Child’s Health just published a list of the top worst and best cereals in America. The best 5 and the worst 5 according to the article are:
No surprises here with the bottom 5, they are just chunks of sugar. You can evaluate how healthy a cereal is by measuring the carbohydrate to sugar ratio. Nutritious cereals have a carbohydrate to sugar ratio of around 8:1. The junk cereals have 28 grams of carbohydrate to 15 grams of sugar, almost 2:1 ratio.
The top 5 cereals are all high fiber cereals. Fiber is a very important component of cereal. Fiber is one of the essential nutrients for both adults and children. Since children love to eat cereal, try to buy cereals that are high fiber. Getting kids to eat high fiber cereals is difficult because these cereals don’t taste that great. I mean, I loved Rice Krispies and Frosted Flakes as a kid, and if you tried to switch me to All-Bran you would have had a revolt.
So what is a parent to do?
The best approach is to serve nutritious cereals to children from the beginning. But if that is not possible, then you should try to mix in the healthy cereals with the unhealthy. You could adopt various tactics: healthy cereals every other day, or you could mix in the healthy with the unhealthy (half a serving of one and half of the other). You could also take a healthy cereal and add in something kids like: tossing in two or three gummy bears or several m&m’s might be all you need to get them to eat healthy. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. You can also offer to add some organic chocolate to make the healthy cereal taste more like its unhealthy cousins.
The most important thing you can do as a parent is take control, and not just give in to the barrage of ads.
It is interesting to note that the same companies make the healthiest and the worst cereals. So the companies can make healthy products, as consumers we just have to vote with our wallets.
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