Navigating the Cereal Aisle
Hi everyone – it’s been a while! I’ve had quite the month, culminating in my completion of graduate school! I’m happy to announce I’ve officially earned my Master of Public Health in Nutrition…but that’s not what I really want to talk about.
As the weather gets warmer I usually find myself drifting farther and farther from my typical oatmeal choice, searching instead for something a little more “refreshing” – if cereal, milk and yogurt can be described as such.
I’m definitely a cereal girl. I seriously LOVE it… and would be more than happy to eat it for every meal of every day! That said, if you’re anything like me, you also feel like it’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to eat just one bowl. Without some major self-control half the box is easily demolished in one sitting. If it’s Honey Bunches of Oats it might be the whole box.
What’s the problem with this? Well, if you’ve ever looked at the nutrition label (which I bet most of you smart eaters have) most likely you’ve noticed that a “serving” is typically 1 cup (sometimes less!) and somewhere between 120 – 200 calories. This means, if I get out my handy measuring cup and measure out by prescribed serving it pretty much fills my favorite cereal bowl… halfway – a little more if I’m lucky. Personally, that never feels or looks like enough.
This means that when we pour ourselves a “real person serving” (lets say ~ 2 cups) our calories are hovering somewhere between 250 – 450. Most of those calories are coming from less-than-whole grains, a lot of sugar and a dismal amount of fiber and protein. What’s worse – after you’ve frontloaded your morning with calories you’re usually hungry by 10am.
Don’t be sad.
You can still eat cereal and feel ok – in fact you can feel down right good about your breakfast choice. All you have to do is reach for the right one! Here’s what you want to look for.
100% Whole Grain
More than ~6 g of fiber per serving
Less than ~10g of sugar per saving
More than ~3g protein per serving
You don’t have to worry about getting took caught up in exact numbers. Just try and get close and remember that the higher the protein and fiber the fuller you will stay!
Here’s are 5 cereals I’m currently reaching for:
Not ready to give up your childhood favorites? Here are some tricks to make reaching for the frosted flakes a little bit OK.
- Measure out 1 serving of your favorite (but less than nutritionally perfect) cereal. Add into the bowl chia seeds, fruit & a spoonful of greek yogurt for an extra kick of protein!
- Pair 1 serving of your favorite (but less than nutritionally perfect) cereal with a glass of milk plus scramble 1 egg + 2 egg whites with spinach.
- Mix! Pair ½ of a serving of your favorite (but less than nutritionally perfect) cereal with 1 serving of your favorite (nutritionally perfect) cereal! I’m a serious mixer!!
Bonus! Today I’m lucky enough to also be guest blogging at Clean Eating Chelsey. An amazing gluten free health food blogger whose writing has distracted me from many graduate school classes!! Go check it out!!