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What are the ingredients in Nabisco graham crackers?

Graham crackers have been a beloved snack in America for over 100 years. Originally created by Sylvester Graham in 1829 as a digestive biscuit made from graham flour, modern graham crackers like Nabisco’s famous rectangular treats are a slightly sweetened, nostalgic classic. But what exactly goes into those crispy, golden crackers? Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients that make up Nabisco graham crackers.

Main Ingredients

The primary ingredients in Nabisco graham crackers are:

  • Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Whole grain wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Soybean and/or canola oil
  • Leavening (baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate)
  • Salt

Let’s go through each of these key ingredients in more detail:

Enriched Flour

The first flour listed is an enriched wheat flour. This means it is wheat flour that has been processed to remove the bran and germ, leaving mostly the endosperm. B vitamins (niacin, thiamine, riboflavin) and iron are then added back in, hence the term “enriched.” Enriched flours provide texture and structure to baked goods.

Whole Grain Wheat Flour

In addition to enriched white flour, Nabisco graham crackers also contain whole grain wheat flour. This flour contains the entire wheat kernel including the bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran and germ provide fiber, B vitamins, and other nutrients. The inclusion of whole wheat flour boosts the nutritional value of the graham crackers.


Sugar is an important ingredient that provides sweetness to balance out the wheat flavor. Sugar enhances browning and contributes to the distinctive taste and golden color of graham crackers. Granulated white sugar is most likely used.


Honey is another source of sweetness in graham crackers. Honey has a mellower, more complex sweet flavor compared to regular sugar. It also adds moisture to help keep the crackers from becoming overly dry and crumbly.

Soybean and/or Canola Oil

The small amount of vegetable oil in graham crackers prevents them from being too dry and aids in creating a crisp texture. Soybean and canola oil are commonly used in mass-produced foods due to their neutral flavor and affordability.

Leavening Agents

Baking soda and ammonium bicarbonate are chemical leaveners that react with moisture to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. This allows the crackers to rise slightly during baking, giving them a light and airy texture.


A small quantity of salt enhances the sweetness and other flavors in graham crackers. Salt also impacts the texture and structural integrity of baked goods.

Minor Ingredients

In addition to the major components listed above, Nabisco graham crackers contain small amounts of other ingredients including:

  • Corn syrup – Adds sweetness and moisture retention
  • Molasses – Provides rich, brown sugar-like flavor
  • Baking powder – Aids in leavening
  • Soy lecithin – An emulsifier that improves texture
  • Natural flavor – Enhances graham cracker taste
  • Spices – Undisclosed spices add subtle notes

While present in tiny quantities, these supplementary ingredients each contribute to the distinctive flavor, aroma, color, and mouthfeel of Nabisco graham crackers.

Nutrition Facts

Now let’s examine the nutrition information in a serving of Nabisco graham crackers:

Serving Size: Four Crackers

Amount Per Serving
Calories 140
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Sodium 180mg
Total Carbohydrate 23g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Total Sugars 8g
Includes 8g Added Sugars
Protein 2g

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 8%
Saturated Fat 5%
Cholesterol 0%
Sodium 8%
Total Carbohydrate 8%
Dietary Fiber 4%
Total Sugars
Added Sugars
Vitamin D 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 8%
Potassium 0%

*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This nutrition information gives us an idea of the calorie, macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral content in a serving of graham crackers. Key points:

  • 140 calories per serving (4 crackers)
  • 23g total carbohydrates including 8g sugar per serving
  • Provides 8% DV for iron
  • 8% DV for sodium

Graham crackers are relatively low in calories and fat. They contain a moderate amount of carbs, mostly in the form of refined flour. Fiber content is low at just 1g per serving. Iron levels are decent thanks to the enriched flour. Sodium content is a bit high since salt is added for flavor.

Overall, graham crackers make for a quick light snack but lack the protein and nutrients found in whole foods.

Are There Preservatives in Nabisco Graham Crackers?

Checking the ingredient list, you won’t find any chemical preservatives like BHT, BHA, or calcium propionate in Nabisco graham crackers.

However, they do containguards against spoilage without artificial preservatives. These include:

  • Low moisture content – Dry baked goods resist mold growth
  • Sugar – Has antimicrobial properties
  • Salt – Inhibits microbial growth
  • Packaging – Sealed wrapper protects from humidity

So while not containing artificial preservatives, graham crackers have an extended shelf life thanks to their low moisture and ability to stay fresh in the packaging.

Are Graham Crackers Vegan?

Regular Nabisco graham crackers are vegan friendly. They do not contain any animal-derived ingredients like dairy, eggs, or honey.

However, there are certain varieties that are not vegan:

  • Honey Maid Graham Crackers – Contain honey
  • Teddy Grahams – Contain milk & whey

So if following a vegan diet, be sure to check labels and look for the original graham cracker option to avoid any animal products.

Are Graham Crackers Healthy?

While graham crackers taste decadent, they are relatively low in fat and calories. However, their refined grains, added sugars, and low fiber content do not provide much nutritional value.

Here are some pros and cons regarding the healthfulness of graham crackers:


  • Low in fat and calories per serving
  • Provide some iron and B vitamins from enriched flour
  • Lower sugar than many desserts or baked goods
  • Portable, quick snack
  • Nostalgic, comforting food for many people


  • Highly processed food with artificial ingredients
  • Contain added sugars
  • Low in fiber, protein, nutrients
  • Refined grains have reduced nutritional value
  • Higher in sodium than unsalted crackers or whole foods

Overall, graham crackers are an okay occasional snack if calories and blood sugar are not a concern. But they cannot compare to the nutrition of whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and other minimally processed real foods.

Ways to Make Graham Crackers Healthier

While graham crackers are not the most nutritious snack, there are ways to upgrade them and make them a bit healthier:

  • Opt for reduced sugar or whole grain varieties
  • Eat them with nut butter or Greek yogurt for more protein and nutrients
  • Dip them in milk for a decadent cookie experience with added calcium
  • Use them as crust for a mini cheesecake or fruit tart
  • Pair them with fresh fruit like strawberries or apple slices
  • Enjoy as an occasional treat, not a daily snack

Getting creative with mix-ins and toppings can make graham crackers more nutritious and satisfying. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as it’s easy to overindulge in the crunchy, sweet crackers.

Homemade Graham Crackers

For a more wholesome spin on graham crackers, they can be easily made from scratch at home. This allows total control over the ingredients. Here is a simple recipe:


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1⁄4 cup mild honey
  • 1⁄4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon sugar (for rolling, optional)


  1. Whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cut the chilled butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter until pea-sized crumbs form.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough to 1⁄8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut crackers and place them on the baking sheet. Reroll scraps to use all the dough.
  8. Use a fork to prick holes in the crackers. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before serving.

The benefit of homemade graham crackers is the ability to control ingredients. Whole grain flour provides more nutrition, while minimal sugar, butter, and salt keep them relatively healthy. Get creative by adding spices like ginger or pumpkin pie spice too!


Nabisco graham crackers have stood the test of time as a beloved pantry staple for good reason – their crispy texture, hint of sweetness, and wheaty flavor satisfy cravings and evoke nostalgia. A closer examination of the ingredients reveals enriched white flour helps create their iconic light and crispy structure, while sugar and honey provide a touch of sweetness to balance the wheat taste.

Though not the most nutritious snack compared to whole foods, graham crackers can be enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet. Opt for low-sugar varieties when possible and accompany them with protein-rich foods to make them a more satisfying treat. And the crackers can always be made from scratch at home for a wholesome take on this timeless classic.