Would you feed your child a Twinkie for breakfast? According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, they will get even more sugar from Kellogg’s Honey Smacks. It contains 20 grams of sugar and is 56% sugar by weight. Yikes!
The EWG reports that children who have a breakfast high in sugar have more problems at school:
“They become more frustrated during the day and have a harder time working independently. By lunchtime they have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits and make more mistakes on their work.”
We all want to send our children off to school with the healthiest breakfast. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a healthy cereal: sugar content, fiber, sodium, fat, whole grain content and artificial colors and preservatives. I feel like I need a degree in nutrition to tackle this one. Luckily we have the EWG to guide us.
Here are the EWG’s 10 worst children’s cereals based on percentage of sugar by weight:
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks
- Post Golden Crisp
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original
- Quaker Oats Oh!s
- Kellogg’s Smorz
- Kellogg’s Apple Jacks
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original
Here are the EWG’s list of best cereals, low in sugar and without GMO’s and artificial colors and preservatives:
- Ambrosial Granola: Athenian Harvest Muesli
- Go Raw: Live Granola, Live Chocolate Granola, and Simple Granola
- Grandy Oats: Mainely Maple Granola, Cashew Raisin Granola, and Swiss Style Muesli
- Kaia Foods: Buckwheat Granola Dates & Spices and Buckwheat Granola Raisin Cinnamon
- Laughing Giraffe: Cranberry Orange Granola
- Lydia’s Organics: Apricot Sun, Berry Good, Grainless Apple, Sprouted Cinnamon, and Vanilla Crunch.
- Nature’s Path Organic: Optimum Banana Almond, Optimum Cranberry Ginger, Corn Puffs, Kamut Puffs, Millet Puffs, and Rice Puffs.
Here’s the EWG’s list of healthier choices that are a bit easier to find. These may contain GMO’s and/or artificial colors and preservatives but have less sugar.
- Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats: Unfrosted Bite- Size, Frosted Big Bite, Frosted Bite-Size, Frosted Little Bite
- General Mills Cheerios Original
- General Mills Kix Original
- Post Shredded Wheat (all varieties)
- Post Grape-Nuts Flakes
- Quaker Oats Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon
- Post Bran Flakes
- Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Bunches
Of course cereal is not the only choice for breakfast – oatmeal, smoothies, eggs, greek yogurt with granola or whole wheat toast spread with peanut butter are also super healthy.
For more information:
Next - my top ten lower sugar cereal choices.
What are the favorite cereals at your house?