We take cereal very seriously in our family. In fact, one of the only disagreements my husband and I had while planning our wedding was what kind of cereal we would serve. That’s right. We had a cereal bar at our wedding. It was a hit! Our guests went crazy over the endless supply of Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. It was like they were little kids on Saturday morning getting ready to watch cartoons again. In fact, this is part of the reason why I think we (and so many other families) enjoy cereal so much. It brings us back to those good ole days. Remember those? No pandemic. No social media. Just us, our cereal, and Saturday morning cartoons. Now, I know for many families this is not necessarily what weekend mornings looked like. But my reasoning still stands. I think we all tend to look for those small things that remind us of a different time. The things that make us forget some of the struggles we may be facing today. The things that bring us a moment of comfort. For me, it’s sugary cereal.
Another reason I think cereal is so popular is its immense versatility. I mean, think about it! Delicious way to start your day? Cereal. Need a quick midday pick-me-up? Cereal. Can’t decide what to eat for dinner? Cereal. Midnight snack? CEREAL. Our love of cereal is apparent in the 2.7 billion packages of cereal sold each year2. I think, unfortunately, it has gotten a bit of a bad reputation lately. The diet industry wants us to believe sugar = bad. Therefore, cereal is not really seen as a “healthy” or “nutritious” option. I disagree. First of all, sugar is not bad. It’s inherently not a bad food. No food is bad for you…food is food. But that’s a soapbox for another day. I actually think that cereal is a healthy option for a few reasons.
- It’s affordable. The average price of a box of cereal is $3.272. (A box of cereal can have anywhere between eight and 15 servings. So, let’s go on the lower end and say ten. That’s less than 33 cents per serving. That’s financially healthy.
- It’s easy. A single mom, a busy student, the person with three jobs. Warm, home-cooked meals might be hard to come by for them. When we are simply looking for fuel to keep our bodies and our brains going through the day, cereal is a quick and easy option. That’s mentally healthy.
- It’s good. Whether you go for the sweet box of Fruit Loops or the classic Cheerios, there’s an option for everyone. Maybe it brings you back to a happy memory of childhood or just gives you a little smile as you crunch into some sugary goodness, it provides a moment of good. That’s emotionally healthy.
So on this National Cereal Day, I invite you to join me in pouring a big bowl of whatever cereal your heart desires, and take a moment to just enjoy it.