Yes, I've seen 谷类食品, but as you said 听起来怪怪的 .
Since eating cereal for breakfast is not common in China, I think there may be different words for it depending on where you go, but both 麦片 and 麦片粥 are the two words I often see for "(breakfast) cereal".
Ah, yes... I used to drink that type of “麦片" that you're talking about years ago! (if it was indeed 麦片。。?) so I suppose 麦片 is not (contrary to what my dictionary says) just oatmeal, is it? It's all types of cereal?
For example, those 可以喝的那种麦片 you were talking about, Youngfan, are they ones which are almost like a grain congee/chok (with grains instead of rice)？or for example, those similar powder mixtures of various grains you can get in some grocery stores in China (which are basically like a 'fresh' version which doesn't come from the factory)? (ha I don't know the terminology I hope you know what I mean)
I also drank that yeard ago, I thought they have disappeared now... till recently my friend offered me some bags... and yes, it's called 麦片 too.
I think you are right about the drinkable 麦片, I've found some images that should be pretty close, but as I don't want to make commercial publicity I'll send you by PM.
About the second thing... are you talking about 五谷杂粮粥？But that doesn't come in a powder, and it's actually a very healthy food, it's a real traditional Chinese congee.
Btw, is "chok" a common way to call the congee in English?
i've searched it, it seems that it's the Thai or Min nan name for 粥。
Thanks for sending the images! Actually I guess I must have been mistaken--as you say, it must be the 五谷杂粮粥 (and its variants) that I used to get from Chinatown here (although I must have also tried the Chinese powder 麦片 as well at some point). Both times I had it (the 五谷杂粮粥), it came in a powdered-down version (for both fresh and packaged versions). I never realized/had forgotten it was a congee (since it tastes different from the ones I've eaten/made) but that makes sense now that you say it.
Oh yeah, no, "chok" isn't a very common way of saying it, at least I don't think so (sorry if anyone was confused!). That's what my mom calls it since she is 台山ese (although I think it is the only word left in Chinese that she remembers now). I guess it must be the same in 泰语 and 闽南话！ (perhaps in the regions closer to 广东?)
According to Wikipedia, the Taishanese Jyutping of 粥 is zuk1 (IPA: [tsūk]). So 'chok' could be an anglicized transcription.
Not regions closer to 广东, but regions that preserved a more similar sound to 中古汉语。
Well, I hope the next generations of IBC (Italian Born Chinese) will remember more Mandarin/温州话/青田话 words than 粥.
But I'm optimistic, the situation now is pretty good since most of us 2nd generations speak Chinese in family, go to Chinese language school on weekends and travel a lot to China on holidays, furthermore my cousins' children are 3rd generations but are being raised by my uncles and aunts, and are also learning Chinese, both Mandarin and our home dialect 青田话.
Sorry for the long off-topic.
I've never seen the powdered 五谷杂粮粥，in China people prefer to buy fresh cereals and beans, and then cook them patiently. Maybe they exist but I didn't pay attention.
It seems that they consist simply in milk powder + oatmeal in little pieces + sugar or other sweeteners. So in packages they write simply 燕麦粥 (oatmeal).
It's just a quicker, more convenient and more industrial way of having oatmeal, so one has to add only boiled water, without having to add milk and sugar.
Just like instant noodles, instant coffee (some Chinese people even think that instant coffee IS coffee, they were surprised when I talked about coffee that needs to be cooked...), etc. in China you can pretty find everything instant.