Cereals have always been a part of humankind’s diet. Porridge was a traditional food in much of Northern Europe and Russia back to antiquity, and remains a popular breakfast items in many parts of the world. Native Americans ate corn, or maize, as a food staple, processing it into grits. By the mid 1800s, companies began grinding oats and selling them as nutritious breakfast cereals.
Overcoming the idea of “horse food” as a breakfast staple was made a lot easier with the production of ready to eat cereals, available right out of the box with no cooking time. The most famous of these is Cheerios, introduced May 1, 1941. Following WWII and the massive baby boom that swelled American populations, cereal companies targeted young children with sugar-laden, cartoon-inspired cereals. Those breakfast cereals we enjoyed as kids are still popular today and we have to admit, we still love them, even though we know we shouldn’t. Here are our favorite kids’ breakfast cereals…and our guilty pleasures!
I won’t eat any cereal that doesn’t turn the milk purple.—Bill Waterson
1. Lucky Charms: They’re “magically delicious,” right? If you can still sing the jingle you’ve probably enjoyed this sugary cereal and may still have it on the shelf. Magically delicious Lucky Charms cereal features frosted oats and colored marshmallows. Made with whole grain, Lucky Charms is fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of calcium.
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2. Count Chocula Debuting in 1971, Count Chocula was the first chocolate flavored cereal, with added chocolate marshmallows. The “Monster” cereal we loved as kids has taken on new life with bloggers and Youtube videos.
3. Trix Trix first appeared in 1954 as the first fruit-flavored cereal. The Trix Rabbit, source of bad puns for years, was repeatedly shut out from enjoying Trix with the slogan,“Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids.” Eventually, the Trix Rabbit got the chance to enjoy the cereal after a box-top mail in campaign.
4. Cap’n Crunch More than just a cereal, Cap’n Crunch has taken on a life of his own. From the start in 1968, the Cap’n’s back story filled in with tales of the “SS Guppy” and the addition of offshoot varieties with berries and peanut butter flavored “crunch berries.” In 1985 the Cap’n set sail and was off the shelf until his return in 1987 to a new set of junior skippers.
5. Fruity Pebbles Originally called “Sugar Rice Krinkles,” this brand was renamed for popular animated TV character Pebbles Flintstone. The Flintstones characters remain popular today due to countless reruns, movies and TV special, and Fruity Pebbles continues as one of the most popular breakfast cereals ever.
6. Cookie Crisp For any of us who wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, Cookie Crisp was the answer. More than just a yummy taste, Cookie Crisp cereal is a good source of calcium. it also provides 11 other essential vitamins and minerals, and 10 grams of whole grain per serving.
7. Froot Loops A competitor to fruit flavored Trix, the blue nosed toucan that serves as the cereal symbol asks you to “follow your nose” to the fruit flavors of Froot Loops. This Kellogg’s cereal is packed with delicious fruity taste, fruity aroma, and bright colors. Made with whole grains and lightly sweetened, it’s high in fiber to boot.
8. Apple Jacks Another fruit flavored breakfast treat. Shaped as red and green apple flavored circles they merge the taste of apples and cinnamon.
9. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Swirls of cinnamon add taste to this fiber rich cereal. Cinnamon Toast Crunch “the kid cereal for grown ups” has a website complete with history (it appeared on shelves in 1984) and recipes for snack mix.
10. (Sugar) Corn Pops Advertised as a “lightly” sweetened cereal, Corn Pops is corn “puffed up.” It’s definitely lower in sugar than some breakfast cereals and an excellent source of fiber.