Breakfast Cereal and Children’s Dental Care

cereal-milk_stevenson-pediatric-dentistry-blogIn a few of our posts now, we’ve mentioned the importance of healthy eating in children’s dental care. As busy parents, we understand that getting your children ready for school can sometimes be a challenge all on its own! Cereal for breakfast is always a great option for a busy morning but General Dentistry 4 Kids wants to give you some information on how you can choose a good breakfast cereal for your child. We’d hate for you to unknowingly undo all of the hard work you put into teaching your children good dental habits with a breakfast cereal full of sugar!

More Sugar Than a Twinkie

According to a recent report, Sugar in Children’s Cereals by Environmental Working Group, one cup of any of 44 different children’s cereal–including Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, and Cap’n Crunch–have more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies. The top contender for most sugar, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, has more sugar in a one cup serving than a Twinkie! We can’t imagine that you would feed your children dessert for breakfast in the morning but if you are feeding them some of the cereals listed below, that would be exactly what you are doing!

10 Worst Children’s Cereals: Based on percent of sugar by weight

  1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks: 55.6%
  2. Post Golden Crisp: 51.9%
  3. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow: 48.3%
  4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries: 46.9%
  5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original: 44.4%
  6. Quaker Oats Oh!s: 44.4%
  7. Kellogg’s Smorz: 43.3%
  8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks: 42.9%
  9. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries : 42.3%
  10. Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Original: 41.4%

Healthy Alternatives

Here is list of some good choices for children’s cereal that won’t leave your kid’s dental visit filled with cavity repair!

6 Good Big-Brand Children’s Cereals

  1. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite- Size
  2. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Frosted Big Bite
  3. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Frosted Bite-Size
  4. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Frosted Little Bite
  5. General Mills Cheerios Original
  6. General Mills Kix Original

Some other good options that aren’t children’s cereal, but may still have a good appeal to kids are Quaker Oats Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon and Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Bunches.

Looking for More than Games on the Box

As a parent, you can help protect your children’s teeth by reading the labels on the boxes of cereal and looking out for these three items:

  1. Cereals with a short ingredient list (added vitamins and minerals are okay)
  2. Cereals high in fiber
  3. Cereals with few or no added sugars–including honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high- fructose corn syrup and malt syrup

Cereals that meet these criteria can usually be found on the top shelves of the cereal aisle. They are harder to reach and not at eye level but are often less expensive.

 

We hope we’ve given you some great insight into the sugary world of children’s cereal! Don’t forget to brush, floss and rise regularly!

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