Am I Loopy? Or Is Cereal Now A Dessert?
I was walking down an aisle at the grocery store the other day and I was shocked at the amount of sugar cereals on the shelves. I began to think, “Am I loopy? (small reference to Fruit Loops). Is cereal now a dessert? Are our nations children actually eating this to start their day?
Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy – Robert A Heinlein
According to time.com, kids today are heavier than in the past. The article states that in 2015, an 11-year-old boy is 13 lbs heavier than back in 1988-1994 and an 11-year of girl is 7 lbs more. It makes sense. Over the years, the school system has shifted its physical education importance aside. School sports have declined. After school activities has become a thing in the past as well. Then, you add in processed foods, take-out dinners, and an abundance of sugar cereals. These poor children have only a slim chance at knowing the importance of being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.
How do you start your day? Or rather, how do you start your child’s day? Is it with Oreo Cereal? Reese Cereal? Or, Timbit’s Cereal?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I completely understand hectic mornings. Getting the kids up, dressed, ready for school, pack lunches, get breakfast; all the while you yourself are trying to getting ready for work or whatever is on your agenda for the day. Multitasking at its best. Sometimes, giving your child something they will actually eat instead of something healthy is easier and quite frankly, faster.
But, what if there was a way? What if you could feed your children a healthy breakfast in the midst of the whirlwind that is still going on?
Top 10 Easy Healthy Breakfasts for your Child that are also fast (click on any of the highlighted items for recipes):
- Overnight Oats
- Scrambled Eggs
- Yogurt Cups
- Energy Bites
- Avocado Toast
- Fruit Cup with Granola
- Hard boil eggs – do up a few on Sunday to have for the next couple days.
- Breakfast smoothie
- Breakfast banana split
- Banana muffins (slightly higher in sugar than the others, but low in fat)
As you can see, the above list has options that are simple and many can be prepared the night before, or even on the weekend to make those weekday mornings seamless. Simple is key. Less stress. Less thinking. Easy mornings. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – especially for children. They need proper nutrition to get them started on their day, to concentrate at school, have energy for activities, and maintain a healthy body weight. Kids are more apt to eat healthier meal options throughout the day if they start their day on a healthy note.
Now, I am not blind to think that cereal will be completely eliminated from the picture. But maybe, just choose better options. There are ‘healthier’ cereals available that your child will like. Top them off with sliced bananas or berries and your child then gets that sweet flavour that they may be craving or used to. Eventually, they won’t crave the Fruit Loops or the Reese’s cereal and they will want the avocado toast packed with brain boosting nutrients to start their day.
Healthier Cereal Options include:
- Cheerios (Original, not flavoured)
- Rice Krispies
- Special K
- Any Kashi Brand Cereal
These cereals are lower in added sugars, higher in whole grains or oats, which means high in fiber, and often fortified with B Vitamins as well.
Things to consider when choosing products are:
- Sugar Content: Look for items with 5 grams of sugar or less.
- Fat content: Look for 3 grams or less.
- Fiber content: Look for 3 grams or more.
It’s never too late to start a healthy routine with your children. Eating should be fun, creative and healthy. Breakfast isn’t dessert time. Cereal is not dessert. Food is crucial. It’s your body’s fuel. They will be thanking you later.
For more information on nutrition and children, click the links below for a couple of great articles.