Did you know that the invention of breakfast cereal was founded on the fact that the American diet of the 1800’s was considered unhealthy? Cereal became a remedy-of- sort or “wonder food”.
Today the market choices for cereals are astounding and can be quite confusing. Many cereals are loaded with sugar, made from refined grains and contain little fiber.
But don’t despair for those of you who like to start the day with a bowl of cereal. Use these tips to choose wisely.
Your best choice is a whole-grain variety that is low in sugar and sodium and provides some fiber and iron.
Here are some numbers to remember. Look for cereals that contain 150-200 calories, up to 9 grams of sugar, 2 or more grams of fiber, and up to 210 milligrams of sodium per serving.
You can also look for cereals fortified with iron, folate, calcium, and vitamin D to help boost your nutrition when your diet isn’t up to par.
Spend some time to pick out some family favorites that will work for you and feel comfortable that a bowl of cereal can be a good way to start the day!
Tips for making your bowl memorable!
- Make a “cereal salad” by mixing 2-3 different varieties, then top with sliced fruit and a generous dollop of yogurt. Crown with a sprinkle of chopped nuts.
- Trade regular milk for kefir – a creamy yogurt-like drink packed with protein, calcium and probiotics.
- Make oatmeal with milk or soymilk instead of water for a protein boost. Add more flavors with vanilla extract, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, too!
- Think outside your morning meal when it comes to cereal! Make a trail mix for your afternoon snack with dry cereal pieces, nuts, dried fruits and a few dark chocolate chips.
- Look for cereals with built-in protein – 7 or more grams per serving from soy-based ingredients. The addition of protein gives your cereal “stick-to-your-ribs” quality so you’ll stay full and satisfied well through the morning!