You have to admit they know what they are doing. If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about kids cereals and the company’s that market them. Everything they do (everything but make a healthy cereal that is) they do right. Their commercials, their characters on the boxes, their location in the store, the high sugar content… all play perfectly into the sensibilities and interests of young children. I myself, remember as a young child the excitement of picking out a new cereal. Of course I was excited, the cereal was basically sugar with little else. It’s hard to say how we got here.
How did adults let the most important meal of the day, get abducted by commercial food grade garbage? How did we let this happen to our children? These are questions about human behavior (over the past 150 years) about why we self destruct. Of course, these questions cannot be answered here. But what we can answer is what we get (or our children get) out of a bowl of conventional children’s cereal.
What Conventional store bought cereal gives you:
- Sugar, and lots of it! And yes its the heavily refined stuff. If you want to give your children a nice helping of sugar to get their day going, well give them a bowl conventional children’s cereal. If you follow the nutrition label on a box of Lucky Charms for instance (and your kids only eat 1 cup of cereal with 1/2 cup of milk… which they don’t), they will be nice a charged with 19 grams of refined sugar.
- Gluten, almost unavoidable in conventional cereals. However, we are starting to see a few options for gluten free, but they still don’t have any nutrients. On the subject of gluten, Celiacs disease can form at any age in anybody (especially those with a family history). But even if you don’t have full on Celiacs disease, you still very well may have a intolerance to gluten that makes you easily gain weight, retain water, suffer from internal inflammation, have a poor immune system, etc.
- Corn and it isn’t the way it used to be. Unfortunately, almost all of the corn in the world today is genetically modified (GMO). It is much harder for our bodies to metabolize and convert into something actually useful.
- Synthetic Sweeteners are often used in addition to sugar (sometimes in substitute of) to really get your kids hooked on the flavor. Some of these, like Aspartame, have been linked to cerebral disorders.
- A whole lot of nothing. This is the worst part. These cereals are basically nutrition-less. What “nutrition” they claim on the label, is nothing but artificial vitamins and minerals with basically no actual nutritional affect on your body as they are not absorbed well, and even if they were are not the real thing!
There are alternatives such as buckwheat and quinoa which are gluten free. Cereals made from rice are also a better option as rice has been less genetically impacted by genetic modification than corn and wheat. It also is gluten free and frankly is one of the most common foods on the planet and has been for a long, long time. Also look for cereals that have dried fruits and nuts which provide proteins, healthy fats and vitamins (real vitamins). Don’t be fooled by the bright colors like a 5 year old. Make healthy choices for your family so they can really start the day right!