I loved cereal as a kid and would’ve been just fine with eating it for every meal…because after all, “Frosted Lucky Charms, they’re magically delicious!”. My favorite was Lucky Charms, because who wouldn’t drool over having marshmallows in their cereal or frosted puffs? But, what makes them so delicious? And why could I eat 3-4  bowls before becoming full?

One of the secrets behind boxed cereals is the excessive amount of hidden and added sugars nearly every cereal contains . All of their health claims can make us feel like they are healthy, nutritious, and “helping us start the day off right” because “They’re Gr-r-reat!” However, these highly processed cereals are loaded with added sugars, which is why they keep us coming back for more..addicting. In addition, after just a couple bowls of most cereals, kids have already exceeded their suggested daily allowance in added sugars for the entire day!

Breakfast has become dessert! It isn’t unusual for 6-9 teaspoons of sugar to be consumed in only a couple bowls of cereal. Many people, especially kids, have malnutrition and suffer with disease (inflammation) because of unhealthy eating habits like consuming sugar cereal daily.

One of the definite signs a particular food isn’t nutritious is when you can eat a large quantity of the food and still not feel very full. Not only are these cereals loaded with sugars, most of them are made with refined grains. Refined grains are grains that have been significantly modified from their natural composition. Most of the time, the nutritious parts (these parts help us to feel full) of the grain are removed, leaving you with a nutrient-depleted refined grain.

The more processed and refined a food item is, the less our body feels satisfied even if we’ve eating sufficient calories.

Our family decided to do breakfast different because of the high amounts of sugar in boxed cereal and because my kids would only feel full for an hour after breakfast! We still buy boxed cereal occasionally, but choose the low sugar ones. Yes, my kids will eat them! We’ve found that adding fruit (peaches, berries, bananas, etc.) really helps sweeten the cereal. In addition, I am not against adding sweetener to your cereal yourself because you will most likely add a lot less than the manufacturer. I do want to recommend sweetening it with an added sugar like 100% maple syrup (Learn more about what are highly processed sugars here). Not only is it delicious, it is not as highly processed as white sugar or corn syrup.

My kids love cereal and I didn’t feel good about eliminating cereal all together…so, there are a few select kinds we rotate through. They are all whole grain and low-sugar. Cereals like Chex, Cheerios, and Rice Krispies are not included in this low sugar list because they do not qualify as a whole grain cereal according to their ingredients label.

 

5 Low-Sugar, Whole Grain Cereal Ideas:

 

1.) Post Original Shredded Wheat: 0 grams of sugar

Found at most mainstream grocery stores.

Post Shredded Wheat Original Spoon Size

 

2.) Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs: 0 grams of sugar

Found at most mainstream grocery stores.

Image result for kashi 7 grain puffs

 

3.) Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes: 4 grams of sugar in 3/4 cup

We find this bigger bag shown in picture below at Wal-mart. Can also be found in a box at most mainstream grocery stores.

 

4.) Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9: 0 grams of sugar

Found at most mainstream grocery stores.

Image result for ezekiel 4:9 cereal

5.) Homemade Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats: sugar content depends on how much you add in. I recommend frozen fruit, drizzling honey or 100% maple syrup as your sweetener.

We find the least expensive steel cut oats at Costco and Aldi.

Image result for steel cut oats aldi

To learn more about sugar and refueling your energy, grab my “5 Ways to Combat Sugar Cravings” PDF file HERE.

 

I hope you like these low sugar, whole grain cereal ideas! Let me know if your family has other cereal like these that you enjoy! <3

 

-Laura

 

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