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Kids Breakfast Cereals Bad For Kids?

Posted Nov 30 2012 8:11pm

Kids love a good bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning. Parents have been serving it to their children for decades. The problem is, that most popular cereals have more sugar than

Honey Smacks Cereal Marielaina Perrone DDS

Highest sugar content by weight for children’s cereal

three large chocolate chip cookies!

A new study has found that one cup of over 40 of the most popular kids breakfast cereals, has more sugar than three chips ahoy brand chocolate chip cookies.

The cereal with the highest sugar content by weight is Kellogg’s Honey Smacks. A one cup serving of Honey Smacks cereal contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie.

In defense of the makers of these cereals, they have lowered sugar content over the years from much higher levels in the past, but more needs to be done to make them a healthier breakfast. Starting the day with high carbs and no protein allows for an initial sugar rush and a subsequent “carb-crash”. Kids need to be able to focus in school, and a good breakfast can help with that.  Kids should not be loading up on sugar first thing in the morning. Not only is it bad for their overall health but also their dental health. This high sugar, carb meal has spread to other meals as well, and is linked  to the childhood obesity crisis we are seeing worldwide, especially in the United States. A balanced breakfast of fruit, protein and carbs is what is recommended for maximum performance.

What Can Parents Do to limit Sugar intake at Breakfast?

First of all, they can make better choices at breakfast time. There are plenty of better cereal and breakfast options. A few good alternative cereals include:

-Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats: Unfrosted Bite- Size

-General Mills Cheerios Original

-General Mills Kix Original

- sprinkle the cereal over a bowl of yogurt, or have a handful of fruit and nuts with your cereal to add protein and vitamins.

Oatmeal Cereal Marielaina Perrone DDS

Start Your Kids Day with a Healthy Breakfast!

Four Steps for a Healthy Morning

1. Foods with fiber or protein will sustain your child until the next meal or snack.

2. Include a serving of seasonal fresh fruit or vegetables (frozen works as well).

3. Skip the fruit juice—just eat the fruit! Fruit juice is high in acid and sugar content which are both bad for your  dental health.

4. Don’t be afraid of “dinner for breakfast.” Many cultures include hearty options on breakfast menus.

Most children’s cereals fail miserably at meeting the federal government’s proposed voluntary guidelines for foods nutritious enough to be marketed to children. Sugar is the top problem, but many also contain too much fat or sodium or not enough whole grains.

The bottom line: Most parents say no to dessert for breakfast, but many  children’s cereals have just as much sugar as a dessert (or more). Simple-to-prepare, healthy breakfasts for children can include fresh fruit and high-fiber, lower-sugar cereals. Better yet, pair that fruit with homemade oatmeal. Always have your children brush their teeth after breakfast, try leaving a  toothbrush  and  toothpaste  in a cup by the kitchen sink!

The top 10 worst, ranked by percent sugar by weight:

1Kellogg’s Honey Smacks55.6%
2Post Golden Crisp51.9%
3Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Marshmallow48.3%
4Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries46.9%
5Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original44.4%
6Quaker Oats Oh!s44.4%
7Kellogg’s Smorz43.3%
8Kellogg’s Apple Jacks42.9%
9Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries42.3%
10Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Original41.4%

To keep your family healthy and safe, visit your physician regularly for annual check ups and visit your  dentist  to ensure your children are not developing  tooth cavities  from poor nutritional choices in the mornings.


© 2012,  Marielaina Perrone DDS. All rights reserved.  Henderson Cosmetic Dentist

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