High sugar in breakfast cereals
The results of a study by a consumer group has shown sugary cereals are as bad for children as other types of confectionery. Avoid the cereal drama and check out our healthier suggestions and alternatives for a better breakfast.
Seriously sweet findings
The study by Which? a UK-based consumer watchdog group, has discovered that 12 out of 14 types of cereal aimed at children had high sugar levels, with Kellogg's Frosties the highest, with 37% sugar. The company's Coco Pops, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and Sugar Puffs were also in the top five most sugary brands. Out of 50 cereals surveryed, 32 had high sugar-levels, including those advertised as more healthy options, such as Special K and All-Bran Bran Flakes.
Which? said more action is needed by retailers and manufacturers to provide consumers with a wider range of healthier cereals. A lack of consistent labelling across brands makes it difficult for families to quickly identify the healthier choices. Nestlé's Shredded Wheat figured as one of the healthiest cereals, with lower levels of sugar, fat and salt. However, Kellogg's insisted that it gives clear details on sugar and salt levels and gives consumers a choice, Paul Wheeler, Kellogg’s head of communications, stated: “People know Frosties contain sugar, that’s why they’re called Frosties...if you want a lower-sugar version of Coco Pops there is one – it’s called Rice Krispies. That’s the problem with these types of reports. They fixate on the rights or wrongs of particular products without seeing the bigger picture – that there’s a huge number of cereals people can choose from.”
How you can get serious about cereal
As a modern parent your time is limited, and cereals may seem like the easiest option for a convenient breakfast or quick snack. Some cereals have appealing packaging and include free gifts like toys and collectibles but it is important to turn the box or package over and carefully study the nutritional information.
When selecting cereals for your children:
1) Don’t choose sugary or sugar-coated types you can eat straight from the box.
2) Give healthier types of breakfast cereal such as oatmeal, plain corn-flakes and wheat flakes combined with nuts and fresh fruits.
3) Do not buy cereal just because the packaging states that the cereal contains vitamins, antioxidants and other nutritional benefits because cereals can contain vitamins and minerals, but still have more sugar and other preservatives or additives.