Kellogg’s announced yesterday that they had invested millions of pounds to reduce the sugar content of Coco pops in order to meet the needs of mums who want a lower sugar cereal that their children will eat. In so doing they have reduced the sugar content from 35 per 100 grammes to 29.75 per 100 grammes. This is a 15% decrease, but the cereal has gone from being just over one third sugar to just under one third sugar. The Food Standards Agency label would give any product containing over 15% sugar a red light under the traffic light labelling system. Not surprisingly, as it would almost be eligible for a double red light if it existed, Kellogg’s have opted merely to list the sugar content instead of going with the traffic light system.
Amazingly, Coco Pops are not Kellogg’s highest sugar cereal; they are trumped by Kellogg’s Frosties, which contain 37% sugar. Luckily, there are lower sugar alternatives marketed for children; Kellogg’s Raisin Wheats are a much more acceptable 13% sugar and they contain 9g fibre. Weetabix contain an impressive 4.4% sugar. Of course many children will add sugar to their weetabix, but at least parents can get involved at this stage.
One in six children go without breakfast, despite studies demonstrating that going without it can impair concentration and lead to obesity in later life. Most children have gone more than 12 hours since their last meal when they leave the house in the morning, so it is important to break the fast and enjoy a nutritious meal. For many, a pre-packaged cereal saves time, just be sure to check the labels and choose something with wholegrain, natural ingredients and not too much sugar. When time allows, or at the weekend, why not try some of these low sugar alternatives?
- Natural yogurt with fresh fruit.
- Toast with marmite, peanut butter or low sugar spreads such as Dalfour jam.
- Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.
- A bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
- Porridge sprinkled with seeds and a spoon of xylitol (natural sugar extracted from berries).
- Greek yogurt with agave syrup and unsalted pistachio nuts.
- Grilled tomatoes on rye.
- Home-made muesli with oats, chopped nuts and dried fruit such as unsulphured apricots, raisins and dried bluberries.
- A mushroom omelette.
- A wholemeal muffin with ham and cheese.
- A poached egg with wholemeal bread.
- Wholemeal or buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.