Not long ago I saw an over-weight 30-something fellow in the clinic and I was going over the usual info and guidelines to start to turn his life around. His blood pressure was already starting to creep up, and he had no energy most days. I asked him what he had for breakfast that morning, he looked me in the eye and with a straight face said, "Reese's Puffs, why?"
|Great Breakfast Ideas|
|A Good Book|
The best kid's cereals are 1/3 sugar; the worst are over 50% sugar. You see, they have a sneaky way of not having sugar as their first ingredient; they divide it up and call it by different names. For example, a cereal may have sugar, corn syrup, corn starch solids, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup and molasses. These are ALL sugar and if the company were forced to group these sorts of things together, then most cereals would have sugar as their number one ingredient. You can find a great breakdown of cereal nutrition (or lack thereof) here.
According to the nice folks at Yale, here are the Worst Kid's Cereals on the Planet:
- Reese's Puffs
- Corn Pops
- Lucky Charms
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Cap'n Crunch
- Froot Loops
- Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles
- Cocoa Puffs
- Cookie Crisp
The nutritional value of all 10 is terrible and you should never buy a single one of them again. Childhood is the most important growth time in a person's life, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day; please don't let one of these 10 go into your child's mouth again while they are trying to grow up. Folks on a budget might say cereal is a cheap way to feed their kids, and I'd agree. Of course, picking up some dead leaves from your yard and sprinkling on some sugar would also be cheap (and probably more healthy!)
It's probably a rule that anytime a food is marketed directly to kids it is unhealthy. Yeah, I think that's a rule. Unless your kids do the grocery shopping, then we know who's responsible for bringing this crap into your house, now don't we? Stop it. There are quick, healthy ways to start your kids day that don't involve opening a cardboard box.
How about a Berry Smoothie? Remember eggs? Eggs and turkey sausage are easy make a great breakfast that will really have their brains working all day long. Food is the most important thing you put inside your kids body; an adult should decide what goes inside the 6 year-old, not the 6 year-old! Yale actually found that kids will happily eat breakfasts much lower in sugar if they are provided with options.
Dr. Josh Axe, a DC from Nashville, has a pretty good video exposing kid's cereals here. There are many different alternatives that are just as inexpensive as kid's cereal, and almost as easy to prepare; you just gotta look for them. Every day we, as parents, are setting examples for our kids and helping them make good choices; let's make sure we're doing the best we can...