Food and Nutrition

How to Give Your Breakfast Cereal a Necessary Makeover

| by Mitzi Dulan

It’s that time of the year again…Springtime, when you can’t help but want to clean your closets, pantries, basement storage, attics and garages out. When you’re all of a sudden feeling adventurous and have this unusual desire to give yourself a makeover. This Spring, why not give your breakfast cereal a little makeover?

According to a USDA survey, 33% of breakfast eaters choose cereal more than any food with breads such as toast, bagels, rolls or English muffins trailing behind with 27%. They’re fast & convenient…might as well get the best cereal in aisle 5 (note: aisles vary per grocery store)!

1. Avoid sugar-coated cereals. Try to keep cereals with more than 8 grams of sugar for serving out of your pantry.

2. Go whole. Whole-grain that is. Don’t be fooled by cereal covers that claim that they “contain whole grains.” Be sure to take a look at the ingredients list first to see what it’s mostly made of. Remember, the first ingredient on the list is what the product has the most of. You want it to say whole wheat or whole grains

3. Be aware of misleading symbols. There are many food-labeling campaigns out there that count sugar-loaded cereals such as Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies as “healthy choices”.

4. Granola. Be aware that some granola cereals may be packed with sweetened fruits and added sugars, such as molasses and rice syrups, can potentially make your blood sugars skyrocket and often with oils added. This is why granola servings are usually about only 1/4 cup. Instead, use granola as toppings for yogurts as opposed to just pouring in your cereal bowl.

5. Eye-ball your servings. Be aware of the serving size on your cereal box, measure 1 serving the first time, eye-ball the amount of cereal in that bowl, and you are good to go! Too often we pour too much cereal into our bowls and end up eating twice or thrice of the actual serving size.

Which of these 5 do you already do? What type of things do you do to give your morning cereal a makeover?

Assistance provided by Monica Lobo.