Nutrition and Health
The Benefits of Breakfast Cereal
Most people know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Myriad studies show that kids who eat breakfast get more fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc and iron compared to kids who skip breakfast.1 Adults who eat breakfast also get more of these nutrients, consuming less fat and cholesterol than those who don’t.2
And a cereal breakfast ranks among the best choices for the first meal of the day, providing the nutrients that many of us – especially children – might otherwise miss.3,4,5 Each serving of kids’ favorite Kellogg’s® cereals with milk provides protein and four nutrients that most kids in the U.S. don’t get enough of: fiber, calcium, vitamin D and potassium.6 Plus, cereal is also lower in sodium and sugar than many popular breakfast options.7 For example, sugar in cereals – including kids’ cereals – contributes less than 4 percent of daily sugar intake in the U.S.8 In addition, regular cereal eaters, including those who eat kids’ cereals, tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and are less likely to be overweight than those who eat cereal less frequently.9
Despite the fact that cereal has been a breakfast table mainstay for more than a century, there continues to be misconceptions and confusion about its nutrition value. That’s why we work to educate health care professionals, as well as consumers, about the benefits of breakfast cereal. We have made available a global research compendium that highlights the many advantages of cereal. “Cereal: The Complete Story” offers a wealth of science-based information regarding the role that eating cereal can play in maintaining healthy weight, boosting nutrient intake and providing a breakfast that is lower in calories, fat, sodium and sugar when compared to other common breakfast choices.10 Cereal is also a good way to feed the world; it uses fewer resources per calorie to produce than other foods, such as meat or cheese.11
We also share information in various regions and markets to inform consumers about the benefits of a cereal breakfast. In Canada, for example, we launched in 2012 our first-ever educational awareness campaign about the benefits of a cereal breakfast, targeted specifically at Chinese Canadians, one of the largest ethnic groups in Canada. A custom Chinese-language website includes detailed information on the nutrition benefits of cereal and tips on healthy eating from a registered dietitian.
In Australia, an independent study released in 2012 revealed that children who ate a breakfast of cereal and milk performed better academically than those who consumed other options, such as toast or fruit, or who consumed nothing at all.12 The research, from University of Sydney Professor Jenny O’Dea, prompted Kellogg and the supermarket chain Woolworths to embark on a month-long “Breakfast Crusade” to remind families about the importance of a nutritious breakfast. See the Hunger Relief section of this website for more details.
A serving of Kellogg’s® cereals contains 4 to 12 grams of sugar, whereas a glass of orange juice has 21 grams and fruit-flavored yogurt has more than 40 grams.
*U.S. Nutrition Facts
**USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Research
Source: Kellogg data on file, NHANES 2001-2006, subjects 6-12 years.