Spot the hidden sugar in kids’ breakfasts

One thing that most of us know that one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is to make breakfast a regular part of our routines, but just how healthy are some of the things we’re actually eating every morning?

I was horrified when I just happened to glance at my son’s breakfast cereal on the kitchen top – his honey flavoured Ready Brek had a whopping 18g of sugar per 100g; to put that into an understandable measurement that’s about 3 teaspoons per bowl!

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it’s also a source of vitamins and calcium but I couldn’t work out why there was so much hidden sugar in it, it would be much better to just have plain porridge with a spoonful of honey; which is now what is going to happen in this house!

Anyway, this got me thinking about just how much hidden sugar is in cereals, I remember a few years ago there was an uproar about the salt content in breakfasts but I was keen to take a stroll down to the supermarket and have a look at what was on the shelves.

What I found there made me determined to make sure I read the nutrition labels on food a lot more!

I’ve put together what I read for you below, marking out the worst sugar offenders as well as the best breakfasts for a healthy day!

Cereal Offender: Frosties

It may not surprise you that Frosties are packed full of sugar – you can see that the flakes themselves are coated in it; there are about 5 teaspoons of sugar with 40g served with semi-skimmed milk!

As a choice for breakfast this is no better for you than cake and custard, in fact there are some cakes on supermarket shelved with less sugar per 100g!

Healthy Choice: Shreddies

Shreddies is a great breakfast choice; it does have added sugar, just under 10% of an adults daily allowance for a 40-50g serving with milk.

It’s a great source of vitamin D, which is often not found in cereals and which has been found really important to overall health.

There are other vitamins and minerals including a 3.6mg dose of iron; it’s also great to add accessories too, try sweet fruits which are a source of better types of sugars!

Cereal Offender: Coco Pops

I’d rather have a bowl of, well, might as well be a chocolate bar because that’d be the same amount of sugar for breakfast as just a 40g serving of Coco Pops – when eaten with semi-skimmed milk this cereal has the equivalent to a whopping 5 teaspoons of sugar!This kind of sugar intake at breakfast will give anyone a short sugar rush and boost of energy, but you’ll be really hungry again by mid-morning.

Healthy Choice: Weetabix

This is a great breakfast choice and has one of the lowest amounts of added sugar for a ready-made cereal, just 1.7g per two biscuit serving.

It’s also low in fat and salt, packed full of fibre and iron; it’s a fantastic breakfast choice and you can have it with absolutely anything, try yogurt rather than milk and all sorts of different fruits.

More Fantastic Breakfast Choices

Always check the nutritional information labels on cereals, especially look out for the ‘sugars’, there are a wealth of healthy cereals out there but make sure you’re not just taken in by the bold healthy claims on the front and look out for the sugar content!



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