We all know we should feed our kids less sugar but between it’s not just the obvious sources of sugar like candy, cookies and ice cream we should pay attention to but grocery store shelves are stocked full of “healthy” cereals that seem OK to feed your kids but are actually loaded with sugar.
Too much sugar can increase your child’s risk for obesity, type-2 diabetes and of course, cavities. It can even lead to cold symptoms, cough, acid reflux and a weak immune system. Starting off the day on a sugary note isn’t the best idea for kids whether they’re at the home with you or at school all day.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your kids diet can quickly make a significant impact on their health. In fact, according to an October 2015 study in the journal Obesity, kids who cut back on sugar reduced their cholesterol and blood pressure and brought their blood sugar and insulin levels back to normal after just 10 days.
One way to reduce the amount of sugar in your kids’ diets is to read labels and avoid buying sugar-laden cereals. Here are 5 so-called healthy cereals that are actually sugar bombs.
1. Honey Nut Cheerios
They contains whole grain oats, are gluten-free and have 12 vitamins and minerals but Honey Nut Cheerios are filled with sugar. At first glance however, you wouldn’t think so because a serving size has 9 grams. But read carefully because that serving size is only 3/4 of a cup.
Does your kid eat 3/4 of a cup of cereal? Neither do my kids. The Environmental Working Group published a report on this and they says kids who eat more than the serving size are getting as much as 20 grams of sugar in one sitting—more than a Hershey’s chocolate bar!
2. Raisin Bran
It’s been touted as a healthy cereal for decades perhaps because it’s a good source of fiber (7 grams in one cup) and it’s “made with real fruit.” Raisins are a good source of iron but dried fruit of any kind is just concentrated sugar. With 18 grams of sugar per serving, you might as well serve your kid a doughnut for breakfast.
3. Kellogg’s Smart Start
This one shocked me on a recent trip to the grocery store when I looked at the label only to discover what a poor choice it is. With a healthy name, the words “antioxidants,” in large print, and an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, you’d think it would be healthy for your kids but with 14 grams of sugar in each cup, this is one to avoid.
4. Quaker Real Medleys Supergrains Oatmeal (Banana Walnut)
With bananas, walnuts, oats, flaxseed and quinoa, this cereal couldn’t sound more healthy and although it has a decent amount of fiber (5 grams) look at the label and find the second ingredient—the most prominent—is brown sugar. One serving has a whopping 19 grams of sugar.
5. Kellogg’s Special K Fruit and Yogurt
With oats, fruit and yogurt, this cereal seems like a healthy choice. True, it has some protein and fiber, it’s a good source of iron and vitamins and minerals, but it also contains sugar (the second ingredient), corn syrup, dried apples and honey. And just like Honey Nut Cheerios, the serving size is 3/4 cup, which has 10 grams of sugar alone.