Breaking: Children’s Cereals Are Filled With Sugar!
While scanning the headlines this morning on my favorite news sites, I was shocked to see hundreds of articles about children’s cereals being packed with sugar. At first I thought it was satire (you know, like something posted on The Onion and picked up by media outlets around the world as being legit). But, nope, this is real. And it makes me wonder, “Are people idiots?!”
Okay, so that’s a bit harsh. But, really, how is it news that children’s cereals are loaded with sugar? Didn’t we learn that in Parenting 101?
Look, I am FAR from perfect; in fact, I often feel like an imposter when it comes to this whole parenting thing (I’m just making it up as I go along). But if there’s one thing I know, it’s not to feed my kids sugary cereal first thing in the morning. Oh, yes, they eat processed chicken nuggets for lunch and Wacky Mac for dinner despite my better efforts. And granola bars – you know, the store-bought ones loaded with sugar and other crap – is a typical snack. It kills me, but I’m still working on the whole “healthy eating” thing with my boys (I’ll let you know once I figure it out – never).
But sorry, the day does not begin with Kellogg’s Honey Smacks or Captain Crunch or anything, really, that features an illustrated character on the box. Breakfast is my one opportunity each day to shove something healthy down my kids’ throats, like yogurt with berries, or whole grain toast with almond butter and sliced banana (a favorite around here). It’s the one time per day that I feel like a “good” mom who actually knows what she’s doing!
As one colleague puts it, “My daughter can have baked french fries for dinner, but it’s fruit and yogurt for breakfast.” Here, here, sister!
The reason why people suddenly have cereal on the brain is because The Environmental Working Group EWC) has just released its list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, which you can check out here. Leading the pack is Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, coming in at 55.6% sugar by weight, followed by Post Golden Crisp (51.9%), Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow (48.3%), Quaker Oats Cap/n Crunch OOPS! All Berries (46.9%) and Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original (44.4%).
The good news is that cereal for breakfast is still possible without feeling like you’re feeding your kids the equivalent of a dozen cookies. The trick is to read the ingredient list (duh) and opt for healthy choices that are, not surprisingly, geared towards adults vs. children. The EWC has a list of those, too, which you can view here.
Alright, I’m off to check the nutritional label on my giant, Costco-sized box of Cheerios…