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Cereal is a quick and easy option for breakfast for kids, but a recent study discovered U.S. children are consuming more than 10 pounds of sugar annually if they eat a typical morning bowl of cereal. More from this Reuters article:

The Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based health information non-profit, said its report covers more than 1,500 cereals, including 181 marketed to children.

As part of the report, the group re-examined 84 cereals it studied in a similar report in 2011, and found that the sugar content of those cereals remained on average at 29 percent. Some cereals had increased sugar content now compared to 2011, and none of the 181 cereals marketed to children was free of added sugars, the group found. On average, children’s cereals have more than 40 percent more sugars than adult cereals, EWG said.

This article shows how breakfast choices can have a significant impact on children’s weight due to high sugar content in what many of us consider a basic breakfast tradition.

I encourage my patients who are parents to read the labels on cereal boxes before they buy them. All cereal high in sugar will make kids more hungry and promote weight gain, especially when the portion size is only 3/4 cup.

For breakfast for kids, I recommend switching to a high protein breakfast like Greek yogurt and eggs (or egg whites). If your kids love cereal, consider a high protein cereal like the Kashi brand or Nature Valley protein bars. You can also give your kids low calorie oatmeal packs that are about 100 calories each.

The important thing to remember is the food choices you make for your children now will have a significant impact on their future health, so stay away from high sugar foods!

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