How to get your kids off processed cereals

Try these treats and snacks in lunch boxes or to take along to a morning tea.  Free from added sugar and refined flours, all recipes are gluten free.

Decadent Chocolate Slice

The Why?

What? Get the kids off cereal? But it’s so easy – you just open a packet and pour, add milk and sugar, and that’s breakfast sorted. They are wholegrain and fortified with additional vitamins and minerals don't ya know! And, as they get older they can do it themselves. Why on earth would I want to get my kids off rices, cornflakes, weetbix, Nutrigrain etc? .

Well, read on to find out why.

Anything that is puffed – like rices etc – are created by using extremely high temperatures that destroy most of the nutrients in the grain and can cause natural oils to go rancid. Most breakfast cereals on the market are made with this high heat extrusion process. This even includes those “healthy” products like puffed millet etc. Cereal grains get mixed with water to make a sludgey type mix, and, as claimed, vitamins and minerals are added. Then this sludge is put into a machine which pushes it through little hole’s which makes them into the shape they want – flakes, puffs etc. Then they get sprayed with a coating of good ole sugar and sub-standard vegetable oils to keep them fresh, crunchy and crispy. Meaning that all the synthetic vitamins that were originally added in are lost. So as you can see, these aren't exactly what I'd call Whole Foods.

So read below how I got my kids off cereal (it had to be done very slowly, so that they would "die!", apparently) and make sure to check out my healthy "kid approved" cereal alternatives in the recipes section.

It's ok, it can feel really scary (I remember feeling that way), but don't be afraid, just be aware and just keep learning :)

Want to find out more about cereals - read here:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/nov/23/food-book-extract-felicity-lawrence

The Steps

There are two ways to tackle this, depending on your kids. You can let them finish up all the cereal in the house and not buy anymore, explain to them why, and then that’s the end of cereal. Or you can do it slowly. My kids were in the slowly department, as they thought they may actually die without it, so here’s how I did it. I’ll use porridge for an example.

Stage 1 - First of all, talk to them about it – explain to them why cereal is not an ideal breakfast for them (keep it simple - see above) and that they are going to start having something that is much better for them before they have their cereal.

Stage 2 - I started with porridge. They each got a small bowl of porridge in the mornings (I added cinnamon for flavour) and then they got their bowl of cereal once they ate that.

Stage 3 - Next you want to start incorporating non-cereal days. Tell them that on, say Monday, Wednesday and Friday they can have their cereal (after eating their porridge), and the other days they’ll just have their porridge.

Stage 4 - The end of the cereal, or the near end. I then switched them over to porridge for the whole week – we didn't just do porridge, some mornings its soft boiled eggs, real food cereal alternatives, paleo pancakes if I had time, etc. At first we let our kids have cereal in the weekends, for purely selfish reasons – they can get it themselves and we could sleep in. However, we eventually weaned them off this though and ditched the cereal for good.

Complaints – smile sweetly, and say “I love you too much to let you eat cereal the whole time, and it’s my job as a parent to make sure you grow up healthy and strong”.

Good luck!

What Real Foods do your kids have for breakfast?  Share the love below.
 

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