I’m not a huge cereal eater, due to the fact that large bowls of oatmeal fill up my belly most mornings (sometimes I wish I had more more mornings per week). I know I can rely on oatmeal as a relatively healthy, unprocessed breakfast that will fill me up. However, I do enjoy an occasional bowl of cereal, especially when I’m in a crunch for time.
Cold soymilk poured over a crunchy bowl of cereal can taste truly refreshing. However, I won’t just eat any bowl of cereal. If’ I’m going to purchase a box of cereal, it has to be low in sugar, high in fiber, and made from whole grains. This can sometimes be a difficult find. With a whole aisle dedicated to cereal, you would think grocery stores would offer more healthy options. But instead, the shelves of the cereal aisles are lined with one sugary box of cereal after another.
So usually I have to spend a little time reading labels and scanning boxes in searching for that healthy gem within the aisle. However, I think the search is worth the effort because I can ensure that I’m fortifying my body with healthy nutrients. If I were to awaken my body with sugar in the morning, I’d much prefer to eat pancakes or waffles with an intense maple-y syrup rather than an overly-sweet bowl of artificially colored cereal.
Why would I waste my sugar indulgence immediately in the morning on cereal, when I could wait to indulge in something far more superior, such as a rich, chocolaty square of delicious Lindt chocolate later on in the afternoon? There are plenty of tasty breakfast alternatives, thus I don’t ever feel the need to eat or crave sugary cereal.
With that being said, opt for cereal containing minimal amounts of sweeteners. If you feel the cereal you’ve chosen truly needs a little sugar, add it naturally by slicing up a banana or throwing a few raisins into your bowl.
When looking for a nourishing cereal, choose ones that contain a short list of wholesome ingredients. Cereal boxes that seem to have neverending ingredient lists tend to be filled with artificial flavorings and processed ingredients = not good for your body. While I’m always searching for new choices, here are a few cereal varieties that I know I can count on to taste good and start my day off on the right foot.
Nature’s Path Organic Optimum Slim: Made with whole grains and organic ingredients, this cereal is a hit. It’s slightly sweet and has subtle accents of vanilla. Plus, it has 9 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving
The Next Step Up- Kashi GoLean: Similar tasting to Optimum Slim, with a little less sugar and a little more protein and fiber. As seen on the box, it boasts of 13 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving, figures that top my normal bowl of oatmeal.
Trader Joe’s Toasted Oatmeal Flakes: I love this cerel because it contains a short list of 8 ingredient: Whole grain rolled oats, whole grain wehat, sugar, salt, honey, molasses, natural flavor. It’s not bad for flakes, containing just 110 calories per serving and 3 grams of fiber.
Next Step Up- Heritage Flakes: These are my all-time favorite flakes. They have a similar texture to the Trader Joe’s flakes but aren’t nearly as sweet. They’re made with organic, wholesome ingredients and contain 5 grams of protein per serving.
Kashi Heart to Heart: Five grams of fiber and four grams of protein, this cereal makes a great starter. Containing just a hint of sweetness, it also makes a good dry snack when paired with a few raisins and nuts.
Next Step Up- Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs: This cereal lacks fiber, but it’s super low in calories, contains no sugar, and holds a short ingredient list. Throw in some chopped fruit to add your own fiber for a light, clean breakfast.