Healthy Breakfast Cereal Shopping Tips

It’s back to school season! This morning I visited ABCs KATU Portland Morning Show, “AM Northwest” to share tips for selecting healthy breakfast cereals. Starting the day with a nourishing breakfast is key for managing energy levels and appetite, as well as improving mental focus and mood. Cereal is a popular breakfast go-to choice however, not all cereal is created equal. I’ve included my tips and today’s television segment below. Enjoy!


Watch Today’s TV Segment:

  1. Read Ingredients Lists First
  • Avoid artificial ingredients including: food dyes such as Yellow # 5 and Red Dye # 40 as well as High Fructose Corn Syrup, and artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. These ingredients provide no nutritional value rather artificial ingredients have been associated with negative health problems.
  • Whether you’re selecting cold, hot or granola type cereals, it is always important to read nutrition ingredient lists first, then nutrition facts. It does not matter if a breakfast cereal is high in fiber and protein if the breakfast cereal is made of chemicals and artificial ingredients.
  1. Read Nutrition Facts Second
  • Choose Fiber: Look for at minimum 2-3 grams of fiber per serving. However, the more fiber the better! Fiber is key for managing energy levels and feeling full. A cereal made with “whole” grains is best, examples include: whole-wheat, oats, brown rice, and bran.
  • Limit Sodium: Choose a cereal with no more than 15% Daily Value of sodium per serving. More than 15% DV of sodium per serving is considered a high-sodium food.
  • Limit Sugar: Choose cereal with no more than 7 -8 grams of sugar per serving, especially if the sugar source is added sugars such as corn syrup and white or brown sugar. Too much sugar can cause a spike and then crash in our energy levels.
  1. Look for Healthy Certifications on Cereal Boxes
  • A few of these certifications include: USDA Organic, Whole Grain and Non-GMO Project Verified
  1. Boost Cereal Nutrition with Added Fresh Ingredients
  • Add nuts, apple slices, banana slices, fresh blueberries, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds. These whole-food toppings will add vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
  • If cereal alone is does not keep you full and satisfied, add a small smoothie on the side! Blend a frozen banana with almond milk and peanut butter. This smoothie example adds fiber and protein, two nutrients that are key for feeling full and satisfied!

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