This is Part 1 of a multi-part grocery store series.
Whether you’re a 9 year old looking for something sweet and crunchy or you’re a 55 year old looking to lose a few pounds, learning to navigate your way through the cereal aisle is an important, positive step in your healthy living lifestyle.
The average American supposedly eats about 160 bowls of cereal in one year. Many of us eat way more than this (and how much cereal, by the way, is in each of those bowls? 😉 ) Needless to say, making healthy cereal choices is a great opportunity for us to include more whole grains and smart nutrition into our lives.
Before we walk through the cereal aisle, keep these handy-dandy pointers in mind:
1) A healthy cereal should contain at least (at LEAST) 3-5 grams of fiber per serving. Protein is a nice perk too, but not completely necessary if you’ll be adding a protein-containing milk substitute (i.e., soy) or cow’s milk to your bowl.
2) The cereal should contain 10 grams of sugar or less per serving. Americans are eating 22 teaspoons of sugar a DAY. Along with sodas and juices, cereal is a great place to chisel away at our sugar intake for the day.
3) Find a texture/flavor you like. It doesn’t matter if the fiber twigs meet our criteria. If you don’t like it, you won’t eat it. End of story.
4) The cereal should have a good volume to calorie ratio. That is, you should get a decent quantity of cereal for how many calories you are consuming. If the calories listed are 250 but the serving size is only 1/2 cup, it’s time to move on! HINT: This refers to most granola cereals!
Here is a list of my top ten favorite cereals. You will most definitely find others that are higher in fiber, lower in sugar. But I find these have a nice mixture of the two, creating a delicious morning meal.
1) Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted or Warm Cinnamon Oats, 3/4 cup, 120 calories, 5 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
2) Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Biscuits, 28 biscuits, 180 calories, 5 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 6 grams protein
3) Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls, 3/4 cup, 120 calories, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, 5 grams sugar
4) Life Cereal, 3/4 cup, 120 calories, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar
5. Kix, 1-1/4 cups, 110 calories, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, 3 grams sugar
6. Wheat Chex, 1 cup, 210 calories, 6 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, 6 grams sugar
7. Uncle Sam, 1 cup, 230 calories, 11 grams fiber, 9 grams protein, 1 gram sugar
8. Cheerios, 1 cup, 100 calories, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 1 gram sugar
9. Frosted Mini Wheats, 1 cup, 180 calories 5 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, 12 grams sugar*
*this is higher in sugar than I recommend, but with such a short ingredient list and 5 grams of fiber, this is one cereal to include in your regular routine. OR, buy the unsweetened variety and add your own natural sweetness with sliced banana or berries!
10. Kashi Go Lean, 1 cup, 150 calories, 10 grams fiber, 14 grams protein, 6 grams sugar
Add a piece of fruit, a cup of milk (or milk substitute such as soy, almond, coconut, etc) and get your day started right!
Question: What are your favorite cereals?