Cold Cereal 101

August 22, 2011

Shopping for breakfast foods? Cereal can be a quick, easy and healthy choice. Here is the SupermarketGuru’s 101

What are Cold Cereals? Either processed or whole grain kernels, flakes, or manufactured shapes made from oats, barley, rye, wheat, and others; for snacks or breakfast food.

How to Buy: Shelf-stable boxes or bags.

What to look for on the Label: The first ingredient should be a grain. Often sweeteners are added: sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or rice syrup; but should not be the first ingredient. Check nutrition panel for fiber. The Food and Drug Administration says that it takes 3 grams of soluble fiber a day to actually lower cholesterol.

Choices: Corn, oat, rye, rice or wheat flakes or particular weaves, shapes, or may be puffed. Nuggets of mixed grains may have added ingredients such as dried fruit and nuts which adds to the calories.

How to Use: For a meal or as a snack or crushed to replace bread crumbs in recipes. Add fresh fruit for more fiber or low-fat milk or yogurt for more protein.

How to Store: Store opened packages in Ziploc type plastic bags or tightly sealed in glass or ceramic containers to insure freshness as grains will absorb moisture in the air. Store in cool, dark area.

Health Benefits: Whole grains provide fiber and nutrients. Enriched cereals may include 15-20 vitamins and minerals. For gluten-free diets, opt for corn or rice cereals or those specifically marked gluten free. 

Smarter Shopping: Mix half whole grain plain cereals with half sugar sweetened cereals for kids to reduce sugars.

Download our Smarter Shopping app for all of the 101s in one place!