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Happy National Cereal Day!

 

Photo Source: General Mills

Did you know that today, March 7, 2016, is National Cereal Day?

Cereal… oh cereal… you have always been a part of my life. For me, cereal is a “comfort food,” just like mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup and my mom’s beef stew.

I still remember when I was a child that I would anxiously await my mom to come home from food shopping to see what cereal she brought home. As a child it was all about the prizes tucked away inside the box. Of course I enjoyed the cereal too. What cartoon watching marathon on a Saturday morning didn’t include a bowl (or two) of your favorite cereal?

One of my favorites as a child that they stopped making decades ago (yeah… I’m that old) was called Freakies. Oddly enough, friends of mine that are around my age DON’T recall that cereal. That is weird because I lived off that stuff as a child. I even have a few of the toys that I kept over the years.

I might be considered a “grown up,” but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my favorite cereals from my youth. Take for example Lucky Charms. I’m crazy about Lucky Charms! I don’t put milk in my cereal (I’ve always eaten it dry), so I like to eat the cereal bits from Lucky Charms and save all the marshmallow “charms” until the very end. My husband thinks I’m weird, but I don’t mind. That is how I enjoy my Lucky Charms.

Did you know Lucky Charms is also available in chocolate flavor? I have yet to find a box of Chocolate Lucky Charms, but I keep looking for them. I bet they taste amazing. Chocolate and marshmallows go perfectly together.

General Mills cereals are our “go to” favorites. My family (husband and kids) go through at least two boxes of Cheerios per week. Our personal favorite is Honey Nut Cheerios, but the other varieties are equally as delicious.

Did you know that whole grain is the first ingredient in all Big G cereals, 90 percent of which are free from artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources. As a mom, I feel good about letting my family enjoy their favorite Big G cereals which include Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Trix, Coco Puffs and Chex to name a few. Some Big G / General Mills cereals are Gluten-Free. The brand is also in the process of removing sugars from some of their cereals as well.

If you would like to learn more about the wonderful things being done to our favorite cereals, you can read more about it here.

Cereal is not only ideal for breakfast – you can also enjoy it for lunch, dinner and even a snack. I bring cereal to work with me on days that I don’t feel like a sandwich. And I love to snack on a bowl of cereal at night.

You can even use cereal as toppings for your ice cream, yogurt and more! You can even make delicious recipes out of your favorite Big G cereal. One of my personal favorites (and my kids too) is making Muddy Buddies.

You can find the recipe for Muddy Buddies on the Chex website. The above photo is of a batch I made a few years ago. If you haven’t tried Muddy Buddies yet, you should. They are SO GOOD! I believe you can buy them pre-made too, but it’s more fun to make them yourself.

Here are two more recipes you might enjoy using your favorite Big G cereals. I especially love the S’mores one.

(Courtesy of My Menu Pal)

Lucky Charms Cooler Recipe

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup Lucky Charms cereal, marshmallows removed and reserved
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup pineapple

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Top cooler with reserved marshmallows.

(Courtesy of I Wash… You Dry)

S’mores Popcorn Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp corn oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 1/2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 1 cup Mallow Bits (or miniature marshmallows)
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips*
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate flavored melting chocolates, melted according to package instructions

Instructions

  1. Cover two large baking sheets with wax paper, set aside.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid, leaving slightly ajar to let steam escape.
  3. Shake the pot back and forth gently while the popcorn kernels begin to pop. Once popping has stopped pour popcorn in a large bowl.
  4. To the bowl add the Golden Grahams, Mallow Bits, and mini chocolate chips. Toss to combine.
  5. Lay out popcorn mixture in a thin layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle the melting chocolates all over the popcorn mixture and let cool.
  6. Once hardened, gently break up the pieces and enjoy!

Delish!!! I can’t wait to try these.

For more information (and recipes!) visit GeneralMills.com. You can also find them on social media.

What is YOUR CURRENT favorite cereal? What is a favorite cereal from your youth?

Do you have any yummy recipes that you make using cereal? If so, feel free to share it in the comment section of this post.

Happy National Cereal Day! I hope you enjoy celebrating it. Upload your photos and posts using the hashtag #NationalCerealDay too!

I love this cool retro looking t-shirt. Too bad it doesn’t fit me, but my daughter can wear it.

