I've been a cereal eater all my life. It's a quick breakfast and an easy way to start the day with a whole grain, a serving of dairy and it's a great vehicle for a fruit serving too. My bowl is usually a smorgasbord of cereals--some Cheerios, with a bit of granola and some ground flax seed to top it all off. Or Raisin Bran with a sprinkle of oats. I also love Go Lean Crunch with a sprinkle of ground flax seed or wheat germ.Generally I slice up half a banana on top in the winter or some fresh berries or peaches in the summer.
My new winter favorite is what I call blue oatmeal. You cook the oatmeal 'til it's just about done and then put in about 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries and cook another 30 seconds to a minute until the blueberries just start to pop.
So now you get the picture--a cereal breakfast doesn't have to be the same day in and out. And the good news is it's super healthy. Besides the benefits mentioned above, research says that it's a habit you should stick with:
- Frequent cereal eaters have healthier body weights--that includes men, women and kids--even if the cereal is pre-sweetened. In the 7-9 year old age group, 50% of kids who ate fewer than 4 servings of cereal in 14 days were overweight compared to only 16% of kids who ate more than 7 servings in 14 days.
- Eating cereal is associated with better nutritional status--especially calcium and fiber intake.
- Cereal can help lower your cholesterol. The soluble fiber found in oats, oat bran and Cheerios can reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels. I've always been a fan of cheerios--for toddlers, it's a perfect finger food, for kids, it's a fun to eat, low sugar cereal. For adults it's a tasty way to start the day.
- Girls who continue to eat cereal regularly are less likely to become overweight during adolescence.
- Because ready to eat cereal is quick to eat, it encourages breakfast eating. Kids who eat breakfast do better on test scores and have fewer problems paying attention in the morning and have reduced absenteeism and tardiness.
- People who have lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off have one thing in common--90% of them eat breakfast and 80% eat cereal and fruit for breakfast.
Just one more word of advice which I think I'll follow: Go Pour Yourself a Bowl!