Good morning! Nom nom nom.The cereal isle in the grocery store can be overwhelming. There are so many choices, how do you choose a healthy box for your family? Many cereal boxes scream unhealthy by the picture of marshmallows, chocolate, or blue colored bites on the front. Many cereals make bold claims like "high fiber", "low-calorie", or "whole grains". Often these claims are misleading and untrue. By reading the nutrition fact label on the side of the box, you can quickly narrow the choices down.
The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity created a score system for a number of cereals based on total calories and ingredients like sugar, fiber, and sodium. Here are some of the cereals from their list that ranked the healthiest. They tend to be more adult focused, but simply add some fresh berries and nuts and your kids will love them too.
In 2008 Consumer Reports rated 27 breakfast cereals marketed to children. These cereals rated as "very good" according to their scores on low sugar, high fiber, and low sodium.
1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is my personal favorite for all ages. Oatmeal is a whole grain, loaded with heart healthy fiber, and very filling. It tastes delicious with fresh fruit and nuts. If you choose to buy flavored quick- cook oatmeal, watch out for added sugar and additives.
2. Cheerios: 1 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 160mg sodium. Cheerios are made with whole grain oats (16 g) and are a great toddler and kid-friendly snack.
3. Honey Nut Cheerios: 9 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 160 mg sodium. Also made from whole grain oats (8g) this is a sweeter version of regular Cheerios, but still low is sugar. They are 1 g short on fiber, but still a good choice.
4. Kix: 3 g sugar, 3 g fiber. This cereal is made from whole grain corn (8g)and contains 45% daily value of iron.
5. Life: 6 g sugar, 2 g fiber, and made with whole grain oat flour (18 g). Again 1 g short on fiber.
6. Post Shredded Wheat Original: 0.4 g sugar, 6 g fiber, and made with whole grain wheat (47g). My toddler loves to eat these whole as a snack.
7. Barbara's Bakery Shredded Wheat: 0 g sugar, 5 g fiber, and 6 g protein.
8. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs: 0g sugar, 1 g fiber, and 70 calories. This cereal is low on fiber, but also low in calories. Add some fresh fruit to increase the fiber content of this tasty breakfast.
9. Kashi Island Vanilla: 9 g sugar, 6 g fiber. This cereal is made with whole grain wheat (48 g).
10. Kellogg Unfrosted Bite-Sized Mini Wheats: 0 g sugar, 8 g fiber, 6 g protein, and made with whole grain wheat. These mini wheats have tons of fiber.