20 January 2010

Healthy Breakfasts Make for Healthy Kids

photo of raisin nut bran cerealWhen someone mentions eating healthy cereal to me, the first thing that pops into my mind, is sitting down to a bowl of bran and oats that had about as much flavor as the grass that is growing outside. In order to make it edible, my mom would pour wheat germ and honey on it and then expect me to eat it (bleah!). Although I did manage to choke the swill down, I have to admit that it put me off eating breakfast for quite a few years. From that time on, I always equated healthy eating with tasting bad. But, I am happy to say, that this is no longer the case.

General Mills has a cereal called Raisin Nut Bran and since I happen to love raisins, I decided to give it a try. This cereal has slivers of almonds, nut-covered raisins, and sweetened whole wheat and bran flakes. Needless to say, you will not need to add any additional sugar to this cereal. I poured the milk over the cereal and took my first bite. The cereal was sweet, but not overpowering and the combination of the soft raisins and the almond slivers offers a delicious flavor combination and gives it a nice crunch. I have never really been a fan of just plain almonds before (I prefer mine smoked), but I have to admit that they added a tasty dimension to this cereal. With some brands, I had to worry about running out of raisins before I was completely finished, but General Mills seems to have gotten the proportions right, because up to the very last spoon-full, I was getting raisins and almonds. In all, this cereal is really good and best of all...it's healthy! Yes, you heard me correctly, you can actually eat something that tastes good and is healthy for you.

I know that you may all realize the importance of having your children eat a healthy breakfast, but in this day of fighting the "battle of the bulge" either you or your kids might find it better to just skip breakfast and save those calories for later in the day. Well, I dug into the archives and I discovered that a "1998 study showed that children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school. Compared to children who skip breakfast, children who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are less likely to miss class or be tardy, have fewer reported discipline problems, and make fewer trips to the office."

You might also like to know that if you eat a healthy breakfast, your body will be able to use that fuel to burn those dreaded calories and you can actually lose weight. Sounds strange, I know, but if you deprive your body of food, it can go into starvation-mode, which means that anything you eat will be stored as fat and then you won't be losing anything. It has been shown that "people who eat ready-to-eat cereals consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than non-cereal eaters." A few more interesting tidbits: "cereals also deliver important vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, making cereal a top source of key nutrients in children´s diets." Yes, they are talking about children, but this applies to everyone.

Because General Mills wants to help you and your children eat healthy, they are offering you a $1.00 off coupon for any of their cereals. In case you are still undecided about the benefits of cereal here are a few more:

  • Ready-to-eat cereals, including pre-sweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children´s diets

  • Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child´s diet today

  • Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child´s diet today

I hope that you will give this cereal a try and kick-off a campaign for a healthier lifestyle. As for me, writing about this has made me hungry (well, there's something new), so I think I'll grab a bowl of Raisin Nut Bran and let the spell-checker complete my work.

disclosure: For any of you who do not yet know, although the opinions expressed are my own, I did receive free products from General Mills. In addition, the coupon link and the technical information have all been provided by General Mills and MyBlogSpark.


  1. I recently tried multi-grain Cheerios because Jillian on "The Biggest Loser" recommended it and found it they really are good. They have all kinds now too!

  2. Karen & Gerard Zemek: I wasn't a really big cereal eater until I tried this one and I have to admit that I will be eating it more often now. I was really surprised at how good it was.


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