Go Ahead, Have Cereal For Dinner. What?

Americans are eating more cereal. And it’s not just cereal, it’s sugar cereal.  

According to an article in the WSJ yesterday, 20% of sugar cereals are eaten outside of the breakfast time window.

Reasons for this include not having time in the morning to sit down and eat a bowl of cereal and, when eaten after dinner, it ‘feels like a less horrible option than cookies or cupcakes’ according to one person cited in the piece.

The cereal companies are responding by repacking certain varieties with a starry night sky backdrop.

The president of General Mills states that by giving people permission to eat cereal for dinner (excuse me?) as well as at other times of day through advertising, it helps to alleviate some of the guilt.

So glad to know GM has our best interest at heart.

Later in the article, we see that people are being pulled away from cereal to some degree, because they see protein as healthy and filling.

Awesome!  Protein is healthy and filling!

But continue along reading only to find that the source of protein is often coming from Greek yogurt, fast food egg sandwiches and protein bars.

It gets worse.  As if eating cereal for breakfast (which is still the most commonly consumed (non) food in America as the first meal of the day) wasn’t bad enough, it’s specifically sugar cereal consumption that are outpacing the cereals viewed as being plain, such as corn flakes.

New and interesting approaches that the cereal companies are using in order to promote their product including encouraging customers to use it as an ingredient, such as adding it to a smoothie, and to make it part of the Family Breakfast Project which strives to get families to eat together at home.

Nearly right, precisely wrong.

Yes, the concept of eating meals at home as a family unit can be tremendous in encouraging good eating habits… but, hello?  The foods eaten at the meal need to be healthy!

Eating cereal in a group is no better than eating it alone.

Circling back to the very first example of the man eating cereal after dinner strikes one interesting and quite valid point- at least by eating cereal for dessert, rather than by having it fist thing in the morning, one might recognize it is actually not a meal but a sugar-laden thing to be eaten rarely (we don’t need dessert every day, and dessert needn’t be anything more than a fresh peach!) and not as a staple.

And besides that, it’s not Paleo!