Cereal can provide great nutrition
Cereal is typically a low-fat, nutrient-dense food that contains no cholesterol. It delivers important nutrients and accounts for 4 percent of total caloric intake in the U.S.1 In fact, cereal with milk is the leading source of 10 nutrients in the diets of U.S. children (vitamins A, B6, B12 and D; riboflavin; niacin; folate; iron; zinc; and thiamin).2
Cereals provide important nutrition for people at all life stages.
- Children get valuable nutrients they might otherwise miss.
- Women of child-bearing age get necessary iron, calcium, fiber and folic acid.
- Elderly people get necessary nutrients with less than 200 calories, which is important as calorie needs decline, but nutrient needs do not.
Fiber – a much needed nutrient
While there is strong evidence that diets high in fiber contribute to overall health3,4, nine out of 10 kids don’t get the fiber they need. To help address the critical shortfall, Kellogg has added fiber to many of its cereals, including Froot Loops®, Apple Jacks® and Corn Pops® – which provide a good source of fiber in every bowl. Learn more about the benefits of fiber.
The truth about sodium
Cereal contains less than half the sodium of many popular breakfast items, including two slices of toast with margarine.5 In fact, cereal contributes about 2–3 percent of the sodium in the U.S. diet.2 To address concerns about sodium, Kellogg continues to reformulate its products to help consumers manage their sodium intake. Read more about sodium.
Putting sugar in perspective
Sugar in cereals – including kids’ cereals – contributes less than 5 percent of daily sugar intake,2 yet it adds taste, texture and enjoyment that enable the consumption of important nutrients. The percentage of sugar consumed by kids from cereal is actually modest. For example, Kellogg’s® Froot Loops® includes 12 grams – or 48 calories – of sugar per serving. In fact, other common breakfast foods – such as orange juice and yogurt – contain more sugar than cereal does.5 Get the facts on sugar and health.
Obesity facts outweigh fiction
Obesity is the result of an imbalance of calories in versus calories out. No single food causes obesity, including cereal. The average serving of Kellogg’s® kids’ cereal with ½ cup of skim milk contains 150 calories, or 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of 1,650 calories for kids age 6–11. While the number of calories U.S. children age 6–11 have consumed for the past 30 years has increased only slightly, their incidence of obesity has climbed sharply.6,7 As a society, we need to focus on the “calories out” portion of the equation as much as, if not more than, the “calories in” portion of the equation.
What constitutes a nutritious breakfast?
Cereal ranks as one of the best choices available.
- Cereal is typically a low-fat, nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free food.
- Breakfast cereal eaters have higher intakes of riboflavin, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamins A and D.8,9
- Not only is cereal relatively low in calories, but it packs more nutrients, too. Compare the calories in cereal to other breakfast options.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2005-06] [http.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes].
2 NHANES, 2003-2006.
3 Preziosi P, Galan P, Deheeger M, Yacoub N, Drewnowski A, Hercberg S. Breakfast type, daily nutrient intakes and vitamin and mineral status of French children, adolescents and adults. J Am Coll Nur. 1999;18:171-78.
4 Prior RL, Cao G, Inglett G. Antioxidant content of cereal grain ingredients and commercial breakfast cereals. Abstracts of Papers of the Am Chem Soc. 1998;216:119.
5 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2009. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.
6 NHANES, 1971-2006, in boys and girls age 6-11 years.
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Examination Survey and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
8 Vaisman N, Voet H, Akivis A, Vakil E. Effect of breakfast timing on the cognitive functions of elementary school students. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:1089- 1092.
9 Gibson. Public Health Nutr. 2003;6:815-820.