The Truth is Out: Cereal Before Milk, and That’s That!

A woman holds a box of cereal in one hand and a gallon of milk in the other hand. She has a confused look on her face.
Image by Dwayne Adderley via Canva

Let’s chew the fat, well, the flakes, on a question that’s been bugging breakfast eaters for ages. It’s a debate that’s almost as old as wondering about which came first — the chicken or the egg. It’s about a serious breakfast matter: should the cereal go into the bowl before the milk?

Just to be clear, I’m firmly in the ‘Cereal First’ (CF) camp. Yes, I said it, and yes, I’m ready to defend it. Some might say it’s not a big deal. To them, I say they’ve probably fallen into the trap of the ‘Milk First’ crowd. This is about breakfast harmony. This is about proper etiquette.

Why does it matter, you ask? Well, putting the cereal in before the milk is about keeping the peace at the breakfast table. It’s about getting a good mix, the right taste, and importantly, that satisfying crunch. You can’t just ditch these things like yesterday’s cold toast.

Imagine this: you pour your cereal in first. It’s crunchy and ready to go. Then you add the milk, just enough to get in between the bits but not too much to make it all soggy. It’s like a dance of different feels and tastes in your mouth. Isn’t that the breakfast experience we all want?

Wait! There’s more! Going cereal-first lets you control how much of everything you want. You get to decide how much cereal and how much milk. It’s like being the boss of your breakfast. Who wouldn’t want that?

When was the last time you went to the grocery store and got the milk before your box of cereal? The milk section is on the outskirts of the other aisles for a reason. You select it AFTER you select the cereal. Cereal first!

Now let’s look at the ‘Milk First’ folks. They start by pouring milk into the bowl. Then they dump the cereal on top. Instead of a gentle dance, it’s a struggle for the cereal to stay afloat. Instead of a perfect breakfast, it’s a sad, soggy mess. Yuck.

Furthermore, going milk-first can lead to some real messes. Trying to get cereal to sit nicely on top of milk is a tricky job. Make a wrong move, and your breakfast could end up everywhere. Not exactly the best way to start the day. This is probably why you see those cranky drivers, coworkers, and classmates in the mornings.

Have you noticed how the ‘Milk First’ crowd are always moaning about their cereal being too soft? “My cereal’s all soggy,” they grumble, looking about as happy as a kid who’s just found out Santa isn’t real. Well, you made your breakfast, so live with it.

But really, what this debate shows is the magic of breakfast. It’s a meal that lets us be ourselves, no matter how quirky. Whether you’re a hardcore ‘Milk First’, a traditional ‘Cereal First’, or even a wild ‘I mix my cereal and milk separately’ type, what counts is the fun and goodness that breakfast brings.

So, if you like a harmonious breakfast, if you like your cereal crunchy, and if you want your breakfast just so, then come on over to the CF side. Remember: cereal goes into the bowl before the milk. Because we don’t want you to be a cereal criminal. Or should I say, cereal killer.

Let me know your thoughts.

Disclaimer: Don’t worry, no cereals or milks were hurt while writing this article. I can’t say the same for breakfast lovers’ feelings, though. Keep it crunchy, my friends.



Dwayne Adderley, MBA,LPQ

Business Consultant, Entrepreneur, and Writer. Subject matter expert in Business Operations, Aviation and Loss Prevention.