There’s Sugar Cereal In My Pantry


My son needed a cereal box a month or so ago for a school project. I offered him his pick of six different boxes from the pantry but he didn’t want to use any of them.

He wanted to go to the store to buy a “normal” cereal so that he could have a “normal” box to bring to school.

Love Grown Foods

Clearly the Love Grown Foods boxes which display cereals made from beans and anything Trader Joe’s, even if the box reads Fruity-O’s, is embarrassing and not acceptable at the middle school level.


I get it.

It shouldn’t be this way but all of the marketing targeted towards kids by the big brands make it this way and in that moment of cereal embarrassment, I realized that this was symbolic of something bigger than his technology project and needing a cereal box.

Of course I don’t want him ingesting artificial colors, preservatives, BHT and other ingredients I can’t pronounce.

I certainly don’t want to serve my baby a meal with sugar listed as the first or second ingredient and definitely try to avoid him eating high fructose corn syrup or anything not filling that may provide a sugar crash.

But come on, right? Life is about finding balance and enjoying yourself too.

Cereal is a big deal. It’s a memory maker.

We all have childhood cereal memories and the last thing I want for my son is to associate cereal with the technology project that he didn’t have a proud sugar-loaded box for because his mom was an uncool vegetarian running freak who banned normal food from the house.

A little while ago, you guys left the sweetest of cereal memory comments on a post and I couldn’t help but think about my cereal memories too.

Cocoa Pebbles -> Multiple bowls consumed at a time while watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on weekends. I loved the chocolately milk at the bottom!

Fruity Pebbles -> Alternated sometimes with Cocoa Pebbles, one time I poured my orange juice in the bowl instead of the milk. My mom told me it was okay, it just made it extra fruity 🙂

Waffle Crisp – > Eaten dry and on the go, straight from a Ziploc bag, as my breakfast during senior year of high school.  

Cookie Crisp – > Enjoyed while watching Nickelodeon in the morning, most likely with my friends who slept over.

Life Cereal – > Lived on this cereal (with raisins and a drop of milk) for YEARS, spanning through college and even when my son was a newborn.

Rice Krispy Treats Cereal – > My best friend Heather and I would pick out the chunks of Rice Krispy treats and then leave over the rest of the box. 

I made the decision to make cereal special in our house. It’s not like I deny a good dessert so who am I to deny cereal?

cereal aisle

I told my son that we were going to go to Target for him to pick out a special cereal of his choice that he could eat whenever he wanted (hoping it would be a snack and not breakfast).

Once that box was empty, we would go back to pick another. Of his choice. Without me reading ingredients.

sprinkled donut crunch

I don’t know that I would have selected the Sprinkled Donut Crunch but it kind of reminds me of Sprinkle Spangles which was another cereal I adored as a kid.

Ohhh remember Ice Cream Cones cereal? It was short lived but so so good!

I knew that this cereal would be the go-to food for a few days when he was hungry, but slowly, it was forgotten about.

The box is still rather full but at least we have the box should we encounter another school project, right?

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!

There's sugar cereal in my pantry #thinkingoutloud #cereal Click To Tweet


Tell me again — favorite cereal as a kid?

Which cereal would you pick from the cereal aisle now? Would it be the same one from your childhood?

Do you eat cereal for breakfast?




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  1. says

    So true! Cereal does hold a lot of memories. Though for a long time we mostly ate healthy organic amaranth Müsli [or: muesli] because my mum was and still largely is into a healthy lifestyle [though I’m more of a health nut than her these days – how things change :)!]. Then during our ‘rebellious’ teenage years – and even earlier at friends’ homes – we were allowed to pick some sugary crunchy granola or Cinnamon Toast Crunch on occasion – we don’t have nearly the same amount of choices you do over there. Still, that amaranth muesli holds most childhood memories for me. Well done, mum!
    It’s sweet you’re allowing your son food to find balance on his own. That’s the same my mum did and I shudder looking back at some of the food she allowed me to buy despite not approving of it. But yes, it ultimately helped me become that health nut with a sweet tooth I am today.
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Why Intuitive Eating is Making Me SadMy Profile

  2. says

    You are one smart mama! Anything forbidden = coveted.

    I don’t really have fond cereal memories. Not because my mom forbad it or made healthy breakfasts, more because she’s never been a big breakfast person & neither was I growing up. I usually skipped it.

    Which is so funny because now breakfast is my favorite meal!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…When you finish but you quitMy Profile

  3. says

    I was never big on cereal as a kid because I didn’t like milk! Once I was a little older I started eating Special K, and then I went through a Go-lean crunch phase, but nothing too exciting. We always had cheerios and frosted flakes and rice krispies in my house growing up. I think its great that you have taught your son to eat well but are also giving him the freedom to make some less-healthy choices as well! Its’ all about balance, right?
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Thoughts On Learning From The PastMy Profile

  4. says

    This is so funny. I’m pretty sure my kids think “regular” sugar cereals are the equivalent of hard drugs at this point the way they look at them if we happen to pass that aisle in the store. Luckily there are healthier versions of the good ones! Surprisingly my daughter Emily ate frosted flakes in Seattle and wasn’t really impressed. She likes the Envirokidz amazon flakes better!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Fun Mom, Cold Meds, More Treats – TOLMy Profile

  5. says

    I used to eat cereal every day for breakfast! My favorites when I was younger were cocoa puffs and frosted mini wheats. So good! It is sad that all of the sugar cereals are targeted at kids. The boxes are so much more fun and exciting than the better for you ones!
    Shannon recently posted…4th of July Recipe RoundupMy Profile

  6. says

    I totally hear ya on this! When Samantha is “of cereal” age, I don’t want to be feeding her all the sugar and artificial-ness but I don’t want her to feel “weird” either! I have memories of Waffle Crisp at my grandma’s house, Fruit Loops at my favorite babysitter’s house and Frosted Flakes remind me of my dad (though now he is a Raisin bran man).

  7. says

    I’m not sure why but Canada never got all the good cereals that you guys have. Cookie Crisp, Waffle Crisp?!?! NOT FAIR. I ate cereal for breakfast every single day of my childhood life. I had to fend for my own quite a bit, and cereal was the easiest. I’d eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Life, and Just Right. Whenever we’d go down to the States, I’d pick up a box of Trix.
    Suzy recently posted…Archaeological EvidenceMy Profile

  8. says

    It’s so true that cereal holds a lot of memories. My grandpa is great at shopping for cereal deals, so they always have a huge selection when we go to their house. My favorites would be oatmeal squares, life cereal, and cheerios… 🙂 I find that when you allow kids to try cereal, they often don’t want it as much, because it’s not off limits. 🙂
    Emily recently posted…Fit Bloggin’ 2015 Photo DumpMy Profile

  9. says

    I think it’s good that you don’t deprive him of the normal kid experiences. Yes, the world is different today but I think it’s important to teach kids the importance of balance. If we don’t let them eat any of the junk food, they’ll crave it all. Or if you’re me, I grew up in a health-crazed house and ended up with an eating disorder. Once that happened, my mom started stocking the pantry with ice cream and oreos and cinnamon toast crunch for my brother and he eats them in moderation. Balance.

    Although growing up the only cereal we had in the house was cheerios. Which to this day I still love to snack on.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…TOL: Hello WeekendMy Profile

  10. says

    Cereal is definitely a childhood memory food – my grandfather ate Rice Krispies every day of his life thus far and still does for breakfast, and growing up when we spent summers on Cape Cod with my grandparents we would always have them together, so they became one of my favorite snacks. That and the ice cream cones we shared 🙂