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Cold Cereal Beats No Breakfast at All

Feeling guilty that you don’t have time to make a hot breakfast for your kids in the morning? Don’t.

According to a new study — albeit a study funded by the USDA and the Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund — eating a bowl of cold cereal in the morning is a healthier choice that skipping breakfast altogether.

After analyzing the eating habits of 10,000 kids between 1999 and 2006, researchers discovered that kids who skipped breakfast were more likely to be obese than those who at cold cereal.

We already know that skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain, and that kids who skip breakfast are more likely to try and feed their hunger with less nutrient-dense foods, but what’s interesting is that kids who ate “other breakfast foods” were also more likely to be obese than the cereal eaters.

Study co-author Carol O’Neil of Louisiana State University acknowledges that ready-to-eat cereals are high in sugar, but, she told Reuters Health, “many are high in nutrients, vitamin fortified, made with whole grains, with fiber added.”

I’ll agree that skipping breakfast is a bad idea, but I’m not ready to buy that eating Froot Loops (part of the recent cereal recall) is a good way to prevent childhood obesity. Like many families, we depend heavily on cold breakfast cereals during the school year. Here are some tips from WebMD for choosing healthy cold cereals:

  • Look for cereals made with whole grains. They’re more nutritious and can prevent weight gain.
  • Likewise, look for cereals that are high in fiber. Most people don’t eat enough of it, especially picky eaters.
  • Look for cereals where sugar doesn’t make up more than 25 percent of total calories per serving. (Or try unsweetened cereals and sweeten them yourself with fruit or a small amount of sugar.)

Here are eight cereals that made the cut at WebMD.

What are your best tips for getting a healthy breakfast into your kids?

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