Lucky charms!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick, what was your favorite sugary cereal when you were little that your mom would only buy once every two months?

Yup, mine was Lucky Charms. I loved those marshmallows. 

I'm sure you are wondering why I am talking about the nostalgia of childhood cereal you loved. Well recently I have spent A LOT  of time in the cereal aisle (not by choice, I get paid to straighten and stock the aisle.) As I stand there I realize there is a whole two aisles reserved for all that cereal. And Target doesn't even carry every brand but the most popular ones are there, including my favorite. 

You think, two aisles is no big deal, right? But when you stop and think back to when we were younger it is a big deal. There was one aisle and maybe a tiny of the other one along with the oatmeal. I remember this because of the old Shoprite we used to go to with its stinky aisles. 

This brings me to my point of the explosion of cereal within the past 10 years. And it is not just cereal in general. It is the sugar cereal. There are so many more cereals that are packed with sugar beyond the  Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops that were available to us. 

Is it me or is it more than a coincidence that childhood obseity has increased in the past ten years just as the cereal aisle has?
I grew up with Cheerios, Rice Crispies, KIX and once in awhile mom would let me have Life or the lucky Charms. It was the fact that all those other cereals carried too much sugar with them. Just as Pop-Tarts and Toaster Strudels were limited in my house.

There was a study done that found that cereals marketed to kids have 85 percent more sugar, 60 percent more sodium and 65 percent less fiber than those aimed at adults.

Case in point....Peanut Butter Cap N Crunch, Berry KIX, Double Chocolate Cookie Crisp, Choclate Lucky CHarms, Rice Crispies Treat Cereal and the biggest disappointment, Chocolate Cheerios. Cheerios was always that good for you cereal that you feed babies. Good for your heart, lots of fiber, no sugar. That was their thing but now they jumped on the sugar craze and added chocolate to their mix. Of course there are unfortunately many more sugar infused cereals on the shelves that parents keep picking up to give to their children. 

I am not judging because I don't have kids but I know my mom was always good at saying no when I wanted those 30 grams or more of sugar cereals. The same will be true for my children. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day and starts of the child's day. Why would you want to start it in a sugar coma? Kids will eat what you give them and when you get that once in awhile treat, like I got the once in awhile Lucky Charms, it's all the better. Just some cereal for thought today. And something I have been thinking about as I put the boxes on the shelf. 

-Do we need to have 280 brands of breakfast cereal? No, probably not. But we have them for a reason  because some people like them. It's the same with baseball statistics.-Bill James

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