Research shows that kids who eat breakfast regularly tend to be more alert in school, and are also less likely to be overweight than kids who regularly skip breakfast. Unfortunately, between 42 percent and 59 percent of American children do not eat breakfast every day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation report The State of Family Nutrition and Physical Activity: Are We Making Progress? Send your children to school with all of the advantages of a healthy breakfast with fast and nutritious options.
Ready-to-eat cereals can be a healthy and convenient breakfast choice, but knowing which type to stock your pantry with can be confusing. Now that back to school is around the corner, keep these tips in mind when navigating the cereal aisle:
"Multigrain," "whole grain" and "bran" are terms commonly found on cereal boxes that sound great, but they don't always mean more fiber. Always check the Nutrition Facts and ingredient list and make sure of the fiber content.
Cereals that are good fiber sources supply at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving.
"Natural" cereals or granola may have more fat, sugars, or sodium than you think; many are high in solid fats from palm and coconut oils. For less fat and added sugars, try muesli, made with grains, nuts and dried fruits.
Look for fortified cereals. Most supply about 25 percent of the Daily Value for vitamins and minerals but some have much more, even up to 100 percent, making these cereals comparable to a dietary supplement.
Don't forget to drink your cereal milk when you're done. Besides the calcium and other nutrients in milk, some of the fortified vitamins and minerals from your cereal may dissolve in the milk, so drink up!