Friday, April 6, 2012

Would you care for some cereal with that sugar?

Yesterday I had a serious lapse in judgement and knowingly purchased all of these cereals at once for the express purpose of my children's consumption:

Honey Comb (10g Sugar)
Honey Kix (6g Sugar)
Fruit Loops (12g Sugar)
Cinnamon Toast Crunch (10g)

I don't know what made me so amenable. Maybe it was that we had just picked out everything for our annual bunny cake based on the boy's drawing of how we should decorate it this year. Maybe it was the funny memory of my baby brother, who turned 29 yesterday, being scared of the Easter Bunny. We had to leave notes asking the bunny to please leave the Easter baskets on the porch. Maybe I was just in a good mood from the shining sun. 

Whatever it was, my children were thrilled and while I was hoping I wouldn't see anyone I knew during checkout I was kind of liking being the fun cereal mom for once. Usually I am the mean cereal mom. There was that one summer at the cabin when I said yes to a box of Fruit Loops. 1 box for the whole 2 weeks. Also, I did allow the boy to eat Cocoa Krispies and a chocolate glazed donut for breakfast every morning on our recent cruise. I am not without my fun breakfast moments, but at least 49 weeks of the year, not really so fun.

Here is where I guess I should say that while I do not buy 100% organic nor only 100% whole grain, I do generally make healthy choices for my family. We always have fresh fruits and vegetables. I prepare mainly chicken and fish and the occasional lean meat. I never fry anything or add salt outside of a baking recipe. We do sometimes have chips around (usually, but not always baked ones) and 99% of the time there are some type of sweets to be enjoyed after meals. I like to buy my cookies at Trader Joe's, because even sweets are somehow magically healthier when they come from Trader Joe's. It's a fact. Now you know.

Before I even got out of bed this morning, the boy informed me he had eaten 2 bowls of some combo of the above cereal and his stomach hurt. My immediate reaction (with eyes still closed) was to announce that I was going to rectify my lapse in judgment by tossing out all that evil sugar cereal. Then I remembered that sometimes the boy claims his tummy hurts because he wants to watch TV. 

What to do? Toss it all? Set limits at 1 bowl followed by yogurt or fruit if still hungry? Eat it all myself to save the children?

Here's what I did: I asked the Keurig to make me a cup of coffee. No decisions should be made before coffee. Then I googled the nutrition information for the cereals I usually purchase.

Honey Nut Cheerios (9g)
Trader Joe's Honey Nut O's (10g)
Frosted Mini Wheats (10g)
Trader Joe's Frosted Shredded Bite Size Wheats (11g)
Trader Joe's Maple Frosted Shredded Bite Size Wheats (12g)
Cinnamon Life (8g)

The numbers are quite similar. The lowest amount of sugar is in yesterday's purchased Honey Kix. Very interesting...

Should I feel vindicated? Should I feel duped? Should I feel like an ignoramus? Should I expect the kids to eat plain Cheerios (1g) or Rice Krispies (4g) without adding sweetener? Should I tell them it's unsweetened steel cut oatmeal and fresh fruit or starve in the morning? Should I buy only Fruit Loops?

I DON'T KNOW! I haven't had my second cup of coffee and these questions are just too much for me...

peace & love ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Okay, here's what I think...a little treat of colorful sweet cereal is no big deal once in a while (like on a cruise or at Grandma's). When I buy things like cereal I mostly look at what's in it, I shoot for whole grains, decent amount of fiber, no added color or high fructose corn syrup. Also, look at serving size, it ranges from 3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cups. I'm with you on Trader Joes, you kind of don't have to read their labels as closely. Their frozen lemonade in a can has no high fructose corn syrup, Minute Made does. Kids LOVE sugar. I guess it's probably a good idea to teach them how to eat it responsibly, because they are going to seek it out.


What say you?