A healthy start to everyone’s day is a well-rounded breakfast, and it’s no doubt essential for kids and their performance at school. Parents love to choose the easy option: a bowl of cold cereal and milk. While we’re all aware that some popular cereals contain whopping amounts of sugar, a new report by the Environmental Working Group reviewed 84 popular brands, and revealed some eye-popping comparisons of the sugar content with some popular cookies and snack cakes.

At nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, three cereals (Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel) weigh in with 20 grams of sugar in a skimpy one cup serving. That’s a whopping five teaspoons of sugar — roughly the same as one Twinkie snack cake. And with today’s oversized cereal bowls, a typical serving size is likely to be double that amount, or closer to two cups.

10 worst children’s cereals, 
based on percent sugar by weight:

  1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks
  2. Post Golden Crisp
  3. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallows
  4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries
  5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original
  6. Quaker Oats Oh!s
  7. Kellogg’s Smorz
  8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks
  9. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries
  10. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original

Source: Environmental Working Group

A single one-cup bowl of an additional 44 cereals, including the popular Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks and Cap’n Crunch, are equivalent to eating three Chips Ahoy cookies — about three teaspoons of sugar.

While the sugar content of these popular cereals is unlikely to change anytime soon, there are a lot of tasty lower sugar options to choose from. These include Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats (frosted or unfrosted), General Mills’ original Cheerios and Kix, Post Shredded Wheat (all varieties), and Quaker Oats Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares.


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