Choosing a Healthy Breakfast Cereal

      It's back to school season! Starting the day with a nourishing breakfast is key for managing energy levels and appetite throughout the day, as well as improving mental focus and mood. Cereal is a popular breakfast go-to however, not all cereal is created equal. Registered Dietitian Megan Roosevelt joined us to share her tips for selecting the most natural and nourishing breakfast cereals:

      1. Read Ingredients Lists First Avoid artificial ingredients including: food dyes such as Yellow # 5 and Red Dye # 40 as well as High Fructose Corn Syrup, and artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. These ingredients provide no nutritional value rather artificial ingredients have been associated with negative health problems.
      2. Read Nutrition Facts Second
      3. Choose Fiber: Look for at minimum 2-3 grams of fiber per serving. However, the more fiber the better! Fiber is key for managing energy levels and feeling full. A cereal made with "whole" grains is best, examples include: whole-wheat, oats, brown rice, and bran.
        Limit Sodium: Choose a cereal with no more than 15% Daily Value of sodium per serving. More than 15% DV of sodium per serving is considered a high-sodium food
        Limit Sugar: Choose cereal with no more than 8 grams of sugar per serving, especially if the sugar source is added sugars such as corn syrup, evaporated cane juice and white or brown sugar. Too much sugar can cause a spike and then crash in our energy levels.
      4. Look for Healthy Certifications on Cereal Boxes A few of these certifications include: USDA Organic, Whole Grain and Non-GMO Project Verified
      5. Boost Cereal Nutrition with Added Fresh Ingredients Add nuts, apple slices, banana slices, fresh blueberries, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds. These whole-food toppings will add vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. If cereal alone is does not keep you full and satisfied, add a small smoothie on the side! Blend a frozen banana with almond milk and peanut butter. This smoothie example adds fiber and protein, two nutrients that are key for feeling full and satisfied!

      For more tips on healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, visit Megan's website.