/> Clean Convenient Cuisine: Cereal - Not Just For Kids

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cereal - Not Just For Kids

Who doesn't love a big bowl of cereal with ice cold milk as a nighttime snack? As a teenager, I would open about six different boxes, pour them all into one giant bowl and snack for hours. No milk. All sugar. I could finish a box in a single sitting, so now, I know better than to buy more than one box at a time. I have one bowl, and I make Alex eat the rest. If you enjoy cereal, buy it sporadically, as it is usually hard to stop with just one serving.

And contrary to popular belief, there are healthier options out there. Look for the natural brands in the grocery store aisle (think Kashi, Cascadian Farms, Health Valley, etc.) Let's face it: no cereal is on the top of the health food list, but if you're going to indulge, pick from one of the following options:

1. If you like HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS, try Cascadian Farms Dark Chocolate Almond Granola. This savory cereal has bits of dark chocolate, healthy almond and granola. Since granola packs a high carb punch, sprinkle it on ice cream or spoon it into yogurt. You get that same sweetness and crunch as Honey Bunches of Oats, but with better ingredients.

2. If you like HONEY NUT CHEERIOS, try Cascadian Farms Honey Nut O's. Almost identical in flavor, the nutrition info is quite different. Made with organic whole grain oats, honey and almonds, this cereal is a great alternative (especially for kids).

3. If you like SUGAR SMACKS, try Kashi Honey Puffs. Made from red wheat, brown rice and evaporated cane juice, this light cereal only has 120 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving, with 2 grams of fiber, lower sugar and 3 grams of protein. The slight sweetness kills any craving. Top with fresh berries and soy milk for a perfect nighttime treat.

4. If you like FRUIT LOOPS, try Health Valley Organic Extreme Fruit Rings. This healthier version of the popular kid cereal has only 7 grams of sugar per serving, as compared to Fruit Loops' 13 grams. Made with organic ingredients, this is a better bet for your children (or your own fruity craving).

5. If you like COCOA PUFFS, try Health Valley Organic Chocolate Blast-Ems. Made with whole grains, infused with vitamin C, 6 B vitamins and iron, it also has 30% less sugar than Cocoa Puffs and tastes much better than the original.

6. If you like CORN FLAKES, try Health Valley Organic Blue Corn Flakes. Naturally fat-free, very low in sodium and a good source of fiber, this is a good alternative when you are craving a flake cereal. The flakes stay crunchy in milk, and a sliced banana makes a perfect topping.

You get the picture. Do a little research, try a few brands and see what you like. Oftentimes, if you have a small bowl a few hours before bed, the carbs help you sleep better without doing too much damage to your waistline.

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