Breakfast Cereals you CAN give to the kids…

Top Ten healthy breakfasts

I was inspired to write this blog post by some parents at a recent group I did at a Children Centre in Brighton. Parents were asking me exactly what cereals were the best ones for young children as they had heard stories about many cereals (and especially children’s cereals) being high in sugar and salt.

Unfortunately this is the case, and I often recommend parents avoid offering cereals that are marketed to young children, as a general rule of thumb. It can be quite overwhelming going down the cereal isle, as there is such a vast number of breakfast cereals on offer. Some of the ones I would regularly recommend to adults for health reasons and for young children are the following:

These cereals are the best options for children and adults alike!

These cereals are the best options for children and adults alike!

 

Ready Brek (Plain only)

Low sugar (1.0g/100g), Low salt (trace)

Porridge or plain oats

Low sugar (1.0g/100g), Low salt (trace)

Shredded Wheat

Low sugar (0.7g/100g), Low salt (trace)

Puffed Oats

0.6g/100g, Low salt (trace)

Puffed Wheat

Low sugar (2.0g/100g), Low salt (trace)

Weetabix

Low sugar (4.4g/100g), medium salt (0.6g/100g)

By checking the 100g column on the back of labels we can easily see what foods are high, low and medium in salt and sugar. The table below demonstrates this. The main thing to remember for breakfast cereals you can give the kids, is to opt for cereals that have less than 5g sugar/100g of the product!

Use these values when checking the 100g column on the back of packets

Use these values when checking the 100g column on the back of packets.

(* the amount that qualified as ‘High Sugar’ used to be 15grams/100grams until 2014 when the Government changed it to 22.5grams/100g (an increase of 7.5g!!) with no real reasons as to why….)

As a comparison, we can see below the sugar content of some of the UK’s more popular children’s cereals….

Crunchy nut cornflakes

High sugar (35g/100g), medium salt (0.9g/100g)

Frosties

High sugar (37g/100g), medium salt (0.8g/100g)

Coco pops

High sugar (35g/100g), medium salt (0.7g/100g)

1 g of sugar vs 35 g – quite a big difference, hey? 

For more information on different breakfast cereals and how they rate in terms of their sugar and salt contents CASH have produced a fantastic table of a number of the UK’s most popular cereals for kids here.

Fairly recently there was also an article in the Telegraph, naming and shaming the 10 WORST offenders in terms of breakfast cereals and their sugar content. It’s always worth checking known brands vs supermarket’s own brands as sometimes they can surprise you….!

See here for more information on breakfast cereals, healthy breakfast ideas, food labels and a quick guide to label reading please see the links.