Is it breakfast or dessert? Try a different option

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New research shows parents are increasingly viewing their ‘overweight’ kids as “healthy.” Hum?

The ugly truth be known — added sugar means empty calories (no nutrients beyond calories) that put kids at risk of obesity and health problems that can show up as early as adolescence.

The Environmental Working Group released the analysis of over 1,500 adult and kid cereals. The verdict: Kids’ cereals are more sugary than they were just a few short years ago. Of the 1,556 cereals analyzed, 181 were marketed for children and contained 40 percent more sugar than adults’ cereals.

Many brand name cereals contain about 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. If your children eat more than that — for instance, a large bowl – they consume about 6 teaspoons of sugar before their day even begins. No wonder it can be so hard to establish healthy eating habits.

Almost all of the children’s cereals contain a third of the amount of sugar a child should be consuming in an entire day. Some cereals with the ‘lowest nutritional value’ include misleading claims on their boxes. Front-of-the-box claims may give them a “health halo,” but these products are about as nutritious as a breakfast pastry.

In a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), people who ate the largest amounts of added sugar had the highest blood triglyceride levels and the lowest HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Fibrous Super-Summer Granola recipe
When shopping for granola, reading the labels is very important. Look for brands where sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavoring are not listed. I purchase mine in bulk at various health food stores. Then I add an assortment of toppings that boost my health.

I don’t drink milk, so I’ve become accustomed to coconut or almond milk. And if I want to sweeten it more, I use stevia, honey or maple syrup instead of more sugar. The antioxidant values of foods listed are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) The higher the better.

  • Basic, plain granola
  • Walnut or almond pieces-Omega 3, protein, FIBER
  • Pumpkin seeds-Vitamin E, K, FIBER
  • Goji Berries-Powerful antioxidant with a high ORAC Level
  • Ground flax and chia seed-Fiber and omega 3
  • Blueberries or red raspberries, washed-Antioxidants with high ORAC levels
  • Strawberries, washed, stemmed and halved-Vitamin C, antioxidants with high ORAC levels
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