Cereal and milk: a perfect match.
There’s something really comforting about the sound of milk being poured into a bowl of crunchy cereal. It’s like they’re made for each other. And in many ways, they are! It’s a combination that, when you add some fruit and a drink, gives you a balance of hydration, vitamins, minerals, protein and carbohydrates to give you a great start to the day.
Great for growing up
Milk is rich in calcium, which is particularly important for children because they need it for the growth and development of their bones. And, while some children might not drink a glass of milk on its own, a bowl of cereal with milk is a tasty way to encourage them to get some dairy into their diet. In fact, studies show that children who eat breakfast cereal regularly consume a lot more milk.
Delicious and satisfying, milk contains many of the nutrients our bodies need, including:
- Protein. Contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass – which is good for daily wear and tear!
- Calcium. Keeps your teeth and bones strong and is essential for the normal growth and development of children’s bones . You can blame milk for them growing out of their clothes so quickly!
- Vitamin B2. You might also know this as 'riboflavin' – and, if you didn’t know it before, you now have something to show off about! It helps release energy from our food.
- Vitamin B12. Like B2, it helps turn the food we eat into energy and plays a part in creating oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Sounds a bit technical but rest assured it just helps your body’s motor run smoothly!
- Iodine. Great for the nervous system. Boo! (See, you didn’t even flinch).
Wheat is the most widely grown cereal grain. It’s grown on over 17 per cent of the total cultivated land in the world, and is the staple food for 35 per cent of the world’s population. It provides more calories and protein in the world’s diet than any other crop.
A whole lot of grains
One bushel of wheat contains around a million individual whole grain kernels.
Different types of milk
Milk and cereal may be a perfect couple, but what if you want a lactose-free alternative? Well, there are plenty to choose from. They taste great and are often calcium-enriched, so you won’t miss out on all those nutrients – just check out the labels to see what good stuff is included.
- Soy milk: Super-rich soy is a good source of protein, and is low in saturated fats.
- Coconut milk: Rich and creamy, coconut milk contains a significant amount of saturated fats though, so best drunk in moderation
- Almond milk: Low in saturated fat, almond milk has its very own light, crisp flavor.
- Rice milk: Sweet and thinner in consistency than other milks – rice milk also tastes sweet with cereals.
TOP TIP: For all these milk alternatives, choose fortified versions, whenever possible.
Yummy ways to mix ‘n’ match milk and cereal
Your children probably don’t need any encouragement to mess around with their cereal, but just in case, here are a few ideas:
- Go stir crazy – For a super-soggy cereal treat, leave milk to soak in, then stir, stir, stir.
- Keep it crispy – Pour on cold milk and crunch away.
- Turn up the heat – Give milk a short burst in the microwave and turn a bowl of cereal into a warming breakfast.
- Add a dash of flavor – Turn up the taste by adding a drop of cinnamon syrup or honey.
- Go rainbow – Add chopped pieces of fruit to create a colorful breakfast.
- Bowl them over – Who says cereal has to be eaten out of a bowl? Is it possible that it could taste even nicer out of their favorite mug? You be the judge.
- ^ • INCA2 (2008) French National Dietary Survey. • Michels N, De Henauw S, Breidenassel C et al (2015) European adolescent ready-to-eat-cereal (RTEC) consumers have a healthier dietary intake and body composition compared with non-RTEC consumers. Eur J Nutr. Jun;54(4):653-64.
We've tried to answer as many of your questions as possible. You can search them all here:
How can I find foods made with whole grain?
Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too. It’s easy to know if a Nestlé breakfast cereal is made with whole grain: just look out for the Green Banner and whole grain tick on top of the box.
What should be in a complete breakfast?
A complete breakfast should include a balance of nutrients from each of the major food groups. As a guide, it might look like this: • 1 grain-based starchy food • 1 dairy food • 1 portion of fresh fruit • 1 glass of water • Optionally, an additional source of protein Nestlé breakfast cereals are a nutritious breakfast choice as they are: • A source of fiber and whole grain • Low in fat (most have low levels of all types of fat, including saturates) • Fortified with vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, calcium and iron • A lower calorie per kilojoule, fat and sugar choice than many other breakfast food options
Do breakfast cereals contain too much saturated fat?
No. Breakfast cereals aren’t a major source of saturated fats, and contain no added trans fats. Some grains, such as oats, can be higher in fats – but these are naturally present in the grain, and tend to be ‘good’ fats, not saturated fats.
Can processed foods be made with whole grain?
Yes. If a food product has the word “whole” listed on its ingredient label – wholewheat pasta or wholemeal bread, for example, then you know it’s been made with whole grain flour, even if the other ingredients are processed. By the way, even whole grains need to be processed: removing the inedible outer husk makes them safe to eat. But they’re less processed than refined grains, which require additional steps to remove the bran and germ.
Do breakfast cereals really make a significant contribution to vitamin and mineral intakes?
Research shows that adults and children who regularly eat fortified breakfast cereals are more likely to reach their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, including the B Vitamins and Iron. Eating whole grain breakfast cereal with milk is a nutritious way to start the day and can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
We'd love to hear your comments about Nestlé cereals, so please let us know what you think, we always appreciate hearing from you.