Do We Want Kids Starting the Day with a Bowl of Sugar?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We’ve all heard how “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that it’s critical to give your kids a healthy meal before they head to school each day.  You’d think that cereal would be a good choice:  pair it with some milk, a piece of fruit, and they’ve got a well-rounded meal, right?  Well, not necessarily, especially if you’re not paying close attention to the label on the cereal box.  A new report shows that most cereals marketed to children do not meet voluntary federal nutrition guidelines.  Many have too much sugar, others have too much salt, not enough whole grains, etc.   Buyer beware…..

The report, published by the Environmental Working Group, reviewed 84 popular kid’s cereals.  They found that many top brands contain more sugar per serving than dessert.  For example, “Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of high-sugar cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.  A one-cup serving of Honey Smacks packs more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, and one cup of any of 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.”  Not the best start to the day, is it?
If it’s something your kids love, there are a few big-brand children’s cereals that meet the federal guidelines for sugar, sodium, saturated fat and whole grain content:
  • Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats: Unfrosted Bite-Size, Frosted Big Bite, Frosted Bite-Size, Frosted Little Bite
  • General Mills Cheerios Original
  • General Mills Kix Original
According to the report, there are other “adult” cereals that meet the nutritional guidelines for a healthy breakfast.  (Click the link above to read about those in more detail.)
It’s possible to give your kids a healthy breakfast that they enjoy and doesn’t take tons of time to prepare.  Some of the popular options in my house include:  scrambled eggs, oatmeal, French toast, pancakes (I use a whole-grain mix that makes it easy) and peanut butter toast.  I usually serve it with some fruit and a glass of milk and they are all set with a healthy meal.   Looking for more ideas?  Check out Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas, How to Pick a Healthy Breakfast Cereal, and Members Share Their Favorite Breakfasts
Do the results of this report surprise you?  Whether you have kids or not, what healthy and quick breakfast choices work well in your home?