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Breakfast and cereal

Cereal is one of the healthiest breakfast choices you can make. Ready-to-eat cereal has fewer calories than almost any other common breakfast option.

Cereal eaters consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than noncereal eaters.1

calories per serving chart

Cereal is also nutrient-dense. Ready to eat cereals pack in vitamins, minerals and key essential nutrients – without packing on calories.

Today’s cereals are more nutritious than ever. Many leading cereals have added whole grains, calcium and vitamin D, while reducing sugar and limiting calories.

And cereal is generally affordable, convenient and tastes good.

About breakfastthe most important meal of the day

  • Breakfast eaters tend to have better nutrient intakes. 1,4-6
  • On average, breakfast contributes less than 20 percent of daily calories, while delivering more than 30 percent of needed calcium, iron and B vitamins. 7
  • People who eat breakfast tend to consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber over the course of their day. 5,8,9
  • Nutrients missed at breakfast, namely calcium, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals, are rarely made up for during the day. 8-10
  • Kids who eat breakfast tend to perform better in school and have fewer disciplinary problems. Breakfast also tends to help kids stay alert.11-13


1 Cho S et al. The effect of breakfast type on total daily energy intake and body mass index: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). J Am Coll Nutr 2003;22(4):296-302.

4 Song WO et al. Is consumption of breakfast associated with Body Mass Index in U.S. adults? J Am Diet Assoc 2005;105:1373-1382.

5 Wyatt H et al. Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the national weight control registry. Obes Res 2002;10:78–82.

6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2007-08][http.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes].

8 Nicklas TA et al. Nutrient contribution of breakfast, secular trends, and the role of ready-to-eat cereals: A review of data from the Bogalusa Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:757S-63S.

9 Morgan KJ et al. The role of breakfast in diet adequacy of U.S. adult population. J Am Coll Nutr 1986;5:551-563.

10 Murphy JM et al. The Relationship of School Breakfast to Psychosocial and Academic Functioning: Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Observations in an inner-city School Sample. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1998;152:899-907.

11 Wahlstrom KL and Begalle MS.11 Wahlstrom KL and Begalle MS. More than test scores: Results of the universal school breakfast pilot in Minnesota. Top Clin Nutr 1999;(1):17-29.

12 Wesnes KA et al. Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren. Appetite 2003;41:329-331.

13 U.S Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th edition, Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

 

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