her life to delicious homemade food and loves to share her family recipes with the rest of the world.

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