As we are rushing around preparing for the day ahead, cereal seems like the quick and logical answer to provide your kids with morning sustenance.
Entire supermarket aisles are dedicated to cereal, so it is no wonder it’s Australia’s number one choice to break the fast, but which ones are better?
Studies show that eating a proper breakfast that is low in G.I. sets our kids up for optimal learning and is the main contributor in preventing childhood obesity. Another advantage (and I can personally vouch for this one) is that a healthy breakfast also tends to sway kids (and adults) into choosing healthier meals for the rest of the day.
Cereal marketing gurus are good at their jobs. They will highlight the areas they want you to see and sweep the not-so-good under the mat. This leaves us to research and make up our own decisions on whether or not a cereal is healthy based on reading food labels.
The best way is by referring to the ‘per 100gm’ column which is usually found on the outer right-hand side of the labels. This will give you the best guide and fairest way to compare different brands. Here is a table to help make understanding this a little simpler.
Eating cereal is a simple way to make sure your kids are getting their fibre for the day. It can help with keeping them ‘regular’ and fend off the ‘sore tummy’s’. Anything around 5% is low, 5-10% is moderate and over 10% per 100gm as high.
Choice has once again reviewed the cereals on our shelves and although many have reduced sodium levels (Kelloggs cornflakes and rice bubbles, Skippy cornflakes) they are still the highest in sodium.
Amazingly only 36 out of the 136 reviewed were worth considering given their sugar, saturated fat levels and salt content.
The healthiest and best cereal picks were
+ Abundant Earth puffed corn
+ Uncle Toby’s shredded wheat
+ Healtheries pufferbillies
+ Santarium weetbix
Untoasted muesli and oats were not included in this review but they also rate as healthy options.
If your kids are growing bored of cereal, mix things up a few times a week. Here are some other great (simple) options to include for breakfast:
+ fresh fruit with yoghurt
+ crumpet or muffin with vegemite and avocado
+ peanut butter on wholewheat toast
+ eggs – scrambled, poached, omelette, etc with cheese
+ fruit smoothie with milk yoghurt and wheatgerm
+ reduced salt baked beans on wholewheat toast
+ fruit toast with a smear of butter
Do you check the labels on cereals boxes? What cereal does your family eat?