Cereal and milk: a match made in heaven
There’s something really comforting when you hear 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 the perfect combination, when you add some fruit and milk, you get the balance of hydration, vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates to give you a great start to your 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. Provides the essential amino acids needed to aid the building and maintenance of body tissues.
- 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 in red blood cells formation. Sounds a bit technical but rest assured it just helps your body’s motor run smoothly!
- Iodine. Contributes to normal cognitive function.
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 flavour.
- 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.
Scrummy 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 flavour – Turn up the taste by adding a drop of cinnamon syrup or honey.
- Go rainbow – Add chopped pieces of fruit to create a colourful 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 favourite 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;60(4):257-63.
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