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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Parents searching for a healthy breakfast for their children should take another look at the cereal aisle.
According to new research published in peer-reviewed healthcare journal Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition (ICAN), children who start their day with a cereal breakfast - even if that cereal is presweetened - tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and less chance of being overweight or obese than children who eat other breakfasts or skip the meal entirely.
"The benefits of cereal breakfast extend beyond low BMI, too. Breakfast cereals make a positive contribution to children's nutrition," said Kevin B. Miller, PhD, a senior nutrition scientist at Kellogg Company's W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition and one of the researchers who conducted the study. "A serving of cereal and milk provides kids with protein and four important nutrients they often don't get enough of: fiber, calcium, Vitamin D and potassium."
Previous studies have shown that ready-to-eat cereal consumption is associated with reduced obesity in children and adults when compared to other breakfast options (including eating no breakfast at all). The 2012 research, "The Association Between Body Metrics and Breakfast Food Choice in Children," further confirms that children who eat cereal breakfasts, including presweetened cereal, are much more likely to have healthier body weights than those who eat other breakfasts. In fact, children who skip breakfast or choose non-cereal options are nearly twice as likely to be overweight or obese as their cereal-eating counterparts.
"A cereal breakfast, whether presweetened or not, provides children a convenient, nutrient-dense and great-tasting way to start their day," said Miller. To help families provide their children with a healthy breakfast, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that are a good source of fiber (3 grams) and include at least one-half serving of whole grains (8 grams) than any other U.S. food company. Cereals include Kellogg's Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Froot Loops, Apple Jacks and many others.