Twenty cereals in our survey were more than 25% sugar.
By Belinda Castles
Research Writer | Kaituhi Rangahau
A nutritious breakfast (low in added sugar and sodium, high in fibre) is the best way for your child to start the day.
Eating a nutritious breakfast is associated with a healthy body weight and better nutrient intake. If they skip breakfast, kids are more likely to be hungry mid-morning and snack on unhealthy foods. Missing out on breakfast can also have a negative impact on cognitive function, academic performance, school attendance and mood.
We assessed cereals marketed to children to see how they stack up in the nutrition stakes. We also included cereals commonly eaten by children, such as wheat biscuits and porridge (rolled oats) to see how they compare. We used the World Health Organization’s nutrition criteria that classifies whether a food is eligible for marketing to children.
The criteria recommend that if a breakfast cereal has more than 15g of sugar or 640mg of sodium per 100g it shouldn’t be marketed to children (there’s also criteria for total fat but most of the cereals in our survey had low fat levels).
We also checked out whether there’s been an improvement in kids’ cereals since we last looked at them in 2016.
Kids need a nutritious breakfast. But the majority of cereals marketed to appeal to children – with bright packaging, sweet flavours and games and puzzles – don’t tick the healthy box.
What we found
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