cheerios for babies

Are Cheerios as healthy as you think?

Jan 11, 2023Marilyn Sakr

Cereals are quick and delicious (even I’m drooling for a bowl right now), but are they any good for your kiddo?
We often depend on breakfast cereals for rushed school mornings, but you’ll be shocked to learn how they’re affecting your child throughout their day.

There are three reasons not to offer cereal as a daily breakfast:

  1. Breakfast cereals usually have a lot of sugar in them. In your body, this translates into spikes in blood sugar which give you lots of short-term energy but shortly after leave you drained.

  2. Cereals are short-term tummy fillers. After having a bowl of milk and cereal, you’ll often feel stuffed. Just a few hours later, you’ll be starving. Being hungry will affect your child’s ability to focus in class and retain information.

  3. Your child will develop an association that breakfast means cereal, always. This isn’t favorable, especially that there are so many nutritious options for breakfast.

What about healthier cereals?

Are Cheerios Healthy for Baby?

The healthiest version of Cheerios is the Cheerios Classic (the yellow box). Cheerios is praised as a healthy cereal brand because of its higher fiber content and lower sugar levels (just 1 gram per serving). They’re also oat-based (as opposed to rice-based). In this regard, we can say that Cheerios are a healthy snack to have.

Concern is raised, however, when we address Glyphosate. Glyphosate is a weed-killer commonly used when growing cereal grains. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) announced that Cheerios has levels of Glyphosate which were higher than what they considered to be safe. The limit as per the EWG is 160 ppb while Cheerios recorded 729 ppb. Why is Glyphosate an issue? It’s been potentially linked to cancer, although this is still up for debate. To date, the FDA has not agreed to this and as a result has a higher allowable limit for Glyphosate. Cheerios’ 729 ppb is within the FDA limits.

Should I give my baby Cheerios?

You certainly don’t need to cut them out totally. Our personal recommendation would be to offer in moderation. Another great tip is to find brands that have absolutely no sugar or unnatural additives. There are so many Lebanese brands selling tasty and natural cereals.

When buying commercial cereal brands, look for options where fiber is at least 3 grams per serving and sugar is less than 8 grams per serving.

Lastly, normalize cereal as a snack rather than a breakfast. Cheerios are an excellent snack to have throughout the day.

What are other breakfast options for my child?

  • Overnight oats with fruits

  • Boiled egg with avocado and toast

  • Thyme and olive oil sandwich

  • Chia pudding with fruits

  • Almond butter sandwich with a side of fruits

  • Yoghurt with fruits or tomato and cucumber

  • Cheese and cucumber sandwich

  • Oatmeal with maple syrup or honey and chia seeds

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