What did you feed your children before school this morning? If you’re like most Americans, chances are good that they had cereal for breakfast. Actually, chances are even greater that you had cereal for breakfast. Surprisingly, an estimated 58% of those who are eating kids’ cereals are not kids at all, but people 18 and older!
Either way, before you buy that next box of Fruit Loops for yourself or your children, you may want to consider this report listing the best and worst rated kid’s cereals on the market. The report rated the nutrition of 27 kids’ cereals and focused on calories, sugar, fiber and sodium. Most didn’t earn a very good nutritional rating.
Of the 27 cereals tested, 23 rated only good or fair for nutrition. There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and 10 other rated cereals as there is in a glazed donut. Two cereals, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and Post Golden Crisp, are more than 50 percent sugar (by weight) and nine are at least 40 percent sugar. And that’s not the only issue. Although Kellogg’s Rice Krispies has only 4 grams of sugar per serving, it only recieved a fair rating, largely because of its high sodium content and having zero dietary fiber.
Here is the list of the 7 that scored the lowest rating:
- Kellogs Corn Pops
- Kellogs Honey Smacks
- Post Golden Crisp
- Kellogs Fruit Loops
- Kellogs Rice Krispies
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch
- Quaker Oats Peanut Butter Crunch.
Luckily, there were four cereals that scored very good in our new nutrition rating system based on product label information. Cheerios, Kix, Honey Nut Cheerios (all General Mills), and Life (Quaker Oats) earned points for relatively lower sugar and higher dietary fiber.
Another concerning point of the report is the fact that nutritional ratings were based on the serving size listed on the cereal box. However, most people pour far more than the single recommended serving. During the test, 91 kids were asked to pour themselves a bowl of cereal. The amount the children poured was often a lot more than a serving size and that means kids were actually consuming even more sugar because of the larger serving size.
Sweetened cereals are a major source of nutritionally empty calories. Plus many contain chemicals such as Yellow 5 to make the cereal more appealing to the eye. However a good cereal can make the perfect breakfast. Be sure to choose one that is low in sugar and high in fiber.