Is Cereal Unhealthy?

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Cereal seems to get a bad rap these days, and I’m here to defend it. We’ve got moms shaking in their boots wondering, “Is Cereal Unhealthy?” and I’m here to share my thoughts. I’m not a researcher, data specialist, or even a nutritionist, I’m just a mom with some observations I want to share. Oh, and I also have a passion for cereal, so I may be a little bit biased. I LOVE cereal!

i love cereal

{Some of my favorite cereals!}

Ok, I’ll admit, I’m not “just a mom” with passion for cereal. I just came back from a trip to the General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis, and I’ve got a few things to share. They hosted myself and some other bloggers to share information with us, and now I’m sharing it with you.  Even though cereal continues to be sold in droves at supermarkets across the country, they want us to know something: each box of cereal has WHOLE GRAIN as the FIRST ingredient, and that’s something to shout about. This is something that they intentionally did FOR US to feel better about our choices and what we feed our families. They know about the stress we go through in making food decisions. Of course they stand to gain in sales, but they would have anyway. Cereal isn’t going away.

Though they are not paying me to write this post, I want to share because of my love for breakfast cereal. I mean, I grew up on the stuff, and I’m raising my kids on it, and I stand by it as a mom, but after this trip, I feel even better about standing by my beloved cereal.

Is Cereal Unhealthy?

As moms, we’ve got confusion coming at us from every direction. Do this…don’t do that…eat this…don’t eat that….it stresses me out! The past 5 years, I’ve been on my own personal journey to lose weight get healthy and strong. I started with a quick weight loss that restricted calorie consumption. Then after a while, I tried paleo, vegan, grain free, counting calories, weighing food, just to maintain a certain number on the scale, and you know the conclusion that I’ve come to????


Translation: Be smart, don’t eat a ton of anything (except the greens) all the time! Just exactly what I’ve always heard. In all of my own personal research, this I know for sure: make your main choices around vegetables and fruits, then everything else in moderation.

When I first started making nightly meals as a mom, I was HAPPY to have a main dish on the table. I didn’t want my family to go hungry, and I was patting myself on the back for it. “Yes! I fed the family today!” We were poor, and I didn’t do fast food at all, I wanted to thank my husband for working hard to earn money for our family, and with little ones tugging at me, it was all I could wrap my brain around to plop a casserole dish on the table at 6pm.

I remember hearing that my mother in law had a fruit and vegetable at each meal, and after I got over feeling bad that it never occurred to me, it dawned on me that I could be doing better. It was hard, but eventually I got there. Sometimes, I literally throw a bag of baby carrots and set a few apples on the table with dinner, but dangit, they are THERE!

I feel like there is SO much focus on what we shouldn’t eat, and not enough focus on what we need to make sure we are feeding our family.

But you know what? My family is healthy! Not just in appearance, but we don’t get sick. Hardly ever. I’m not bragging, I’m just saying…

This is how we aim to be healthy in our family:

  • No soda–occasional treats
  • an active lifestyle
  • fruits and veggies at each dinner
  • fruit and veggie in each lunch

If we want to have a conversation about “healthy” for our kids, lets talk about what is packed in their lunches each day, how much ice cream them have in a week, and their soda consumption.

But I’m not here to point the finger of shame. Just to help you see that a side by side comparison of a sugary cereal with ice cream, oreo’s, fruit snacks, capri suns, packaged…whatever in kids lunches, that cereal comes out way ahead.

If you want less sugar, go for the Cheerios and Kix. Or just stock up on Trix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch for after school snacks.

Is Cereal Unhealthy?

{Trix cereal bowls I made last year}

But I grab a variety when I shop, my pantry runs the gamut of options.

My BIGGEST problem is running out of milk! I asked for a mini fridge for my birthday, just to store more milk for cereal!

But my kids eat cereal nearly every day. I tried getting in some protein like eggs or bacon, but just couldn’t sustain that.

Cereal for the win!

cheerios cereal

{Rolling my own cheerios}

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