Breakfast Cereals: Friend or Foe?

Breakfast Cereals: Friend or Foe?

By Alma Beatrice

When it comes to children’s breakfast, Mums are focused on providing their kids with a quick, tasty and nutritionally well-balanced option in order to make them stay fuelled and energized up until lunchtime.



For many years now, breakfast cereals have become the fast and easy choice for many families who are sure that they are feeding something healthy and nutritious to their kids.

Those colourful packages, together with lots of advertising and free gifts can definitely mislead trusting parents into thinking that these foods are a good pick for their children’s breakfast… but what is really in these apparently innocuous, tasty but not so wholesome breakfast cereals? Let’s look at them more closely.

What You Think you are Getting

When you pick your box of breakfast cereals from the shelves of your local supermarket, you focus on the word cereal, and this word makes you feel safe and comfortable. Cereals grow in the field and they seem to be the perfect food for kids, natural and nutritious. But, what about all of the other shady ingredients lurking in the packet?

What’s really inside Your Breakfast Cereals?

First of all, these boxed breakfast cereals are packed-full of sugar. Yes, sugar is basically the main ingredient in these supposedly all-natural foods and it is present in such a quantity that 30g of the product can add up to almost 400 calories (basically a whole chocolate muffin worth of calories!) and it will supply you with 30/40% of your daily sugar intake: way too much for a small bowl of cereal, and we are not even considering the milk you splash over them!

Two more ingredients that should absolutely be off the list are chemical aromas and food colourings. Both of these ingredients are not of natural origin and are usually something you do not want to be feeding your kids. Even when the wording is: “natural aromas”, there is nothing natural about these additives which are just a useless and might be very harmful.

Moreover, industrial cereals are packed with vegetable oils, which are full of saturated fats and undergo chemical procedures that give them a high level of toxicity. Even the simple vitamin fortifying process they go through tends to alter their composition, making them a terribly dangerous and unhealthy food choice.pexels-photo-24149

Stay Simple, Stay Healthy

The best option you have is to prepare your children a simple but nutritionally balanced breakfast avoiding these joyfully colourful but threatening boxes. How about swapping these processed, sugary loads of chemicals with some simple, wholesome, bread and jam?

When it comes to your children’s breakfast, you have all the nutritious options at your fingertips! Just choose a wholegrain, seed-packed loaf, possibly from your local market, and cut it into one inch thick slices. Toast these in your toaster or oven and spread a spoonful of your favourite jam over them. Here you go: a healthy breakfast ready in less than 10 minutes!

As an alternative, try slicing a whole banana on toast and sprinkling it with cinnamon and honey or mashing up some creamy avocado for an extra energetic but low-sugar boost.

You can choose an all-natural, organic honey or a healthy Mediterranean jams from’s selection and start tasting the difference!

A still very healthy alternative to the toast and jam for breakfast is this easy and unique recipe for Whole-wheat zucchini (courgette) and yogurt muffins. Putting veggies in a sweet pastry is a smart way to have your kids eat more greens and the zucchini are so delicate you can easily camouflage their flavour in the muffins. You can make them the night before and store them in airtight containers to have them throughout the whole week!

Recipe - muffins

Recipe – muffins

Ingredients (makes around 12 muffins)

– 2 medium courgettes
– 80g whole-wheat flour (or, if you prefer, Kamut flour)
– 80g almond flour
– 1 spoon of baking soda (not full)
– 150g white, Greek yoghurt
– 60g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 egg
– 5 basil leaves
– A pinch of salt
– 50g brown sugar or stevia or as an alternative 60g of Manuka honey


Wash the courgettes and cut of the ends. Slice them in half by the length and then in half by the side. Cut them into thin strips. Cook for about 15 minutes in a pan with a spoonful of olive oil.

Place the yoghurt, the egg, the courgettes and the basil in a bowl.

Mix them and then add the dry ingredients you will have previously put in a separate bowl: Flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. If you are opting for the honey as a sweetener add this at the very end.

Place the mixture in a muffin tin, which you will have previously buttered.

Place in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Serve with fresh fruit or a scoop of yogurt of your choice.

Buon Appetito from Vorrei!

Images: Cereals/Pexels

Alma Beatrice

Alma Beatrice

Author: Alma Beatrice , website:

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