Oh, cereal. We love it so much, we could eat it around the clock. And apparently, we aren’t alone, since food companies are saying that more of us are pouring a bowl for meals other than breakfast, and snacking on it between meals too. And why shouldn’t we? It’s quick, easy, doesn’t require an oven or a stove, and cleanup is a snap. As registered dietitians, we have to examine the bowl from a nutritional standpoint, and we must admit that there are advantages for letting cereal stand in for heavy lasagna or a fast food burger and fries.

In general, breakfast cereals are relatively low in calories, and eating a bowl of cereal with milk can save you several hundred calories compared to what you would take in from a standard meat-starch-vegetable meal. So if you are among those trying to cut calories or drop a few pounds, think of cereal as a smart choice. Assuming you choose wisely, cereal can also deliver an ample amount of fiber, B vitamins, minerals, protein, whole grains, and other beneficial nutrients. How about if, like so many of us, you’re just a busy mom that needs dinner in pinch? Pair a healthy cereal (we love Kashi’s line of ready-to-eat cereals) with low fat milk and a side of fresh fruit, and you’ve got a quick dinner on a busy weeknight. Who cares if it’s a bit non-traditional? Most kids would happily eat cereal, and it’s much more forgiving to your waistline and your wallet than ordering takeout.

Like we mentioned before, though, the key to making cereal part of a healthy evening meal is choosing wisely. The cereal aisle is loaded with junk cereals that provide way too much sugar and nearly no nutrients. Instead, try filling your bowl with low-sugar staples like shredded wheat, bran flakes, wheat chex, or multi-grain Cheerios. Muesli or granola can be a good choice, but be sure to check the label and avoid sky-high amounts of fat and sugar. If you’re bored with regular cow’s milk, try swapping it in favor of almond, rice, or plain or vanilla soy milk for something different. For more staying power than milk, try adding your cereal to a six ounce serving of Greek yogurt and an ounce of chopped nuts. The extra protein and healthy fat is sure to keep the kids (and you) full until bedtime!

Chopped fresh fruit will add color, texture, and sweetness to your bowl. Consider tossing in sliced bananas (our favorite), chopped apples or pears, fresh blueberries or strawberries, or peaches. In the winter, you can substitute raisins, dates, or dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots. Also, don’t forget to be creative! A small handful of dark chocolate chips or a dusting of shredded coconut are interesting additions that really bump of the flavor without adding too much extra fat and calories. If the kids are really hankering for one of their less-healthy favorites, try mixing 1/3 cup in with a more nutritious variety for a satisfying compromise! For a bowl that is warm and comforting, don’t forget about oatmeal and other whole grain hot cereals. And feel free to doctor it up with a plethora of healthy, great-tasting toppings!

When it comes to whipping up breakfast for dinner, cereal is only the beginning! Other ideas include eggs (scrambled, quiche, frittata, omelet, etc) with whole grain toast, 100 percent fruit juice, and fresh fruit, or whole grain pancakes with real maple syrup, low fat milk, and fresh fruit. Both of these options are quick, easy, affordable, and can be made to feed as many or as few people as necessary. The details are completely up to you, so have fun! Who knows, maybe breakfast for dinner will become a weekly tradition!

For more tips on building a better breakfast, stocking your pantry with healthy staples, or trying something new for dinner, be sure to take a look at our other blogs! Also, visit the ADA website atwww.eatright.org for more information on healthy eating. Have you tried making breakfast for dinner recently? Let us know how it turned out on Facebook or Twitter: @FamilyFoodLLC!

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/14/1708572/cereal-for-supper-can-be-a-wise.html




I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."


Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.


Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!


Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.


My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.


Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.


I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.


I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.


I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!


I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.


I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.


I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!


I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.


I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.


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