No grain, no gain
Breakfast cereal is made mainly from grains, and not only do they taste great - when eaten with milk or yogurt, they give you a wide range of nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, sugar, fiber and several vitamins and minerals. And if you choose a cereal made with whole grain, you’re getting even more of your body’s needs met. Because all the edible parts of the grains are still there, they’re a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, starch and other nutrient.
Fortify your diet
Most breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals. This makes it an even more nutritious choice, helping the whole family meet their recommended daily amounts of certain nutrients. For example, some cereals contain added calcium, which is important for children’s bone growth and development. So, together with milk, it gives you more of the good stuff!
Did you know?
A recent European study of teenagers aged between 12 and 17 showed that cereal eaters were getting more calcium than their friends who chose other food for breakfast – and they beat them on magnesium, B vitamins like folate (B9), vitamin B12 or riboflavin (B2), and fiber at breakfast too. Not a bad morning’s work.
Food of goods and kings
In Asia, the Amaranth grain is known as ‘king seed’ and ‘seed sent by God’.
Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wa’, is a whole grain that was highly prized by the ancient Incas – they called it ‘gold of the Incas’.
Is it all about sweetness?
The main ingredient in breakfast cereal is grain – and, while cereal does contain sugar, this is mainly added to give colour, texture and flavor. And that doesn’t mean cereal gives you too much sugar - in the UK, breakfast cereals only contribute about 5% (5-6% for adults and 8% for children) of the total amount of added sugar we eat.
Find out more about cereal and sugar.
- Learn more about whole grain and nutrients http://wholegraingoodness.hgca.com/guide-to-wholegrain/wholegrain-nutrie...
- 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.
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For the last 15 years we’ve been working to reduce the sodium (which is the major component of salt) in our breakfast cereals across the world because we want to keep making them more nutritious. Achieving consistency in all products, in all countries, takes time - so some may have more sodium than others. Our aim is for all our cereals – globally – to have the same reduced levels of sodium, with a target of less than 135mg per serving in all our children's products.
As well as being a healthy choice for people who want to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, or have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, Gluten Free Corn Flakes are fortified with B-vitamins, folic acid and iron
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.
It’s too early to say. The science in this area is still emerging. There is evidence that low GI foods take longer to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer, but none that you’ll eat fewer calories at the next meal.