It has been observed that children were most likely to eat nutritious and balanced breakfast if they were served cereals low in sugar even if it meant adding a little amount of table sugar. As kids are more inclined to eat cereals that are on the sweeter side, they are more apt to eat additional fruits during breakfast when served low-sugar cereals. This study was done with kids aged five to twelve years old at a summer camp.

The children were divided into 2 groups where one group was given three choices of high-sugar cereals, while the other had three choices of the low-sugar kind. Fruits were made available to these two groups, and these included sliced bananas, strawberries; orange juice, milk and small packs of table sugar were also made available for them. This experiment showed that the children favored the cereals, regardless if it is high or low in sugar content.

Those who ate with high-sugar had 2 servings, used almost two times more of sugar, while those who consumed low-sugar, had taken in just over one serving, using only half amount of table sugar the other group has consumed.

Children belonging to the lower sugar group had the same amount of milk and total number of consumed calories and were among those who added fresh fruits on top of their cereal, more than what the high-sugar group has consumed. This goes to show that children will take on low-sugar cereals for breakfasts even if they favor to eat those with the high-sugar kind, as they know that it tastes better. There is a chance though that kids who ate on the high sugar group are more likely than not, to consume or add more table sugar to their food.

Now, it is for the parents to serve them low-sugar but provide fruits on the side to spice their food up, even psychologically. This scheme would prove to be successful on the part of the parents to help their offspring avoid being sick due to too much sugar intake during their young age. The more you introduce the children to high-sugar foods, the more they will have a craving for it.

Parents’ role in rearing their young would depend on how they feed them in their younger years. Over-feeding them with the wrong foods and foods that lack in nutrients could lead them to become sick with either heart disease, diabetes, or even both. Maintaining the children’s health would entail careful planning but in the end, it is the children who will benefit from the care that was given to them.

Psychologizing the kids during mealtime can be a hard task as some of them would think of it as such. Starting the eating psychology on toddlers would be best as older children have had choices already when it comes to food; by the age of twelve or up, they are already focused on particular foods that they like to eat and it would be difficult for them to be given choices other than what they have already preferred.

A Little Psychology With Breakfast Can Help

Children who were offered low-sugar cereals (Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes) were “significantly more likely to put fresh fruit on their cereal, compared with children” offered high-sugar cereal choices (Froot Loops, Cocoa Pebbles, Frosted Flakes), the researchers say.

According to the study, 54% of kids who ate low-sugar cereal added fresh fruit, but just 8% of those served high-sugar cereal did.

Children did not add more sugar to the low-sugar cereals than was already contained in the high-sugar cereals.

The study supports the notion that children will eat more refined sugar when served high-sugar cereals, even when they are allowed to add sugar to low-sugar cereals.“This result suggests that a parent who is concerned that a child will not eat enough of a low-sugar cereal in the morning could provide a small amount of table sugar as well as fresh fruit for the child to add to the cereal,” the authors write. “This strategy would be preferable to purchasing a pre-sweetened high-sugar cereal that typically contains 2.5 or three teaspoons of sugar per serving.”