Dessert for Breakfast? Sugary Children’s Cereals

Kellogg's ServeImage.aspxHow would you feel if your kids had a Twinkie or even had cookies for breakfast?

Well, that’s exactly what she or he — or maybe even you — may be doing most mornings.

Suffice it to say that millions of children are beginning their day going into Sugar Shock.

So found a scary new report on popular cereals, Sugar in Children’s Cereal, from the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

The Environmental Working Group arrived at its frightening sugar findings after studying 84 popular brands of cereal, many of them marketed directly to children, to see if they meet either the federal government’s proposed nutrition guidelines or the industry’s looser nutrition guidelines.

And the EWG found lots about sugar, sugar, sugar.

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, which has nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.

In fact, the EWG found, a one-cup serving of the brand contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie.

Meanwhile, one cup of any of the 44 other children’s cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.

Here’s EWG’s list of the 10 worst cereals.

10 Worst Children’s Cereals
Based on percent sugar by weight
1.) Kellogg’s Honey Smacks55.6%
2.) Post Golden Crisp51.9%
3.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow48.3%
4.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries46.9%
5.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original44.4%
6.) Quaker Oats Oh!s44.4%
7.) Kellogg’s Smorz43.3%
8.) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks42.9%
9.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries42.3%
10.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original41.4%

Of course, this EWG report comes as no surprise to me, given that I often share information about sugar’s pervasiveness and its dangers, as I did in my first book, Sugar Shock.

So why should you care about your kids eating so much sugar for breakfast?

As the EWG points out, studies suggest that children who eat breakfasts that are high in sugar have more problems at school.

For instance, they become more frustrated and have a harder time working independently than kids who eat lower-sugar breakfasts, as the EWG noted. And by lunchtime, these kids who filled up on sugar for breakfast have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits and make more mistakes on their work.

Kudos to the Environmental Working Group for sharing this important news.

Click here to see the best and worst cereals, as discovered by the EWG.

Wondering what’s a good breakfast then? Well, for starters, why do your kids have to have cereal to start the day?

But if they do, make sure, as nutrition expert Marion Nestle, Ph.D., recommends that you pick:

  1. Cereals with a short ingredient list
  2. Cereals high in fiber.
  3. Cereals with little or no added sugars (such as honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup).

An easy breakfast for children would be a piece of fresh fruit (like an orange or apple), a cooked of steel cut oats (sprinkled with cinnamon), some plain milk (if they can handle dairy), and a hard boiled egg (prepared the night before).

Have you heard yet that my next book, Beyond Sugar Shock, is due out next year? Stay tuned for details.

Sugar Addiction Begone! Kick Sugar With Me This Month

New York Open Center If you're like many Americans, you want to shed your excess weight so you can fit into your favorite slim outfit, have the trim, toned, sexy body you crave and be healthy.

Just imagine how you'd feel if you had more energy, more cheerful moods and more satisfying relationships.

Envision what your life would look like if you were more productive, thinking more clearly and experiencing a boost in your libido.

All of the above can happen if you eliminate sugar and refined carbs.

But losing weight, getting more energy, concentrating better, becoming happier and having a bigger sex drive are just a few of many benefits you can gain from eliminating sugar, as I pointed out in my book SUGAR SHOCK!

In fact, when I quit sweets and refined carbs on doctor's orders in 1998, a whopping 44 ailments disappeared and I felt reborn!

But, let's face it, cutting out sugar or those "culprit carbs" can be challenging for most people.

After all, you didn't develop a sugar habit overnight. So let me educate, inspire and guide you to become joyously sugar free.

Kick sugar cartoon Join me Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 6 pm for my fun, interactive, life-changing free introductory class, "SUGAR SHOCK! Breaking Free of Your Sugar Habit" at the New York Open Center, the largest urban holistic center in the United States.

On that one night, you'll get some tips and tactics to begin to break free of your sugar habits.

But, as you can imagine, since you've probably had a lifetime of being overly attached to sugar, one hour with me is isn't enough to change your destructive patterns for good.

That's why I'm also teaching a 4-week course at the New York Open Center, which begins next week, from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2.

In this four-week course, I'm sharing proprietary techniques that I developed and which worked for me when I removed sugar from my diet in 1998.

In addition, you're getting dozens of tips that have helped my clients. Plus, you'll receive many ideas from a variety of health experts, who kindly shared them with me.

