Sugar Cereals… or a Glimpse into my Childhood


Kellogg's Sweet Eatin' Carnival

My mother was crunchy before crunchy was fashionable. There were carob chip cookies, homemade healthy birthday cakes, and homemade yogurt. I didn’t have any sugar until I was three years old when an unsuspecting neighbor gave me a huge Easter basket filled with chocolate and candy. I remember growing up we had two choices for cereal, Cheerios or homemade granola. If we were really, really lucky she would buy Chex. As I child I felt quite deprived and couldn’t wait to grow up so I could eat whatever cereal I wanted. 

Well my mom has finally been vindicated! A recent study has shown how bad cereal really can be. Not that this is really shocking but topping the list for worst cereal are; Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Golden Crisp, Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Rice Krispies, Cap’n Crunch and Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch.  There is the same amount of sugar in a glazed donut as in a bowl of Honey Smacks, ugh! 

Topping the list for the best cereals are; Cheerios, Kix, Honey Nut Cheerios and Life. 

What I find sad about this information is that I routinely see many of the “bad” cereals on sale at the store for under two dollars. Using coupons I could purchase many of these brands for next to nothing. Many people think they are getting a great deal… but are they?

Please consider the nutritional consequences of feeding your kids these cereals on a regular basis. If money is tight consider feeding them oatmeal, eggs, or making homemade pancakes. Because my mother fed us healthy foods as a child my journey into unhealthy adulthood didn’t last long. It was only a matter of time before I realized these forbidden fruits of my childhood were not as good as they seemed. I soon switched back to Cheerios, Grape Nuts, and Granola. As a result my kids eat very little cereal, as I find it much cheaper to make hot breakfasts for our large family. 

It is not too late to make a healthy switch for your family. If you want to learn more about the cereal study, you can read the entire article here. 

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  1. Good post. We eat very little cold cereal here, and when we do have it, it’s almost always Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, or Shredded Wheat. IMO there’s very little difference between cereals and things like Cheetos or Bugles. Some are loaded with sugar, the rest with salt. Both are unhealthy.

  2. Oh honey! I am right there with you. My mom would not buy those cereals either, number 1 the sugar, but 2 they were so expensive then, we just couldn’t afford them. When I did get Frosted Flakes maybe once a year, I often wouldn’t finish the box-they were too sweet. 😉
    We didn’t have homemade yogurt, but we did have homemade bread and fresh garden vegetables(fresh, canned, & home frozen all year long).
    I didn’t have chocolate milk until I was six years old and went to first grade.

  3. TheHappyHousewife says:

    What’s chocolate milk? lol! Now that was something we were never allowed to have!

  4. Does that mean I can’t have my Lucky Charms??!?

  5. Cereals have the same sugar as a glazed doughnut?

    CHYES!!!!! Sorry…I know that that’s bad for cereal lovers and everything, but I’m wild about doughnuts!

    Okay, that probably isn’t any better, but now I can look at my doughnut and say, “Well, at least it’s not a bowl of cereal!”

  6. Thanks for the heads up on the study. I always give my girls Cheerios. :o)

  7. To think all this time people thought I wasn’t making the wise choice with a donut, while they are chomping down on their sugary cereal. Ah ha! Let the donut prevail!

    I actually bought Life on sale BOGO this week.

  8. Yee-haw! I don’t feel like such a mean mom. LOL! My kids only get the sweetened stuff when they go to friend’s house to sleepover or one of their grandma’s houses that has that junk. We eat regular Cheerios or whole grain, granola, life, kix, shredded wheat! Thanks for posting!!

  9. Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely have to henceforth waylay the sugary cereals, and return to the illustrious bosom of Cheerios, bitter though they may be.

