My parents lived through the Great Depression and because of that they are both extremely frugal. My mom knew the prices of every item in a half a dozen grocery stores and would travel to each to get the best buys on everything. For the most part, that meant name-brand items did not grace our pantry or refrigerator.
A classmate of mine once appeared in a Wonder Bread commercial but we never had the bread that came in the wrapper with the colored circles. We also didn’t have the margarine that thought it was butter. Our paper towels did not have a man with a plaid shirt. And so on.
But one thing we had name brands for was cereal. I knew kids whose parents would not let them eat sugar-enhanced breakfast foods and it was nice to be on the fun side of the divide I frequently found myself with from the rest of the kids from school.
I got to eat Apple Jacks, Boo Berry, Cinnamon Life, Captain Crunch, Cocoa Krispies, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Count Chocola, Crunch Berries, Frankenberry, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Fruity Pebbles, Kaboom, King Vitamin, Lucky Charms, Quisp, Quake, Sugar Crisp, Sugar Smacks, Trix and undoubtedly a bunch of others that I’m forgetting.
And you know what? I didn’t have any trouble focusing and I never acted out or bounced off the wall or any of the host of other things that parents like to blame on sugar.
Eventually, I drifted away from these sugar treats and my breakfast routine included a bowl of Total with bananas and strawberries mixed in. It was so healthy it was sickening.
But now, thanks to my kids, I’ve found my way back to my glorious sugar roots. Trent and I started out with Multi-Grain Cheerios but soon we were on Cinnamon Toast Crunch and before you knew it boxes of Lucky Charms found their way into the grocery cart on a regular basis.
My wife picked up a box of cereal for Casey the other day that I had never tried before – Froot Loops with Marshmallows. Since Casey ate these with a vigor seen previously only in laboratory rats given food laced with cocaine, I decided I had to try some.
Now, I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’m guessing that Froot Loops with Marshmallows is the cereal equivalent of a Ristretto Espresso shot.
Or, as Janice from Friends would say, “Oh, My God!”
You might think someone used to eating Lucky Charms would not make much of a deal about a cereal with marshmallows in it. But the oats in Lucky Charms are what they call “lightly frosted” while if you’ve ever had Froot Loops, you know full well that they are, to make up a phrase, “heavily frosted”.
To my surprise, the sugar content in Froot Lopps with Marshmallows was no different than regular Froot Loops. In fact, the only difference was a slight increase in sodium, so that a one-ounce bowl of the new cereal had 8% of the Guideline Daily Amount (I guess they upgraded from the old “Recommended Daily Amount”) compared to 7%.
And it still had 25% or more of nine different vitamins, including Vitamin C, Riboflavin and Folic Acid.
So, if you want to get on your kids’ good side, pick them up a box of Froot Loops with Marshmallows. And sneak yourself a bowl, too. You’ve been good – you deserve it!