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The Low-Down on Cereal

February 11, 2015

I get a lot of questions about what I serve my own family to eat, and I’m more than happy to share the nuts and bolts of that information with you. Specifically for breakfast, we eat toast, cereal, oatmeal and other traditional American breakfast staples just like most families do, but the difference lies in the ingredient labels. Just because a particular product boasts that it has only 5 ingredients doesn’t necessarily make those ingredients healthy. So it’s not safe to only follow that “5-Ingredient Rule” that I’ve been hearing people talk about. You should be able to not only pronounce the ingredient, but also know what it is. If your product label includes the words “partially hydrogenated” that is a HUGE RED FLAG!

Lets get down to business. When my daughter first started eating solid foods (around age one) I used to buy Kix cereal because I thought it contained less sugar. At that point, I was trying to differentiate between Fruit Loops and Kix. Fast forward a few more months when I actually began to do some research, and what did I find? I found that Kix contains 23 different ingredients:

Corn Meal
Oats Whole Grain
Oats Bran
Sugar
Corn Bran
Corn Starch Modified
Corn Syrup
Salt
Trisodium Phosphate
Vitamin E (Tocopherols Mixed Vitamin E to Preserve Freshness)
Calcium Carbonate
Iron
Zinc
Sodium Ascorbate Vitamin C
Niacinamide Vitamin B3
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride HCl (Pyridoxine Vitamin B6)
Riboflavin Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin Vitamin B2)
Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Vitamin B1)
Vitamin A Palmitate
Folic Acid Vitamin B9
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D3

…most of which I either can’t pronounce or don’t know what it is. Oh ya, and do you want to know why they add all those “vitamins and minerals” back into the ingredient list? It’s because when using something such as Genetically Modified Corn Bran, the “process” removes any natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The largest food manufacturers want you to believe that these ingredients are not harmful and that they are used to keep the product fresh.

Well, OK, but I serve Nature’s Path Gorilla Munch cereal to my children. It looks like Kix, it tastes like Kix, but it only contains 4 ingredients, all of which I can pronounce and understand. Seems that big company doesn’t have the same concerns as General Mills. Go figure.

Would you spend the extra $1.50 on a box of cereal so that your children don’t have to eat all kinds of artificial additives? You simply can’t put a price on the health of your family.

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