11 Jul 2012
I confess that I do not make a hot breakfast for my family every day. In fact, I rarely make a hot breakfast. You could ask my kids what they have for breakfast most days of the year and all seven of them would say, “Cereal and skim milk.”
I calculated one time that between the lunches and dinners that I prepare for the nine of us, I cook about 6,500 meals in one year, and that is not including snacks. That’s my “excuse” for not making eggs, vegetarian bacon, and toast or whole wheat pancakes very often for breakfast.
When I was overweight and even after, I just bought whatever cereal appealed to the kids although I did draw the line at cereals based on cookies or ones that were as colorful as a box of crayons. Even I knew those cereals couldn’t be good for us.
There has been a lot of attention on high fructose corn syrup and a lot of attention given in the media to how much refined sugars we are consuming. All this attention caused me to reexamine the foods I was feeding my children for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Although I knew that even a small dessert of frozen yogurt or a brownie had sugar, I was surprised to find out how much sugar was in some of the cereals that I had previously considered relatively healthy.
Here are some examples for the sugar content in one bowl of cereals that we have eaten over the past years:
Honey Bunches of Oats: 6 grams
Raisin Bran Crunch: 20 grams
Frosted Mini-Wheats: 12 grams
Smart-Start: 17 grams
Interestingly, some of those “cookie” cereals that I avoided had less sugar than some of the cereals we had been eating. This made me sit up and think about how careful we must be when just taking something off the shelf and feeding it to our kids.
These days, we ditched the Raisin Bran Crunch and other high sugar cereals and now eat cereals that have under 5 grams of sugar such as those from the Attune Foods line. My kids had to make some adjustments in their palates because going from a sweet cereal to one that was not took some persuading. (Especially for the younger ones.) Over time though, they adjusted.
I’d challenge you to take a look at the sugar content of the foods you assume might be a healthy choice. I wonder if you are surprised as I was. The good thing is that it is never too late to make a change in your diet, whether it is the cereal you eat, the lunches you purchase, or the dinners you make.
Any thoughts on sugary cereals for kids and yourself?
DianeCheck out my latest posts here