The health claims on cereal boxes can make us feel like they are healthy, nutritious, and “help us start the day off right”. However, these highly processed cereals have a lot of concerning ingredients, one of which is added sugar. One of the secrets behind boxed cereals is the excessive amounts of hidden and added sugars. What’s the big deal about sugar? I actually wrote up a blog post just about sugar: 5 Thing I Wish I’d Known About Sugar.
It isn’t unusual for 6-9 teaspoons of sugar to be consumed in only a couple bowls of cereal. For kids, this exceeds their recommended daily allowance of added sugars for the entire day! Many people, including kids, suffer from malnutrition or disease because of unhealthy eating habits like consuming sugar cereal daily…sometimes multiple times a day. This is concerning because our breakfast cereals are like dessert!
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. The nutritious parts (these parts help us to feel full) of the grain are removed, leaving you with a nutrient-depleted refined grain. We’ve noticed how we don’t feel full or satisfied after eating refined grains. So, if you or your kids get hungry shortly after a meal, it could be because they were full or refined grains that absorb differently in the body than your whole grains.
The more processed and refined a food item is, the less our body feels satisfied even if we’ve eating sufficient calories.
Our family limits our cereal intake. We usually have it as a treat after dinner. We also buy the low sugar, whole-grain cereals. We’ve found that adding fruit (peaches, berries, bananas, etc.) really helps sweeten the cereal. In addition, I am not against adding your own sweetener to cereal 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. Not only is it delicious, it is not as highly processed as white sugar or corn syrup.
Here are a few kinds of cereals you may find in our kitchen. 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 or 365 Wheat Squares: 0 grams of sugar
Found on Amazon and at most mainstream grocery stores.
2.) Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs and Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets: 0-2 grams of sugar
The puffs are great to add to your homemade trail mix!
3.) Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes: 4 grams of sugar in 3/4 cup
I think these are my kid’s favorite cereal. I’ve seen them available in a big bag at Wal-mart. Amazon Pantry also occasionally has these stocked.
4.) Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9: 0 grams of sugar
Found at most mainstream grocery stores.
5.) Coach’s Oats 100% Whole Grain Oatmeal: This is the BEST steel cut oats! They are so tasty and you get the most bang your for buck. Love them!
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