How to Spot Hidden Sugars in Your Kids' Breakfasts
Become a Sugar Detective | Healthy Kids Breakfast Ideas
Today we're going to dive into spotting hidden sugars in kids' breakfasts and some delicious alternatives. We've all heard that breakfast is the "most important meal of the day", right? This is highly debated for adults, but I argue that it might actually be true for kids. This is a very important meal in setting kids up with either a blood sugar crash at 9am or coasting smoothly into snack time.
First it's important to recognize that any food is a dessert if any form of sugar is one of the first three ingredients. (What!) Yes, you heard that correctly.
This is how so many processed breakfast foods can be quickly converted into glucose (blood sugar) in their little bodies. Let's become our own health detectives and spot the hidden sugars in their breakfast options and find healthier swaps.
SPOTTING THE HIDDEN SUGARS: REVIEW THE NUTRITION LABEL
A lot of breakfast bars, cereals, and yogurts are marketed to parents as healthy options - but in reality they are loaded with added sugar. Let's take Raisin Bran as an example. Sounds healthy enough, right? Well, there's actually 16 grams of sugar in a serving, with raisins accounting for 8 of those grams (because they are covered in a glucose glaze).
Especially with these types of packaged foods, it's important to glance at the Nutrition Label on the back to see if any of the first 3 ingredients is sugar. If so, check out another option in the same category. Healthy swaps are listed below too for ideas!
Check out the Nutrition Label on breakfast cereals, granola bars, frozen waffles, instant oatmeal, and yogurt. These are typical culprits for sneaking in a hefty amount of sugar into each serving.
Sugar can disguised as other names such as: dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose (and many others!).
HEALTHY BREAKFAST SWAPS FOR KIDS
Oftentimes breakfast is a quick meal, where the convenience factor is high. Making it to the school before the bell rings is a mad dash for most - so having easy breakfast options available is critical! Here are some convenient (and healthy) swaps for your favorite breakfast options.
Frozen Waffles: Birch Benders Toaster Waffles (My family loves the Chocolate Chip waffles!)
Yogurt: Chobani Zero Sugar Yogurts
(I did a backflip when these first came out! The sugar has been taken out of the milk using natural fermentation, where live and active yogurt cultures and probiotics eat the sugars found in milk. No artificial sweeteners are used.) Two Good Greek Yogurt is another favorite with only 2 grams of sugar per container.
Cereal: Magic Spoon, Catalina Crunch (We like the Honey Graham Catalina Crunch as a topping for yogurt.)
Hot Chocolate: Make your own using Be Well By Kelly Chocolate Protein Powder or your favorite clean chocolate protein powder and mix with hot water using a milk frother.
On-the-Go Oatmeal: Check out my video and recipe for how to make a quick On-the-Go Oatmeal that has zero added sugar and tons of protein and fiber. A staple at our house!
I hope you enjoyed these healthy breakfast swaps and how to spot sugar in your kids' breakfasts!