Thursday, December 16, 2010

Global 2010: Parents, Don't Be Conned by Sugary Kids' Cereals

A photograph of Froot Loops breakfast cereal i...Image via Wikipedia
Kids will actually eat breakfast cereal that isn't super sugary—and they'll like it, too. That's heartening news for parents who feel like they've been conned by the food industry into serving breakfast with almost no nutritional value, in the belief that their kids would otherwise skip the most important meal of the day. Take that, Froot Loops!

The kids in the group offered low-sugar cereal options (original Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and Corn Flakes, all of which have 1 to 4 grams of sugar per serving) ate about one serving of cereal, and they were much more likely to serve themselves fresh fruit, with 54 percent of those children having fruit, compared to just 8 percent of the kids eating sugary cereal. The Froot Loops group ate almost twice as much cereal as the low-sugar kids.

What's interesting is that even though the children eating lower-sugar cereal poured on more sugar from the sugar packets, they still ate half as much sugar in their breakfast overall: about 12 grams, compared to 24 grams for the sugary cereal eaters. Add in the fact that fruit has many nutritional benefits, and that the less sugary cereals tended to have more fiber than the sweeter varieties, and it's a no-brainer; the healthier cereals made for a healthier meal, and the kids still got fed.

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