Kimberly

*I received some cereal and goodies in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Kid friendly foods that are high in fiber #LoveYourCereal

 

Whole Grains

Do you get enough fiber in your diet? Personally I know that I don’t get enough. It’s not that I don’t want to. I just get so busy sometimes that I forget to eat, or don’t have time to prepare a decent meal (referring more so to breakfast and lunch). I’m guilty of just grabbing something (anything) I find in my fridge or pantry that is quick and easy to make – regardless of it’s nutritional value.

As a mom I try to do what I can to make sure my family eats healthy and has plenty of good food choices available to them at all time. I really need to “practice what I preach” and make sure that “I” eat as well as I encourage my family to do.

I am fortunate that my kids eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They also get enough dairy through milk, cheese and yogurt. The one thing that I have a hard time making sure they get enough of is fiber.

It’s important to offer your children (and all family members) foods that are high in fiber so that you can reach your daily requirements each and every day.

in trouble

Did you know that 9 out of 10 children do not get enough fiber in their diet, and this could lead to kids becoming occasionally constipated? My son has always had issues with being constipated. As per the pediatrician it’s because he doesn’t get enough fiber, drink enough water or get enough exercise.

Occasional constipation is reportedly the cause for almost 5 percent of all pediatric outpatient visits. I can believe that. I have experienced that with my son too. He even ended up in the emergency in the middle of the night when he was about 3 years old due to constipation. We were not sure what was wrong. He complained of severe stomachache and was in a lot of pain and very miserable.

Is your child or grandchild getting enough fiber in his/her diet? Do you even know how many grams of fiber they need every day? Nutrition professionals recommend an “age plus five” approach to fiber intake. That means a five-year-olds should strive to get at least 10 grams of fiber per day.

One way to get fiber into your child’s diet is with fruit. The only catch is that the fiber is found in the skin. Often kids want the skin removed before they eat it (such as an apple) or prefer to drink fruit juice. Those two options don’t contain as much fiber as fruit with the skin left on.

Apple Fiber

To get your kids to enjoy fruit with the skin on cut the fruit into small pieces or offer a yummy “dip” to go along with the fruit (such as yogurt or peanut butter). Or you an make a fruit smoothie and incorporate the skin into the smoothie too.

Whole grain or whole wheat breads are a great choice but they are often not “kid-friendly”. To make them more enjoyable for children try topping them with things like hazelnut spread, peanut butter or jam/jelly.

Instead of whole grain/whole wheat cereal you can try whole grain crackers or tortillas. Kids would enjoy having a sandwich made out of a tortilla or made with crackers. They probably won’t even notice that it’s made with whole grains. They will just see it as something fun and different than bread.

Whole-wheat English muffins are enjoyable to eat (especially if you make an egg white breakfast sandwich). They have about 4.4 grams of fiber per serving.

Beans are also high in fiber, especially edamame, lentils and black beans. I honestly can’t give any suggestions on how to get kids to eat these beans, except maybe in a dip, soup or chili. Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) also have fiber in them. My kids have always liked them (thankfully). Hummus is made from chickpeas. Maybe children will enjoy that on whole grain crackers.

 

Whole grain pasta

Pasta is available in whole grain and whole wheat. Many kids like pasta. 🙂 Mac and cheese made with whole grain pasta has about 4 grams of fiber per serving.

Cereal is also a great option to get some fiber into your child’s diet. Many cereals have several grams of fiber per serving, including many “kid friendly” cereals. For example Kellogg’s® offers more ready-to-eat cereals that are a good source of fiber (3-6 grams) than any other U.S. food company. Some of their cereals, such as Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Apple Jacks and Mini-Wheats have between 3-6 grams of fiber per serving, making them a good to excellent source of fiber that kids love. Mini-Wheats are also available in yummy flavors like blueberry, strawberry and chocolate. I happen to be a big fan of Mini-Wheats and we almost always have a box in our pantry.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of fiber found in family friendly cereals visit www.LoveYourCereal.com.

Other kid friendly options that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving include;

  • Spaghetti O’s – 3 grams
  • Popcorn – 3 grams in 1 oz
  • Whole wheat waffles – 3 grams

How do you get our child or grandchild to eat enough fiber every day? Do you have any special tips you care to share with others?

