many of the breakfast cereals are kids are eating could be reasonably marketed as desserts based on the amount of sugar per serving they contain.
America likes cereal. Moms and Dads like it. You pour it in a bowl, pour milk over it and you have breakfast. And most cereals try to make you feel good with claims like “Whole Grains”, “Natural” and other “healthy euphemisms”.
And our kids like cereals. They have funny commercials with memorable characters, brightly colored boxes with more memorable characters and sometimes, there’s even a surprise hiding in the box. But there’s an even better reason kids like cereals. They taste good. Actually, they taste sweet. They taste so sweet, our kids probably don’t even think they’re having breakfast. It might as well be dessert.
Some of the products in the study contain as much sugar per serving than a piece of candy of a Twinkie. Here’s a list of the cereals who get the highest scores in the sugar ratings and should be receiving the lowest scores from Moms and Dads everywhere:
1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks—55% sugar
2. Post Golden Crisp—51.9% sugar
3. Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Marshmallow—48.3% sugar
4. Quaker Oats Captain Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries—46.9% sugar
5. Quaker Oats Captain Crunch Original—44.4% sugar
6. Quaker Oats Oh’s—44.4% sugar
7. Kellogg’s Smorz—43.3% sugar
8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks —42.9% sugar
9. Quaker Oats Captain Crunch’s Crunch Berries—42.3% sugar
10. Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Original—41.4% sugar
While it’s difficult to help our kids drown out the loud voice-overs from cereal commercials, there are things that have been able to keep the fun in breakfast while keeping the sugar out.
Make oatmeal together: Oatmeal is a pretty quick breakfast. Children love helping adults cook and measuring out the oatmeal and getting it into the pot can involve your child in the cooking process. Sliced bananas, an assortment of berries, raisins and other fruits can be fun mix-ins for oatmeal.
Add some dried fruit to the cereal you like: “Doctor” your healthier cereal with some sweet things that are better for your kids.
Prepare a “fun” looking breakfast: Breakfast smoothies and parfaits look like fun and can be much healthier than the traditional kids breakfast offenders.
FoodFacts hopes that information like this is continually put in front of the public. If we can all have a better understanding of how are kids SHOULD NOT be eating, we’ll have a better chance of having the food companies produce real foods that we can feel comfortable with our children consuming.