October 21, 2014

Do One Thing: Replace Sugary Breakfast Cereals

Did you know that many of the cereals kids eat for breakfast are 50% sugar? This month’s “Do One Thing” challenge tackles the most important meal of the day – breakfast.

Over the past few months, if you have been following along with our “Do One Thing” series, you have made fantastic progress towards reducing genetically modified foods by switching to organic milk and chicken. Congratulations! You should be extremely proud of the changes you’ve made so far. If you are just joining this series, it’s not too late. Just tackle one thing each month and you will be on your way.

Now that the summer is here and we don’t need to make a mad dash for the school bus in the morning, it is the perfect time to switch things up for breakfast. If your weekday mornings are still crazy during the summer, try to make these changes on the weekends and then slowly encorporate them into your Monday through Friday routine.

According to a Yale study, compared to cereals marketed to adults, those marketed to children have 85% more sugar, 65% less fiber, and 60% more sodium. And market them, they do! Cereal companies spend more than $156 million per year marketing to children.

If you have small kids in the house, no doubt you are felt the pressure to buy some of the cereals on this list…

Top 10 Worst Cereals for Kids

  1. Reese’s Puffs
  2. Corn Pops
  3. Lucky Charms
  4. Golden Grahams
  5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  6. Cap’n Crunch
  7. Count Chocula
  8. Trix
  9. Froot Loops
  10. Smorz

Most of these unhealthy breakfast options contain labels on the box touting their nutritional benefits. Reese’s Puffs, Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch all claim to be made with whole grain. Others claim they are a good source of calcium. What they are not telling you is that these cereals are mostly sugar, artificial colors and flavors and modified corn products.

To learn more, watch this video from Dr. Josh Axe. He has a slightly different top 10 list of worst cereals so a few more here for you to avoid.

So stand strong, parents! Remove these sugary cereals from your cabinets and introduce some other options to your family. While Dr. Axe recommends removing cereal completely from your breakfast menu and replacing it with eggs and smoothies, this can be a very drastic change for a family to make and may not be doable right away.

So let’s start with switching out the sugary cereals for some healthier cereal options topped with some fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Top 10 Best Cereals for You and Your Kids

1. Frosted Mini Wheats

Surprising, right? While these most definitely contain sugar, Frosted Mini Wheats are very high in fiber and protein and because they still have a sweet coating they may aid you in transitioning your kids from the extremely sugary cereals.

2. Kashi Go Lean Crunch

Our family loves Kashi cereals. While they are not made from organic grains, they do use healthier grains and much less sugar than other brands. Go Lean Crunch is another cereal that is very high in fiber and protein and has a slightly sweet taste.

3. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Cereal – Almond

This cereal is made from organic sprouted grains like barley, millet and spelt and may scare off some family members. Try mixing it in with some of the Kashi cereal to get everyone used to the concept.

4. Cheerios

Your toddler loved them. Why not bring them back? Cheerios can be a bit bland all on their own but with some fresh fruit or dried cranberries, they are a great option.

5. Cascadian Farm Clifford Crunch

Still need a funny cartoon figure on your cereal boxes to entice your kids? Try Clifford Crunch. This organic cereal is made from while grain oat and barley flour and is sweet enough to pull your kids over to a healthier cereal choice.

6. Trader Joe’s Organic Corn Flakes

Trader Joe is a great place to look for healthier cereals. These organic corn flakes are a low sugar option with a strong corn taste.

7. Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Multigrain Cereal

This cereal is high in omega-3 and stays crunchy in milk.

8. EnviroKidz Organic Gorilla Munch

Gorilla Munch is a gluten-free kids cereal that is about 50% lower in sugar than the t0p 10 worst cereals. A great alternative for your resistant ones.

9. Erewhon Raisin Bran Cereal

This raisin bran is made from organic whole wheat berries and does not contain sugar coated raisins like some brands.

10. Nature’s Path Organic Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise

While sugar is the second ingredient in this cereal, it is a good organic, gluten-free choice made with whole grains.

 Ready to take the plunge? Tell us about your progress in the comments!

 

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