Milkosaurs and Dairydactyls: Serious Cereal Eating Habits

Milkosaur photographed in its native environment

Don’t let the milk run out or…

Our kids are so big into cereal, and dairy in general, that we debate what to call them. Is this the ravenous craving of a Milkosaur? A Tyrannosaurus Chex? A Dairydactyl? We haven’t settled but are accepting votes in the comments.

We don’t mind their enthusiasm since it’s about the easiest breakfast imaginable. But when I read this report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) about desserts masquerading as kids’ breakfast cereals, it seemed like a good time to check our pantry. High sugar content is a serious issue I agree, but fortunately my wife runs a tight ship and we did pretty well, I think. Here’s our list:

  • Quaker Oat Squares: Solid choice – the kids love these as do I. Lightly sweetened, lots of whole grain. Not on the list since they’re not considered a children’s cereal so is listed as a good “alternative.”
  • Post Raisin Bran: My eldest’s favorite. High sugar content actually, even though the raisins don’t seem coated with sugar. Spouse already knew they’re not the best, I was like whaaaat? I blame the lightweight flakes contending with a lot of raisins, whose natural sugar counts against them which doesn’t seem fair.
  • Frosted Mini-Wheats: Kids love these. I expected the sugar content to be high, but what little sugar there is sits right on the surface where you can actually taste it. One of the report’s “6 Good Big-Brand Cereals.”
  • Kellogg’s Fruit Loops: Our one guilty pleasure which was in there on “audit day.” Obviously not a surprise that it’s bad, but we don’t keep that one stocked. I agree with EWG, this is dessert, a special treat for very good behavior. Or for dad, whether or not I’ve been good. One year Santa brought some, for making necklaces, cause that guy knows how to have a good time.

If your kids are cereous about cereal too, I hope you’re not beating yourself up about it, as if you must be a bad parent if you don’t serve a frittata with green smoothies every morning. In my opinion, eating cereal most mornings can definitely be considered as good eating habits for both children and adults alike. Cereal is incredibly fast and easy to prepare; and that’s gotta be worth something for busy families like mine. I mean, mornings are stressful enough… right? All you have to do is teach yourself and your kids to throw in some fresh fruit before it can be officially called a ‘Healthy Breakfast’.

Are there milkosaurs in your family? Have you gone gluten-free and if so is there a good cereal alternative? For wheat-eaters, what is your favorite health variety? What’s your guilty pleasure?

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Posted in Breakfast, Family, Fast, Food Articles, Kid Friendly, Parenting
5 comments on “Milkosaurs and Dairydactyls: Serious Cereal Eating Habits
  1. Kevin Mapes says:

    Easy for Dad to prepare, full of nutrition; dairy, refined sugars, and gluten. It is a hit in our house for Dad and Kids. We switch it up with house brand corn flakes or rice crispies adding plain yogurt and home made low sugar jelly. The kids love to mix it up and it’s good. In a time crunch Trader Jo’s has really good gluten free isle with tasty cerials.

    • Ryan Ryan says:

      It’s so easy my seven year old can serve breakfast to the whole crew. While I’m still sleeping, I mean, working hard on something important. In the other room. With a blanket over my head.

  2. Rick D says:

    All varieties of Cheerios were established early on in our household. Guilt pleasure and very occasional award… Lucky Charms. They’re magically delicious!

  3. Krista says:

    While my kids love cereal, my daughter prefers it without milk. So, when we are eating gluten-free (which has proven to be too expensive to do full-time), she did not enjoy the gluten-free cereals. She preferred rice cakes with peanut butter, and gluten-free baked goods like pumpkin muffins and coffee cake. We would also frequently do gluten-free pancakes and waffles. When we are not eating gluten-free (even though we should be), she likes Fruity Pebbles. Lots of sugar, no wheat and she prefers them sans milk. My son prefers hot cereals (with milk) and anything with eggs. So, we tend to have more hearty breakfasts (when Mom is home and not working early in the morning). When Dad makes breakfast, it’s usually cereal, and it usually has lots of sugar. I have been freezing extra pancakes and waffles in individual baggies, so the kids will most often choose those over cereal. I happen to prefer eggs and hot cereal over cold cereal and will even make them before work. I sure wish we had a Trader Joes!

  4. Becky Jane says:

    With 11 kids, cold cereal became too expensive to have on hand all the time. In our home cold cereal became what you mentioned…a dessert! Special treat time included cold cereal. Our one indulgence along with cold cereal is ice cream. We don’t stock the freezer with it, but on a Saturday night a dish of ‘yumminess’ is great!

    Our kids were raised eating all sorts of vegs. Surprisingly, cauliflower, broccoli, and pumpkin are at the top.

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