“Cereal, ‘Smerial, It’s Just Breakfast Isn’t It?!'”
by Ellie Marrandette
Published on October 3, 2022

“Cereal, ’Smerial, It’s Just Breakfast, Isn’t It?!”

By Elli Marrandette

I recently viewed a television commercial in which a family happily walks down the grocery aisle as the announcer touts the benefits of eating a family breakfast each morning. Smiling, they tossed a few boxes of cereal into their cart and go their merry way.

Although I agree that breakfast is important, the type of cereal they were gleefully placing in their basket was appalling! They might as well have tossed Oreos into their cart! Oh wait . . . didn’t they try that breakfast cereal already? Yeah, that’s right they did. Didn’t last – went the way of the Mr. T cereal.

Anyway, grandparents, please! Just because a child demands a certain cereal doesn’t mean it is good for them or you should buy it. If they whined for cocaine, would you give that to them too? Hopefully not! As grandparents, we must encourage children in the way they should go in all their spiritual, mental, and physical endeavors. (Proverbs 22:6)

A child lives what he learns. Subjecting grandchildren to increased daily sugar, fat, and chemical intake is one of the worst recipes for disaster. It sets them up for health challenges later on.

I saw the results of food sensitivity firsthand twenty years ago while working with physicians. A mother in the waiting room had brought a plastic bag filled with colorful breakfast cereal for her child to snack on while awaiting his school physical. Hyperactivity ensued. Tests eventually diagnosed an extreme reaction to certain dyes in foods. I’ve seen reactions to sugar in the same way.

Recent studies are confirming that chemical relationships can be linked to hyperactivity and ADD. I pity the poor teacher who has children ‘climbing the walls,’ from the chemical or sugar rush obtained from crazy breakfast choices.

Unfortunately, most cereals on the shelves are loaded with sugar, chemicals, preservatives, dyes, trans, and hydrogenated fat. Sometimes the proclaimed bonus of ‘fruit’ consists simply of flavored gelatin and dyes. Hmm, think those yogurt cereals contain real yogurt with good bacterial properties? Not unless you create your cereal/yogurt parfait from scratch.

Sometimes children request a cereal simply because of the cartoon character on the box. That is the blatant manipulation of children and corporate greed! Some advertisers claim that it contains “whole grains and wholesome goodness.” The box is probably more wholesome than the food inside.

These cereals are conveniently located at eye level on the shelves. Rather than risk a public temper tantrum, parents/grandparents give in. Hardly any of these child-targeted cereals contain healthy fiber, which allows sugar to be released more slowly into the system.

Try to choose cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar. Check labels. Children are still developing and need a good wholesome breakfast to start their day. Nutritious whole grain cereals include Shredded Mini-Wheats, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat and Bran, Wheat or Bran Chex, Grape Nuts, any Kashi cereal, or oatmeal and fruit.

If your grandchild wants something sweet on their cereal, add real fruit: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, raisins, or bananas which also add fiber. All are packed with valuable nutrients that will assist with brain productivity and produce a much healthier child.

Grandparents, I know you love your darlings but please don’t kill them with kindness by being a pushover! God is no pushover and does not wink at sin or rebellion. By placing junk in front of their eyes, you are destroying their character.

“But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”   (Psalm 81:16)

Eat breakfast to rev up your metabolism each morning. Use common sense and do not stress out. It’s all about balance. Did you eat a fatty breakfast? Then consume more vegetables for lunch! You’ll encourage healthy eating habits and honor God with that control.

Eat Breakfast Like a Champion:

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It’s imperative to “break that 8-hour fast” so our brain won’t believe we’re ill. Otherwise, it will slow our metabolism to protect us.

Begin with 4-5 ounces of a good quality yogurt with no artificial sweeteners. Dannon Natural or Aldi Greek are great choices. Find yogurts containing only probiotics without fillers and preservatives. Acidophilus & Bifidus are good bacteria that get into our intestines, protecting and building our immune system. Include berries or other fruit, walnuts, and milled flaxseed for additional daily fiber.

