As the urban daddy, it is my social responsibility to notify all my readers with children, or who want to have children, or are children themselves, that a recent study came up with some shocking information:
Kids’ Cereals Are Loaded With Sugar.
Are you okay?
Would you ever think about giving your child Twinkies or chocolate chip cookies for breakfast? According to a study done by an organization called the Environmental Working Group, many kids cereals are just as sugary as those desserts.
As parents, we’ve all walked down the cereal aisle with our kids and watched as their eyes bug out at the site of those colourful cereal boxes. They want the cereals that are the most colourful or have the coolest shapes, and knowing that parents won’t buy it, manufacturers started placing words on the boxes such as; “healthy” ,”whole grain” or “great source of Vitamin D”? That means they’re at least healthier a bit, right?
The worst culprits hae the most sugar in them. Cheerios, for example have 1 gram of sugar per serving, whereas the multi-grain Cheerios – healthier you would think by the name, has 8g of sugar per serving. One serving of cereals like Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (used to be Sugar Smacks but sugar is not healthy whereas honey could be healthy or organic), Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel contains more sugar than the 18 grams packed into a Twinkie. A shocking 44 children’s cereals like Apple Jacks and Cap’n Crunch contain more than the 12 grams of sugar in two President Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies.
In an effort to fight the increasing rates of childhood obesity in the US, a panel of scientists and experts met in Congress and created nutritional guidelines for foods marketed to children. Believe it or not, but only one in four cereals met these proposed acceptable nutritional guidelines, meaning that three in four kids’ cereals should not even be marketed to children.
Of course, these cereal manufacturers have been lobbying against these guidelines, which are to take effect in 2016.
Due to high obesity rates in the US, Congress is looking at everything to do with kids diets to assist parents in keeping children healthy. It started with removing soda machines from schools, adding back gym and now Congress is aiming at the food parents pick for their kids in the morning. Since studies have shown that healthier children do better in school, it’s in the US government’s best interest to keep the population healthy.
Obviously, cereal is not the only answer. Growing up we had one or 2 unhealthy cereals, but they always got mixed with a healthy one and eaten that way. Nowadays, my kids gasp at the chocolate Cheerios but they know we’re not buying them. Instead they find the healthier cereals and read off the amounts of sugar, sodium and calories.
They know the Multi-Grain Cheerios at 6g of sugar per serving is special so they look to see which cereals have lower sugar amounts and they bring them to .
Wouldn’t it just be easier if parents looked at their own eating habits: In our house, we set the rules of the household and we follow them too. As role models we have to walk the walk AND talk the talk. Leading by example builds credibility! Our kids start the day with organic oatmeal or regulat and multi-grain Cheerious mixed with regular Cheerious, or plain yogurt mixed with frozen berries and seeds. I could never imagine my kids wating so much sugar first thing in the morning. How would they focus in school??
And boy have the times changed from when I was a kid!
Click below to see the Environmental Working Group’s full report and list of sugary cereals.