Friday, October 10, 2008

More Syrup On My Sugar, Please!

I've never been a fan of concentrated sugar. I like my sugar, don't get me wrong. But I like some substance to it, like cookies, cakes and pies. Even as a kid, I never really liked the more concentrated forms of sugar, like candy. My sister will tell you how it drove her close to insanity to see my Halloween candy languishing on my dresser for weeks after Halloween, my Christmas stocking still full of candy come January. Usually she would sneak into my room when I wasn't home and steal pieces of my candy collection to devour in the privacy of her own room later. I never even noticed. And when it came to cereal, my favorites were raisin bran and honey nut Cheerios. I would even coordinate the brown bits in the Lucky Charms with the marshmallows to make each spoonful a good balance of the two and would sometimes even leave a bunch of marshmallows swimming in my milk when I was done. Which brings me to today's topic: Kids' cereal.

I just opened this month's consumer reports and was interested to see their article on kids' cereals. They examined the sugar content as well as the fiber and vitamin content and created a list of the best-for-you cereals and worst-for-you cereals of the kid variety. And there's what topped the list (lowest sugar to highest fiber) getting a "very good" rating: Cheerios, Life, Kix, and Honey Nut Cheerios. At the top of the "good" list are Frosted Mini Wheats, Frosted Flakes Gold, Golden Grahams, and surprisingly, Cookie Crisp (one of the few sweet cereals I did like as a kid. Maybe because it resembled a baked good?) At the bottom of the chart are the various Captain Crunches, Rice Crispies (and I always thought it was a good one!) Honey Smacks, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, and, dead last, Corn Pops.

When we were kids, we weren't allowed to have the sweet cereals. Except at Grandma's. Or if we bought it with our own money. But mostly we had the Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Life varieties. My mom determined that we could eat based on a study she read about with rats. Some scientists (if you can call feeding cereal to rats "science") fed rats various cereals for a period of time to see how much nutrition they provided. Some of the rats DIED from eating nothing but cereal. But the ones that kept the rats alive were deemed A-OK by our mother. And, thank the stars in heaven, somehow Lucky Charms made it to that list.

So my question is, what kinds of cereals do you feed your kids? And why? Are you health conscious and make sure they don't get too much sugar or fat? Or do you choose cereals that are low in calories? Do you read the labels at all? Or are you rebelling against your parents for making you eat Wheaties and so you buy them Cocoa Puffs and Fruity Pebbles? Do you go by price? Or do you just let them pick out whatever they like because you don't want to think about it so much?


Christie said...

I'm lucky that my kids aren't big cereal fans - they much prefer bagels, eggs, toast, etc. They do like some cereals though, but I don't usually buy sugary stuff. I did buy some of that Halloween stuff (booberry?) and they hated it.

I'm like you - I would put my halloween candy under my bed, and it would last till Easter, when I'd throw it out and replace it with Easter candy. But give me a batch of chocolate chips cookies, and I have no restraint

Kay said...

My nephews and niece, like Cheerio's (reg) or Kix. If it's a special occasion they get Trix mixed with Kix. The same way we got it as kids.
My nephews aren't real into cereal though. They rather have an egg... well the oldest does. The younger ones love cereal.

I'm surpised by rice crispies too.
And the cereal with those marshmellows, how on earth did you like those?

Chelsea said...

My favorite: Honey Nut Cheerios mixed with Life. YUM! I love all kinds of cereals. In college I would often have cereal for 3 meals a day. Yay for balanced eating! LOL

tammy said...

I'm with you - give me some chocolate chip cookies over that big ol' candy bar. My mom seriously made me throw out my Halloween candy at Easter time.

We eat a lot of Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats, and oatmeal. I do let them choose a cereal sometimes, but limit how many. And for the record, I was never going to let my kids have sugar coated cereals, but Grandma kind of overrode that decision. Same goes for Cheetos which I don't think can even be considered a food.

Jen said...

We really dont eat much cereal here. Sometimes we will get a box but it goes bad way before its gone. Mason does like Fruit loops, so we buy them some times. It just ends up being a waste though. Sad but true. If it were up to me I would get the health nut type. I love grape nuts, but I just dont eat enough cereal to make it worth it. So there you have it.

Hildie said...


CaraDee said...

I'm no candy lover either. I get annoyed when my kids have any candy from any holiday longer than about 3 days. I "help" them get rid of it if I have to.
And the cereal part...I'm having severe deja vu.

Kristine said...

I don't really like cereal so I don't buy it. We do have a box of Cheerios in the cupboard and Ian likes those, but we mostly have toast & bananas, or pancakes, or muffins for breakfast.

Notme said...

Landon gets Honey Nut Cherios. Every morning. He wont eat anything else but cereal for breakfast, and although I have Lucky charms in the house, they are for Brett only. If I do buy different varieties for Landon it would be Kix, or Apple Jacks. However the AJ's proved to be too hard in texture for him to eat. So, we we stick with honey nut cherios, and kix. We did try fruity pebbles once too, but those suckers are MESSY and stick to everything.

Mindi said...

yeah! what jennie said!!!

are you kidding me with the make sure they don't get too much sugar or fat part? i consider myself a stellar mother if i can just get them to shovel a few bites of WHATEVER in the morning.

i love sugar and sugar cereals. but i will eat non-sugared ones if i have about 3/4 cup of splenda to put on it.

my mom used to only buy non-sugared cerals, but then my brothers would literally pour about a 1/2 cup of sugar on. it would sit in the bottom of the bowl and they would eat it up.

tiburon said...

We are ALL ABOUT the sugar cereal. Mostly because we have to say NO to so many other things (with Ethan's diabetes) so I slack and let them have some suga.

alex dumas said...

At my house they are ALL ABOUT sugar cereal too. They eat it all day long. I think my sister buys as much as she wants because my mom wouldn't let us have it when we were young. I don't care about it, though. Maybe for an after dinner snack. I like granola or eggs or French toast or pancakes for breakfast.