{Might as well feed your kids Twinkies} Children’s Cereals are Sugar Bombs

sugar in children's cereals

How ’bout a couple of cookies for breakfast, son?

No? How ’bout a Twinkie?

Oh, you’d rather have some cereal? That’s a great choice – much more nutritious than eating dessert for breakfast!

Not so fast, dad.

That breakfast cereal could actually have more sugar in it than junk food, according to a new study from the Environmental Working Group.

EWG reviewed 84 popular brands of cereals, including many marketed directly to children, and found that 56 of them were more than 24% sugar (by weight), with some cereals containing as much as 55% sugar!

  • One cup of any of three popular children’s cereals contains more sugar than a Twinkie: Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel.
  • One cup of any of 44 children’s cereals – including Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, and Cap’n Crunch – contains more sugar than 3 Chips Ahoy! cookies.
  • 3 out of 4 cereals analyzed would not meet proposed federal nutrition recommendations, and 1 out of 4 fell short of the industry’s own proposed guidelines.

Is this really how children ought to be nourished? Of course not, but try telling that to the companies with a huge vested interest in what kids eat every day.

“Cereal companies have spent fortunes on convincing parents that a kid’s breakfast means cereal, and that sugary cereals are fun, benign, and all kids will eat. The cereals on the EWG highest-sugar list are among the most profitable for their makers, who back up their investment with advertising budgets of $20 million a year or more. No public health agency has anywhere near the education budget equivalent to that spent on a single cereal. Kids should not be eating sugar for breakfast. They should be eating real food.” – Marion Nestle, NYU nutrition professor

Go download the EWG report: Sugar in Children’s Cereals

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  1. First time visitor to your site and love your posts especially this one. Am an RD, Nutritionist myself & Love the way you broken down this piece. Like the sprout recipe too !