For instance, in my 4-week course at the New York Open Center, you will:

  • Discover the 10 reasons people fail when making New Year's resolutions or when breaking a sugar addiction or other bad habits (what I call babits™).
  • Get 7 Smart Starter Strategies so you can conquer your sugar habit for good.
  • The most dangerous word in the English language that is disempowering when seeking to kick sugar.
  • Find out 5 ways to save money on food and beverages in this economy but still make healthy choices.
  • Find out why this course has the wrong title! (But we had to name
    it "SUGAR SHOCK! Breaking Free of Your Sugar Habit" so you'd know what you're getting.)
  • Receive 50 simple, effective tips and tactics to squash your sugar cravings.
  • Get a helpful, comprehensive sugar-free shopping list and sample meal plans.
  • Discover what 3 most empowering questions to ask yourself whenever sugary foods "call out" to you to stop your destructive cycle.
  • Find out how you can use "failing" or being human (i.e., imperfect) to your advantage.
  • Have fun discovering tasty, sugar-free desserts from 2 guest bakers.
  • Taste delicious sugar-free treats from 2 local chefs.
  • Find out which 3 foods can drive away your "sweet tooth."
  • Get educated about 20 cutting-edge research studies, which reveal the dangers of sugars and refined carbs.
  • Receive a list of more than 100 ways your sugar habit is killing you.
  • Learn how you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer, infertility, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Be trained as a "Savvy Sugar Sleuth" so you easily unmask sugar's many disguises and read food labels in the grocery store.
  • Get invited to one complimentary teleseminar. (This is one of many bonuses you get by signing up for my 4-week course.)
  • Learn to identify 10 surprising foods that contain hidden sugars.
  • Get inspired by successful "Sugar Kickers," whose sour-to-sweet tales you can listen to at any time via complimentary audio downloads.
  • Determine how your sugar habit is harming your health, weight, moods, relationships, work, spirituality and ability to get things done.
  • Learn how to talk to your loved ones about your sugar habit.
  • Uncover your 5 "W's" that drive you to sweets and refined carbs.
  • Acquire simple, juicy, valuable, always-accessible tips and tools to help stomp out your sugar habit for good and to prevent binging, relapsing and self-loathing
  • Get 10 ways to "Say No With Sass!" when offered desserts.
  • Develop your special, do-able, personalized plan.
  • Learn easy techniques to topple stress so you won't feel a need to turn to sweets.
  • Discover how sugar wreaks havoc on your body.
  • Gain insights so you can decide your best course of action — to quit cold turkey, phase our sweets or still take tastes from time to time
  • Receive at least 2 helpful handouts and undertake at least 2 fun, revealing, life-changing adventur-cises™ (adventurous exercises) every week.
  • Do valuable "Sugary Soul Searching."
  • Learn to surf when cravings strike. (You heard me right!)
  • Determine how to embrace your triggers and saboteurs rather than avoid them.
  • Invite "The 4 P's" into your life.
  • Meet your Kind, Know-It All.
  • Get the
    truth about sugar substitutes and learn which sweeteners are safe to use.
  • Be coached to help you succeed.
  • Have a chance to listen to interviews with a who's who of world-renowned experts in the field of nutrition, diet, fitness, motivation and spirituality. 
  • Receive supportive emails and audio messages to "hold your hand" and guide you through the program.
  • Find out ways to to nurture and nourish yourself without candies, cakes and chips and how to live a sweeter life without needing to turn to sweets. 
  • Get your questions answered.

Register now for my complimentary introduction on Jan. 5 and 4-week course, from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2 at the New York Open Center.

Please note: If you're in another part of the re in another part of the country or world and cannot make my talk at the New York Open Center, please join us
virtually or telephonically in other upcoming programs so you can still get helpful tips, tactics and
tempting tidbits.


  • Register now for four-week course, staring Jan. 12 at the New York Open Center.

    If you sign up for the course because of learning about it on this Sugar Shock Blog, you will receive a free gift from me.

  • Hope to see you there.
  • Got Milk Full of Sugar?

    Milk Parents and health advocates, are you OK with either your kids or our nation’s children regularly having 3 teaspoons of sugar added to one 8-ounce glass of milk?

    Well, that’s basically what our youngsters all around the nation are being encouraged to do, starting this week as the National Dairy Council — creators of the “Got Milk? cammpaign — launches a new campaign to heavily promote sugar-filled chocolate milk in schools across the country.

    Hemi Weingarten, a fellow blogger at the Huffington Post, alerted us to this development.

    All that added sugar — over 3 teaspoons worth — has rightfully raised the ire of health advocates, points out AP writer Emily Fredrix

    In fact, experts like Marlene Schwartz, Ph.D., deputy directory of the Rudd Center
    for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, recommends tossing the chocolate milk. I agree with what she told Fredix — that kids already have too much sugar and chocolate milk
    has no place in schools.

    Clearly, children already are in sugar shock with all the sweets they consume each year.

    In fact, the additional sugar in flavored milk can add up to an extra 5 pounds of body weight over the course of a school year, Renegade Lunch Lady Ann Cooper told the AP.

    What’s the matter with regular milk? You don’t need to make milk sweet to get kids to drink it!

