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 Smacks 55.6%
2.) Post Golden Crisp 51.9%
3.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow 48.3%
4.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 46.9%
5.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 44.4%
6.) Quaker Oats Oh!s 44.4%
7.) Kellogg’s Smorz 43.3%
8.) Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 42.9%
9.) Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries 42.3%
10.) Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original 41.4%

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.

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Connie Bennett is the bestselling author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House), one or both of which have been praised by Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman and many others. Connie is now completing her next book, Crush Your Cravings On the Go™ and the companion Crush Your Cravings System, both of which will help people easily, quickly let their cravings go. Her interest in the subject was triggered in late 2012, when she walloped by Crazy Carb Cravings after helplessly standing by her abusive, dying mother .

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