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?