    Halloween Tricks Kids Into Sugar Overload: Op Ed Piece

    Hall leftover-halloween-candy-by-harris-graber Are you re planning on passing out sugar-filled candies for Halloween tomorrow night?

    If so, you should know that every time you hand out candies, you're tricking kids into sugar overload. 

    Halloween isn't just one night. It paves the way for bad eating habits year-round.

    Read more about this in our opinion piece in today's Newark Star-Ledger.

    Spread the word to your friends, fans and family members.

    Make comments. Get heard, too.

    Halloween: Prevent Sugar Shock

    Kids trick or treating Halloween can be a harrowing time for both kids and their parents, because on this holiday and the days or even weeks that follow, kids will often face major blood sugar highs and lows after pigging out on dozens of sugar-laden candies. 

    In other words, they'll be hurled into sugar shock.

    Let's face it, no matter what kind of limits their parents may try to place on their children's candy consumption, youngsters will often overdose on sweets, even if they have to do it in secret.

    Unfortunately, that's what Halloween means these days. It's a nationally sanctioned "Sugar Overload Day."

    So how can you help your young trick-or-treaters not get wiped out, cranky, depressed, headachy or charged up from having too many candies?

    The way to soften the blood-sugar-bouncing whammy and lessen sugar shock is to make sure that your children eat a healthy, well-balanced meal before they cavort around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candies.

    For instance, before they head for the streets, give your children:

    • Ample protein (such as a piece of fish or free-range chicken)
    • Fiber-filled, quality carbs (like a salad, steamed vegetables, a sweet potato and a small portion of brown rice)
    • Smart fats (such as olive oil drizzled on top of your salad and sweet potato)
    • Plenty of water (bring bottles with you, too, to keep your kids hydrated)

    By powering up with with PFF (Protein, Fiber & Fat), your child may:

    • Have more consistent energy
    • Feel filled up from the meal so that he or she eats less candies
    • Be a lot more fun to be around, because his or her blood sugar is balanced

    I cannot stress enough how important this is to make sure that your kids eat right before they go out trick-or-treating.

    If your children don't eat a good meal before eating lots of candies, they may go into sugar shock, which means they might:

    • Get wired or really tired
    • Become argumentative
    • Pick fights with their siblings
    • Find it tough to stay focused
    • Develop a horrific stomach ache
    • And more…

    Learn about the sugar-overload situation you're facing on Halloween. Just read my short, first entry over at my new blog at the Huffington Post. Please post a comment and become a fan, too.

    Halloween Horrors: Nearly $2 Billion in Candy Sales Expected

    On Halloween, a national holiday, where you’re pretty much
    encouraged and urged to overdo it on  sweets, adults are expected to
    fork over a whopping $1.89 billion for candies, which they’ll pass out to trick-or-treaters this year, according to a new study from IBISWorld market  research firm.

    I guess these candy buyers just aren’t aware of  the dangers of sugar and refined carbs.

    Even worse, despite the fact that one in three children or teens are
    overweight or obese, sales of health-harming, mostly empty-calorie
    sugary “treats” in 2009 are up by 6.8% over last year.

    Indeed,
    despite the bad economy, people’s appetite for sweets has increased.
    (As my clients often complain, when times are tough, they find that
    their sugar addiction gets worse.)

    Fat_kid
    Interestingly, people are spending nearly as much on candies as on
    costumes. Indeed, the $1.89 figure for candies is just shy of the $2.2 billion in projected sales for fanciful outfits. In all, Halloween will cost consumers $6 billion this year.

    Apparently American adults, like their kids, are so keen on sweets
    that they can’t wait until Halloween before they delve into their
    stash.

    According to the National Confectioners Association, “40 percent of American adults admit to stashing a few pieces of candy from the trick-or-treat bowl before the ghosts and goblins show up on October 31.”

    Meanwhile, the candy association also found that:

    • Four in ten adults (or 41%) admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl.
    • 62% of adults plan to give candies because “it’s a personal favorite”
      or a household tradition (55%).
    • 90% of parents admit they sneak
      “goodies” from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

    Talk about sugar-obsessed people!

    Lest you’re tempted by the image of candy corn, I urge you to first
    learn the nutrition facts, thanks to DietFacts.com. For instance, according to Brach’s,
    22 pieces are 140 calories. They also contain 75 mg of sodium, as well
    as 36 grams of carbs and 31 grams (7.75 tsp.) of sugar. They also have
    absolutely no fiber (9 grams) and no protein (0 grams).

    The ingredients contain sugar, corn syrup, salt, honey,
    confectioner’s glze, gelatin, dextrose, artificial colors (titanium
    dioxide, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 3, Blue 1), sesame oil and artificial
    flavor.

    Still tempted by the candy corn?

    Stay tuned for tips to have a healthy Halloween.