Bars and breakfast foods are the two foods that people most commonly ask, "Which is best for me?". Cereal aisles are notoriously full of junk. With health claims yelling at you from the cereal box, picking out a healthy cereal is no easy task!The criteria that I use for Better Cereals are similar to the criteria used for Better Bars, but with special attention to additives. If you haven't checked out the ingredient list on your breakfast cereal, please do so. It's amazing what is packed into those cardboard boxes. You will find an amazing array of artificial flavors and colors, mixed in with preservatives and then laced with sugar. That doesn't paint a pretty picture, but there's no way to sugar-coat it. Well, unless you count eating a sugary-cereal, then you really are sugar-coating your breakfast!Better Cereal Selection Criteria
- Minimally processed, familiar ingredients.
- Short ingredient list, fewer than 10 ingredients.
- No added sugar, or very little (evaporated cane juice, sugar, juice concentrate, honey, brown rice syrup and other syrups ) or sugar alcohols (maltitol, sorbitol and others ending in –ol).
- No synthetic food dye. You will know that it's synthetic if you see any color followed by a number.
Here is a handout with more information on Food Additives (pdf) from information complied by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.Top Picks: Short ingredient lists, no weird additives and NO ADDED SUGAR! None. Zip. Zilch. These are the best!**Please note: These are not gluten free. For gluten-free, scroll down.**#1 Ezekiel 4:9 Almond#2 Shredded Wheat#3 Alpen All Natural Muesli, No Added Sugar
- If you've gotta have a bit of sugar, use this rule of thumb: Look for cereals that have less than 5 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber PER 100 calories. Keep in mind 1 teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams of sug
- These cereals have around 1 teaspoon of added sugar.
Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls MultigrainBarbara’s Puffins OriginalTop Pick Gluten-Free CerealsDecent tasting gluten-free cereals are hard to come by, but tasty, gluten-free AND healthy cereals? Oh boy, there are just a few options. Gluten-free cereals tend to be higher in sugar and lower in fiber than gluten containing grains.These are the three cereals that I eat, and I welcome more suggestions. Are there more healthy gluten-free cereals out there? Please let me know!!#1 Perky’s Crunchy Flax#2 Nature’s Path Organic Mesa Sunrise# 3 Udi’s Granola OriginalDo you love sugary cereal?
- Sweeten one of these cereal with fruit and add crunch and flavor with nuts and seeds. Make a breakfast bar so that your family can build their own cereal bowl. Use any variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, milks or yogurt that you like.
- Do a “Fruit-Yogurt-Cereal Flip”! Put fresh or frozen fruit in the bottom of your bowl, top with yogurt and then cereal. Eating your cereal this way makes a cereal like granola, which is higher in sugar, from encroaching too far onto your “discretionary calories”.
- Count your cereal as your dessert. If you eat sugary cereal, consider that dessert for the day—and eat it that way! Have a small bowl of cereal as dessert following a well-balanced meal that contains fruits, vegetables, fiber, protein and healthy fat. Sugary cereal simply can’t be the meal.
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