Next consume a serving (remember to check the label because each could be different) of a good high (5+ grams) fiber cereal. Good quality cereals include Grape nuts, Great Grains, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, or any Kashi product. High-fiber cereals should not taste like sawdust!

Drink water afterward. As fiber expands, it binds with the bad artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and toxins, removing them from your system.

What about eggs? No problem. Awesome nutrients! A whole-grain English muffin with one egg, a small slice of Canadian bacon/ lean ham with a slice of low-fat white American cheese is a great treat.

I haven’t met a man yet who didn’t enjoy bacon. In moderation, (2-3 slices) it’s okay every once in a while. But beware of the dangerous nitrates, preservatives, and dyes found in bacon. Remind yourself that your body answers to God!

Fried/hash brown potatoes? With air fryers and modern cookware, these can be prepared with little or no oil/butter and more herbs. Don’t overly butter your toast. Use real fruit preserves or good quality peanut butter instead. I’d rather you use a little real butter than margarine any day. Remember chemicals destroy our earthly temple. (Balance lunch with mostly fruits and vegetables.)

What about juices? When consuming juice rather than actual fruit, you rarely get fiber. Choose a fresh orange at 60 calories with pulp rather than juice at 120 calories per six ounces whenever possible. Add fruits in season: cantaloupes, bananas, and berries contain great amounts of potassium, magnesium, beta carotene, lutein, and antioxidants for heart and eye health.

In a hurry? A smoothie using a ripe banana, orange juice, yogurt, skim or 1% milk, and ice cubes, can be a wonderful potassium-magnesium shake! However, the body has a natural desire to chew which releases enzymes. You might find yourself craving something mid-morning and reaching for a donut to satisfy that desire. Bring several whole-grain fibrous crackers, and peanut butter to satisfy until lunch.

Pancakes? Buckwheat (Kashi) rather than white flour pancakes provides better fiber and insulin management. Try maple syrup/fruit toppings rather than imitation syrup.

Pop-Tarts? You probably know my answer to this one. One Pop-Tart has approximately 200 calories, 5 teaspoons of sugar, a half teaspoon of fiber, and a few nutrients. Furthermore, in an hour you’ll be hungry because of an insulin/sugar drop. What’s my mantra? Nutrients! You could consume three oranges for the same calorie count.

Why do we mess up God’s simple diet plan? Eating right shouldn’t be complicated. God advised Adam how to eat in one sentence in Genesis 1:29. It was simple, concise, and easy to understand. Nothing complicated. Then some fad-diet-gurus came along proclaiming, “No, don’t eat carbs, they’re bad for you!” “Only combine certain foods!” or other such nonsense.

Well, who do you believe, God or some guy who wants to make a fast buck at your expense? I refuse to be mentally manipulated like a lab rat. “As for me and my house . . . I will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

After attending Graham Jr. College in Boston and Moody Bible College, Ellie Marrandette earned her Bachelor of Ministry (BMIN) from Trinity Theological Seminary. Fascinated by psychology and physiology, God directed Ellie toward a rewarding healthcare career. She became a licensed, certified nutritional counselor, working with doctors, nutritional centers, and independently as the founder of New Creations Ministries , a faith-based solution in overcoming health challenges.

In recent years, God has focused Ellie’s path toward writing. She is the author of four Christian novels, a novella, and a non-fiction book on healthy living entitled, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us.) All can be found Here. Her current endeavor is to complete a children’s devotional this year.

For more about Ellie Marrandette visit her New Creations website.  


Feature Photo by Wallpaper Access

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  1. Jeanne

    Love this! So true. If our bodies are the temple of God, why do we fill it with garbage?

    • Andy Oldham

      Amen to That, Jeanne! Though I am guilty of wrong eating, I am learning to eat the right stuff thanks to Ellie!


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