I grew up in a household where we weren't allowed to eat most kid cereals. My mom read an article when we were little where some scientists fed a bunch of rats only cereal and then watched which ones would have enough nutrition to sustain the rats. Those cereals that kept the rats alive were deemed healthy enough by Mother to be given to us kids. They incuded such favorites as Raisin Bran, Cherrios, and Life. They also, thankfully, included Lucky Charms. I'm not sure how the Lucky Charms made it into the bunch; the rats must have eaten only the oaty bits and left the sugary, dye-filled "marshamallows." But however heaven intervened to allow the rats to survive on Lucky Charms, we rejoiced. Of course, we ate them in the opposite manner of the rats: marshmallows first, oaty bits last (if at all).
And so, it shouldn't have surprised me when I came into kitchen last week to find my children's Charms bowls looking like this:
I think it's a physical impossibility for children to eat all of the cereal in a bowl of Lucky Charms. And that's why I've decided not to buy it anymore. Actually, to be completely honest, I have never bought it. Some other shopper in the family has. But after finding cereal bowls like this for several days in a row, I realized that I was pretty much allowing my kids to eat only sugary marshmallow candy bits for breakfast. A big bowl of them. So the rest of the box of Yucky Charms went into the trash. And I had one of those annoying moments of clarity where you realize your own parents weren't purposely trying to torture you as a child, but were actually, probably, ahem.....right. There, I said it. You were right, Mom. And I too intend to try to feed my kids more healthy foods. Starting with cereal. I probably won't rely on the rats test. No, I think my general method of choosing cereal will be based on the presence of toys in the box, animal spokesmen on the commercials, and general appeal of the cereal itself. If it looks yummy, like something my kids would enjoy eating, it's out. Only the cereals that are questionable or definitely disgusting looking will probably make the grade.
Now if I can just convince the other shopper in the house to stop comming home with the cereals that look exactly like Chips Ahoy. But I fear that task might be more impossible than choking down the soggy oaty parts in a bowl of Lucky Charms.