Friday, October 16, 2009

Why I love cereal and other healthy snacks.

Hi, my name is Summer and I am a snacker. I have snacks in my purse at all times. I blame it on being a mom but really I eat at least 50% of the snacks that I haul around. Most of the snacks in my purse are of the cracker and nut variety. I am a big almond and cashew fan. And when I am really on top of it, I will mix my nuts with some dried cherries and blueberries. Thank you Costco for the wonderful big bags of dried fruit!

But my go to snack, morning, noon and night is cereal. I love it. Now, I realize that it is not the ideal "on the go" snack but it is so fun to eat. I am sure you are questioning the whole fun to eat theory but it is and I will explain why I feel this way.

My addiction/obsession with cereal began in college. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved cereal but when I got to college it became a creative and fun snack as well. See, our sophomore year at Stanford, 6 of us girls all lived together in a dorm called "the suites". We loved it for so many reasons. We each had our tiny, little room and could hang out in our decent sized common room. But we LOVED it because we got to belong to an "eating club". Yes, it is just as it sounds. During the first week of school you would go around to the 4 different clubs connected to the suites and decide which style of food or vibe you liked better. I forget the one we decided on but I loved their cereal selection. It was at this point when I began to mix my cereals. I would mix 3 or 4 cereals in one bowl and create a masterpiece.

Hmmm...I am starting to sound very obsessed wasn't that bad. I just really liked the idea of mixing and I could never, for the life of me, figure out why it took me so long to do it. I was raised to put one type of cereal in my bowl in the morning. Putting 2 kinds in one bowl would have been kind of nuts. But the eating club changed all that forever.

Since college, I always mix my cereal. Always. For instance, if I am staying at a Hampton Suites and they have a buffet breakfast in the morning, I will take 2 or 3 different boxes of cereal and dump them in the same bowl. Crazy, huh?! You can't stop me. At home I go from the Cherrios and Quaker Oat Squares mixture to the Craklin Oat Bran and Grape-nuts mixture. But enough about the mixtures, let's get back to cereal as a great snack.

Cereal is not just for breakfast anymore. My kids often snack on cereal and I am totally fine with that. My daughter and I often have a cup of cereal before we go to bed. I love this as a healthy option to fuel yourself for a good night sleep. I am usually hungry before bed and this really helps me. It is such a better option than some ice cream and cookies(although I do that sometimes as well)

As parents, we need to have good snacks in the house. If you have the healthier snacks available and ready to go, kids are more likely to choose them. I know cereal is a sit down at the table snack but it is very easy to prepare. Make sure that your cereal choices are healthy and not sugary and you are ready to go. I don't think you can have too many boxes. We are consistently stocked at about 10 boxes.

No matter when, cereal is your belly's friend. Happy eating!

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