Breakfast Cereal, the thing that your kid wants to eat for breakfast, lunch and for dinner… Fun fact, the very first breakfast cereal was actually invented by Dr. Kellogs to keep his psychiatric patients distracted and calm! He figured that spicy food was making them act out more so he put them on a bland diet regime of guess what?? Corn Flakes!
Even though it has not been around since our forefather’s days, breakfast cereals have actually been around in the west for more than 100 years. They are kind of an old news really! Now I am not going to stand here are lecture you on how western food is BAD BAD and oh so BAD for you and just eat poha and upma already! No. We will leave that debate to the Purists… Here, however, we will bring to attention a few points as to why homemade breakfast cereal is a 100X better option than the store bought ones.
Appeals of Breakfast Cereal
– They are convenient. No prep. No cooking. Just pour some milk over it and eat it!
– The taste is addictive. Think of chocos, strawberry flavored special K…
– Us humans, tend to like crunchy things (well most of us do anyway…). Can you think of a cold cereal that is not crunchy? I can’t!
– It is available everywhere.
– They still have not worn out their novelty (in this part of the world at least!)
And now, 5 reasons why store-bought breakfast cereals might not be the best option for you and your kids!
The Sugar Content:
From kid’s favorite chocolate flavored ones to seemingly healthy honey nut ones, the majority of breakfast cereals are loaded with sugars in the form of high fructose corn syrup. A meager portion of 30g of these cereals contains up to a tablespoon of sugars!
What about the fiber?
No really, what about it? Fiber doesn’t just lower cholesterol and relieves constipation; it also keeps you feeling full for a long time. Healthy adults need to consume 25-30 g of dietary fiber every day. Which means your breakfast, being the most important meal of the day should provide at least 7g of fiber.
Monotonous Flavor Profile
There isn’t much of a variety when it comes to flavors…they are all sweet and kinda bland (which is why they were invented to begin with)
Lack of Wholesome Nutrition
Even though most breakfast cereals are fortified with Iron and Calcium, they stand no chance in front of a bowl of sprouts or a palak paratha, or a methi ka thepla when it comes to overall nutrition profile! Just a bowl of cereal can never be considered a wholesome meal unless you add a fruit and some nuts and milk to it…
Does it makes sense to you to pay upwards of 200Rs for 450 gm of plain and nutritionally deprived cornflakes when you can, in fact, buy nutrients dense red or brown poha for cheaper than that! When you look at the recipes below, the ingredients individually may seem expensive but you will get a more nutritious breakfast out of it and a batch of homemade cereal will last you considerably longer than a box of cereal.
It is extremely easy to prepare delicious and nutritious breakfast cereals at home. Here are some recipes-
5 ingredient Muesli (This one is my personal favorite)
3 cups Rolled Oats (Can use brown thick poha instead)
1 cup mixed nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Roasted Peanuts), roughly chopped
1 cup berries (Raisins, Cranberries)
1/2 cup Dried dates (slivered)
1 cup seeds (papaya seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds etc. Can use any 2)
Preparation: Just throw in everything in a big bowl, mix in together. You have your muesli. You can use it as a cold cereal and eat straight with milk, or cook for a few minutes with some honey and cinnamon and have a bowl of warm porridge. Remember, not to exceed the portion size of 1/3rd cup as it is a nutritionally dense dish 🙂
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
I personally love Granola because of its crunch!
2 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup peanut butter (can also use sesame paste)
1/4th cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon/ vanilla essence (per preference)
1/2 cup mixed and slivered nuts
1/2 cup raisins and slivered dates
1/4th cup oat flour (ground oats) or 1/4th cup flaxseed flour
Salt per taste
Preparation: Mix in peanut butter, oats flour and honey together. Heat it or microwave for 1-2 minutes. Mix it well. Then add rest of the ingredients and mix well. Let it cool and keep in an airtight jar.
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Do try these delicious homemade breakfast cereal recipes and I guarantee that you will never even think about going back to that bland, sugary, unnecessarily expensive junk ever again 🙂
Eat Healthy to Stay Healthy 🙂
She is a Registered Dietitian who does not believe in dieting; She has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition but she is not your “I know it all Nutrition Guru!”; She loves food but loves talking about food even more. Her articles are a direct reflection of her personal quest where nutrition science meets real life! Oh, and she is owned by a 3 m.o. naughty kitten 🙂