Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cereal -- for breakfast and beyond!

Healthy cereal is a great pantry staple to keep on hand. In general, cereal is a good source of whole grains, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Here are some guidelines for selecting the healthiest cereals:
  • Aim for cereal that has at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Pick a cereal that provides at least 25% of the recommendation for vitamins and minerals.
  • Try to keep cereals with 5-10 grams of sugar (or less) per serving around. Make these the most popular cereals in the house by serving them up often!
I stock up on cereal when it is on sale at the grocery store to avoid high prices. Two of our favorites are Cheerios and Wheat Chex. I often pack these alone as snacks, or mix them with more popular dry snacks like Goldfish or pretzels. These make great snack mixes to pack for car trips and play dates!

Obviously cereal makes a healthy choice for breakfast, too! These additions can boost it's nutritional power:
  • Skim milk or yogurt add protein and calcium (for strong bodies, bones, and muscles), plus vitamin D (which helps your body absorb calcium), potassium (which can help maintain healthy blood pressure), and more! If your family chooses to not drink milk you should try to find a soy, rice, or other beverage that has been fortified with all the nutrients of milk, and shake it well before serving.
  • Fruit adds more fiber, plus natural sweetness and potassium, vitamin C (helps with growth, repair, and healing bodies), and folate (helps make blood cells), and other vitamins and minerals.
  • Nuts can add crunch plus omega-3 fats (the “good” kind found in fish that lowers your risk of heart disease), protein, and antioxidants to fight disease.
Today's tip: Stock up on cereal for your family.

1 comment:

  1. My kids love Trader Joe's Oat and Bran Swirls and their version of Frosted Mini Wheats in the Brown Sugar flavor. Not sure how they stack up nutrition-wise, but they make a "meaty" bowl of cereal. or a good dry snack!