Apologies in advance, but this one is a bit of a rant and related to general healthy eating rather than vegetarian nutrition for children.
Am I the only one who gets uptight about so-called children’s cereals? There are great selections of healthy cereals in the supermarkets, but as soon as you look in the children’s section of the cereal aisle it seems everything has to be covered in sugar or mixed with chocolate.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those parents who ban their kids from sugar and treats and, to be honest, my boys probably eat a lot more chocolate than they should. I sometimes think that banning unhealthy stuff just makes it more attractive to kids, and I’m a complete chocoholic myself, so can’t really police it too strongly without being a complete hypocrite.
However I do like to be clear about what is healthy and what is not, and the children’s cereals give very mixed messages. Yes they’re fortified with vitamins and iron, but some of them contain around 30% of sugar and have ingredients lists that go on forever! I wonder whether good quality chocolate might actually be healthier…
It’s not the fact that some cereals contain so much sugar that bothers me, it’s the fact that it’s just the children’s ones that do. The healthier (and often yummier) cereals that I prefer my children to eat are always in elegant grown-up packaging, while the fun characters and brightly coloured boxes that appeal to kids contain the rubbish.
I’m not saying that there should be laws against it – I’m really not a fan of the government telling everyone what, how and when they should eat – but wouldn’t it be great if some of the cereal companies would also create cereals that were healthy, tasty and packaged attractively for kids?