 Kelloggs Kid Friendly Fiber

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers.

Post Great Grains – See the difference

 

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I have been trying to feed my family better foods, meaning those that are more wholesome, less processed and nutritionally better for you. It’s not been easy. It’s hard to wean yourself, let alone teenagers, off of foods they have grown accustomed to. I am finding it very difficult. It’s hard not to reach for ready made, easy to prepare meals instead of making things from scratch and/or with more natural ingredients.

I have been trying to get my kids to eat breads that are made with whole grains instead of white bread. I have found a few that they will eat (although they have to add peanut butter Nutella on it before they will eat it). I’m still on the look out for a whole grain bread they will eat and enjoy.

Cereal is another product that I’m finding it hard to switch over. I don’t mind if my family wants to indulge in some cereals that are more like a bowl full of candy then a healthy breakfast. It’s only human to crave those kinds of things. I just want my family to swap out their regular cereal to a better-for-you cereal at least 2-3 times per week if possible.

Have you seen the new Post Great Grains Protein Blend cereals on the store shelves? Have you had the opportunity to try them out for yourself?

Post sent me a couple of boxes of their Great Grains Protein Blends cereals to try out for myself with my family. They also sent along small jars of the very same grains used in the cereals.

Post Great Grains

Post Great Grains Cereals

Many cereals you find on the market that are made with grains ARE made with grains. However most of the times the grains have been heavily processed which takes away from their nutritional value. Post Great Grains Protein Blend cereals are made with grains that have very minimal processing, making them better for your (nutritionally speaking).

For example, a serving of Great Grains Honey, Oats & Seeds;

  • 35g of whole grain per serving
  • 24% of your Daily Value for fiber (6g of fiber per serving)
  • Low in saturated fat, 0g trans fat and 0mg cholesterol per serving
  • 13 vitamins and minerals

Their Great Grains Cranberry Almond Crunch is also another great choice;

  • 30g of whole grain per serving
  • 20% of your Daily Value for fiber (5g of fiber per serving)
  • 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat and 0mg cholesterol per serving
  • 14 vitamins and minerals
  • Excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C and E

Both my husband and my kids were reluctant to try the cereals. My husband referred to it as “rabbit food”. That is because you can clearly see the whole grains and seeds in the cereal.

It took a few tries but my son and daughter will eat the cereal with no problem. My husband is still fighting me on it. Usually it’s kids who are picky eaters. In my household it’s my hubby. He’s the pickiest of them all. 🙂

Some people might thing that eating a cereal made with whole grains, seeds and nuts might not taste all that wonderful. I can certainly relate to that thought. I have found that many “better for you” cereals taste like you are eating cardboard. They are not usually very tasty. Post Great Grains Protein Blends ARE very tasty and flavorful.

Great Grains Protein

I have tried both the Honey, Oats & Seeds and Cinnamon Hazelnut blend.

I should note that I never put milk in my cereal. I eat all my cereals dry. I know that grosses some people out but I prefer it that way. I also use cereals as toppings on cereal and yogurt. I do like to add fresh fruit to my cereals, especially blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and most especially bananas.

Both cereals were very flavorful and satisfying. I found them both to be very filling too. No doubt that has a lot to do with the fiber. Fiber, as you know, is filling. It’s also needed to help keep your “system” regular.

I did try both cereals on top of vanilla ice cream and yogurt (plain and fruit flavored) as well.

I should have taken a photo of the cereal in a bowl. I honestly thought I had but when I went through my photos I couldn’t find any.

The cereal tastes fresh and you can tell its not weighed down with added sugars.

This is not just a breakfast cereal. This would be great to pack along in your lunch bag and enjoy in the late afternoon when you are feeling a big hungry and sluggish and need a pick-me-up. It’s a better option than coffee, soda or the junk you find in the vending machine. This is also a great option for a late night snack.

Look for these and other Post Great Grains Protein cereals on a store shelf near you. Other flavors include;

  • Great Grains Cranberry Almond Crunch
  • Great Grains Crunchy Pecans
  • Great Grains Raisin, Dates and Pecans
  • Great Grains Banana Crunch

For more information on these and other Post cereals visit www.PostFoods.com/our-brands/Great-Grains. You can also find Great Grains on Facebook.

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.