Many of you know our families affinity for cereal! Although I plan many different breakfast ideas during the week, many mornings, we default to cereal. Actually, even if I make something.. like pancakes, or waffles, or whatever, Nathan will ALSO eat cereal! He’s full throttle into the “Eat everything in sight because I’m growing” phase
There are three things worth considering when choosing a store bought cereal.
- Amount of sugar (look for cereals with less than 4 grams or 1 tsp per serving)
- Amount of fiber Kids need 5 grams plus their age in an entire day. So let this number be determined by how many other fiber sources there are. I like cereals with 3 or more grams of fiber per serving.
- Presence of whole grains (look for the words whole grain. If it doesn’t say Whole grain, it is NOT whole grain! Prior post For further discussion of whole wheat labels)
Each is important, and may differ depending on your priorities.
What we choose: Our priority is low sugar because I feel like we get enough fiber and whole grains from other sources. We buy lots of Cheerios and my kids love to put plain yogurt and fruit on top rather than milk.
Consumer reports ranked these cereals as the healthiest: Cheerios, Kix, Honey Nut cheerios, and Life for being both low in sugar and high in fiber. Then the article goes on to tell us there is as much sugar in Sugar Smacks as in an entire glazed donut from Dunkin Donuts. Sugar Smacks and Golden Crisp were more than 50% sugar! This is a must read article.
A letter I received from the General Mills folks stated 75 % of kids do not get the recommended levels of Vitamin D and calcium. They have added this to some of their cereals including Kix. At about 100 calories per serving, they can provide at least 10 of the vital nutrients.
So bottom line is read your labels!! Look for less than 4 grams of sugar, and as much fiber and nutrients you can stuff into your little kids cereal bowls.
Making cereal delicious:
- Make Cereal Parfait (as pictured). Cereal, yogurt, berries.
- Make cereal bars. ( I actually have a “power bar” recipe that uses cereal I’ll have to dig out)
- Sprinkle soaked wheat on top of cereal
- Using chocolate milk or other flavored milk
- Used crushed cereal to add to muffin recipes