Boost Your Nutrition In Your Breakfast Bowl

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day and for good reason. Among the many benefits of this morning meal, research has shown that breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight and more likely to perform better in school than non-breakfast eaters. When it comes to choosing what to have for breakfast, one of the most popular selections is cereal. With so many options available in the cereal aisle, it can often be overwhelming to decide which cereal is best for you when it comes to nutrition. To boost nutrition in your breakfast bowl, consider these tips:

1)      Fill your bowl with whole grains- The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that ½ of the grains that we eat should come from whole grain sources. Whole grains tend to be more nutrient-rich than refined grains and eating them as part of a healthy diet may reduce our risk for heart disease and help with weight management. To identify if a cereal is made from whole grains, check the ingredient list on the side of the box and choose cereals with the word “whole” included in the first ingredient such as whole grain, whole wheat, whole oats, etc.

2)      Don’t forget the fiber- Look at the nutrition label and select cereals that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber is important as it may help reduce cholesterol and lower our risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Fiber also contributes to proper bowel function and may help with weight management by providing a feeling of fullness.

3)      Make room for milk- For extra calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients, don’t forget to add low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt to your cereal. Most of us fall short on bone-building calcium and vitamin D and the extra protein will help keep you feeling full until lunch time.

4)      Limit sugar- Sugar contributes to the flavor of cereal but doesn’t offer much in terms of nutrition so check the Nutrition Facts label and select cereals that contain around 10 grams of sugar or less per serving.

5)      Add berries to your bowl- Add some extra color, natural sweetness and nutrition to your cereal by adding some fresh berries or sliced bananas.

6)      Taste is important too- When selecting the cereal that is right for you or your children, in addition to finding one that is nutritious, make sure that it tastes good. Food is only nutritious if it is eaten and with the many cereal options available, you can find one that is both healthy and good tasting. 

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