April At-Home STEAM Activity: Finding Iron in Breakfast Cereal

Iron is an essential mineral to our body. It is found in every cell and is used to make hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body.

If we don’t have enough iron, our body will show symptoms including lack of energy, shortness of breath, headache, irritability, dizziness, or weight loss. Over time, we will suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Fortunately, we can get iron in our diet.

Have you ever read the cereal box and noticed that there’s “iron” in the cereal’s nutrition list?
Here’s an experiment you can actually see the iron in your cereal.

• Your favorite cereal that has iron listed in the nutrition table (I used multi-grain cheerios)
• Neodymium magnet
• A clear bottle (any used bottles, such as shampoo bottles, are fine)
• Water

• A clear bottle (any used bottles such as shampoo bottles are fine, or you can use this)
• Adult supervision


  • Fill the bottle with water until it is a third full.
  • Put cereal into the bottle of water.
  • Shake (Kids especially enjoy this step)
  • If your cereal doesn’t dissolve or break up after shaking, then it’s better to leave the cereal soaking overnight for it to soften and break up.
  • When the cereal is thoroughly soaked and in smaller pieces, place the magnet on the outside of the bottle to attract the iron inside. Rotate the bottle so that more liquid can touch the point where the magnet is.
  • Now, rotate the bottle until the water isn’t directly underneath the magnet any more. Slowly lift the magnet to see the iron pieces stuck on the bottle!