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:
- 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.
- Read Nutrition Facts Second 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.
- Look for Healthy Certifications on Cereal Boxes A few of these certifications include: USDA Organic, Whole Grain and Non-GMO Project Verified
- 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!
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.
For more tips on healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, visit Megan's website.