  10. Interesting post!

    I am one of those parents that does buy the sugar cereal for my kids and hubby. However, they don’t make up the whole breakfast, there is other things served. Also I don’t buy just the sugar cereals…we do Life, Honey Bunches of Oats, Cheerios, and others. I know there isn’t much nutritional value in the sugar cereals. My hubby grew up on alot of the sugar cereal so it makes things a bit difficult to get rid of them altogether. However, I am going to work towards the goal of ridding the shelves of the sugar cereals and working towards more healthier breakfasts.

    Thanks for posting!

  11. I saw this on the news last night. I am glad that my kids don’t eat Sugar Smacks like I did! I was surprised that Rice Krispies were bad though. Back to Cheerios for us.

  12. I felt the same way. I don’t think it was the sugar content, so much as the price for my mom. My favorite cereal as a kid was “Body Buddies”. Does anyone remember it? I assume it was like Kix, but I really don’t remember.

    I swore up and down that, when I grew up, I was going to buy any cereal I wanted.

    So much for that. All I ever buy is Wheaties. And, okay, I succumb to the siren call of Apple Jacks or twice a year.

  13. Amen to this!!! I grew up in good old Battle Creek Mich, Kellogg’s Cereal City!!! They definitely didn’t start out this way!!!

    We are BIG warm breakfast fans. We also do the Cheerios and bran cereals!!! Eating cereal is NOT always cheaper!!! It doesn’t keep you as full either!!

    Thanks for the reminder!!!


  14. “Tall up! With the tall corn taste of Kellogg’s golden flakes…
    It’s corn that you can really crunch. Corn that really packs a punch. Tall Americans….tall Americans! Tall up!”

    From a 50s-60s kelloggs commerical on TV. You hum it; I can sing it. Addicted I was, and your picture transported me WAY back to all those cereal commericals. We never got to eat ANY of them….. Probably a good thing.

    “Snap…what a happy sound. Snap is the happiest sound around. You can clap, rap, tap, splat, but SNAP makes the world go ’round. Snap, crackle, pop….Rice Krispies!”

    Sorry….you got me started. Please, don’t talk about cigarettes! I (gasp!) know those songs, too, because they used to advertise them on TV in my impressionable youth.

    Did you know that your mind stores music all of your life? Play a song you haven’t heard since you were a child, and you can identify it right away. And music paints pictures in our minds, too. We need to protect our kids from music that paints the wrong kind of pictures….

    Yikes! How did I get off on that?

  15. M breakfast every morning is old fashioned oats with raisins and a dab of flax infused margarine. It’s tastier than any omelet and much healthier!

    I indulged–too much– in those good old sugary cereals as a child. But what great prizes!

  16. I’m also a “mean” mommy when it comes to nutrition. I cook almost every morning and if my kids don’t like what I made, they can have oatmeal (which they both love so they don’t care). We do keep cereal in the house. Banana Nut Crunch is afavorite!

  17. I am with you on this one ! We eat oats, cream of wheat, or Red River for breakfast. I want to get into some muffins for a few mornings each week. I was converted on this LONG time ago. But I was raised on cold cereals though. The only time my kids get this is when they go to camp or when Nana comes for a visit.

    Blessings and ((hugs))
    In Him<\

  18. My kids are growing up like you did: Cheerios or Homemade granola. However, we do have homemade oatmeal as a daily option, too. Our occasional treat? Rice Crispies, lol! Thanks for the great information!

  19. Good reminder! I am totally with you on this. I buy cheerios, Post raisen bran (anything but Post has partially hydrogenated oil in it) oatmeal, and shredded wheat.
    Lately, my mom has been bringing Captain Crunch’s Peanut Butter cereal every week. This week, she brought two boxes. She was doing it for the kids knowing that I don’t have cereal like that. They were thrilled. But, I talked to her right away about this – I asked her to please stop doing this (she is 80 years old, I want to be gentle with her). I explained to her how bad this cereal is for the kids and even explained to her what partially hydrogenated oil will do in the cells of our body.
    I think I understand now, after reading your post, of why she’s been doing this (it’s a bargain.)

  20. Toni, Thanks for the heads up on these. I plan on looking in to this further. Blessings.

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