Breaking down the cereal code

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Studies have proven that eating breakfast is closely linked to healthy body weights, improved mental alertness and physical performance. Plus, people who skip breakfast don’t make up for the missed nutrients later in the day.

Skipping breakfast not only deprives a person of needed nutrients, but the first meal of the day also helps refuel the body and brain with energy, and kick-starts the metabolism.

Cereal is a typically low-fat, nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free food that encourages breakfast consumption. That’s because children and adults enjoy the variety, flavors and textures, as well as the convenience of ready-to-eat cereal. In the United States, ready-to-eat cereal and milk is the leading source of 10 nutrients in children’s diets. And cereal’s role in a nutritious breakfast goes beyond the nutrients in the cereal itself. A serving of cereal serves as an excellent centerpiece for a balanced breakfast that includes fruit and milk.

For example, an average serving of Kellogg’s kids’ cereals with a half cup of skim milk contains 150 calories, or nine percent of the recommended daily intake of 1,650 calories for U.S. children age 6 to 11. By comparison, an egg, bacon and toast contains 253 calories, while a hard-boiled egg, ham and cheese contains 360.

Eating breakfast is not only important to start a healthy day, but it is also part of a healthy long-term lifestyle. Both children and adults who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight; a U.S. study of school children also found higher intakes of vitamins A and E, iron and B vitamins in those who consumed breakfast than in those who skipped the meal. The breakfast skippers were also less likely to achieve even two-thirds of their recommended daily intake for vitamins and minerals.

Ready-to-eat cereal is also often an important source of fiber, which is important since 90 percent of American adults and children aren’t getting enough fiber in their diets. Additionally, there is strong evidence that diets higher in fiber help reduce the risk of a number of health issues, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes and certain cancers.

Kellogg Company is committed to addressing this important need. The majority of Kellogg’s cereals in the U.S. are at least a good source of fiber (3 grams), and more than half also include a half serving (8 grams) of whole grains.

In addition to fiber, many health-minded consumers have also begun to monitor their sugar and sodium intakes. Fortunately, sugar in ready-to-eat cereals — including kids’ cereals — contributes less than five percent of daily sugar intake, plus adds taste, texture and enjoyment that encourages the consumption of important nutrients. For example, a bowl of Kellogg’s Froot Loops includes 12 grams — or 48 calories — of sugar. A glass of orange juice has more sugar, and the average fruit yogurt has more than double the sugar of kids’ cereal with milk.
Cereal also contains less than half the sodium of many popular breakfast items, including two slices of toast with margarine. In fact, ready-to-eat cereal contributes about two percent of the sodium in the U.S. diet. In addition, to address concerns about sodium, Kellogg has been lowering sodium for more than 10 years in products like Kellogg’s All Bran, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and Kellogg’s Special K, among others.

Ever since W.K. Kellogg invented flaked cereal more than 100 years ago, Kellogg has been recognized as a breakfast innovator. In fact, Kellogg has recently reformulated more than 100 products worldwide to add fiber, remove trans fats and reduce sodium and sugar, all without compromising taste or quality. And today, families around the world count on Kellogg’s cereals every day.

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