In my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, I revert back to the principles my Mama taught me as a child, “If it’s white it ain’t right, if it’s brown it can stick around!” Get your mind out the riots, I’m talking about food! My mother worked in the medical profession and lived on a farm. Needless to say, she ate healthy; fresh vegetables, fruits, chicken, eggs, and beef too. We’d often run into a cow’s carcass hanging on a meat hook in my grandfather’s basement. (I’m still in therapy behind that.) But getting back to the moral of the story, my Mama never let us have white flour, sugar, bread, or sugar cereals. We’d love when my grandmother would come to town bearing all of the contraband we could stand: bacon, the peanut butter and jelly mixed together in a jar, white bread and of all things holy… SUGAR CEREAL! My mother would glare at us from across the room, but until my grandmother left, we’d just avoid eye contact.
As an adult, I, as a rule, don’t buy sugar cereals. Not because I have children, but because the things we learn as a child are normally engrained in us. From time to time, I have purchased my share of Cap’n Crunch as a guilty pleasure, but I can count on one hand the times that has happened. My children have no clue. Poor things. They just eat their granola and/or oatmeal with no complaint. They’re living life on the wild side when they get to partake in a heaping bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. But, I do often wonder about my main man Sugar Bear, the representative of my favorite, Super Sugar Crisp. I’m certain that Sugar Bear found out how he was being used by “The Man” and he was shuffled off into some witness protection program. Now his more conservative cousin “super bear” has taken over and the name changed to Golden Crisp.
But now, the sugar cereals bombard the market to a fault. The more sugar the better, as long as it’s not in the title. Kids come to the grocery store, just as we did, all hyped up on the commercial and looking for the land of sugary goodness that is sure to be mid-store. Then, there it is, a seemingly endless row akin to Willy Wonka’s candy factory where all their dreams come true…in a cereal box. Well, now they’re cracking down on your child’s “pusher.” No more will the cleverly marketed legal stimulant get a pass. Big business has been outed and it’s time for parents to read the box. You’ll be alarmed!
Reuters reported that consumer reports have found that these cereals are “more than half sugar by weight.” And the only comeback that Kellogg’s could use was, “To put Consumer Reports’ information in perspective, yogurt contains more sugar and sodium than a serving of Honey Smacks cereal (25 grams of sugar vs. 15 grams of sugar in Honey Smacks).”
Fortunately for you, my loyal readers, I happened to have a Yoplait Light in the fridge. My yogurt has 14 grams of sugar per serving. Okay, now this is where they try to hoodwink you, the servings. My yogurt is six ounces and the whole thing is one serving. How many servings in ounces is the Honey Smacks? I can tell you! One serving of Honey Smacks is ONE OUNCE! Now how many children out there eats one ounce of cereal for breakfast? If they eat six ounces, they’re looking at a whopping 90 grams of sugar! Check the label for yourself and read all about the sugar cover-up here. -J.C. Brooks