Advocacy groups says that children’s breakfasts are unhealthy

Research conducted by Dr Rosemary Stanton and advocacy group Parents’ Voice has found that children are starting the day with breakfast products that contain too much salt or sugar.

Dr Stanton looked at a range of products in drinks, biscuits and cereals categories. The two breakfast drinks examined in the study were Sanitarium Up & Go and My Yummy Lunchbox Breakfast Shake. The drinks promote themselves as nutritious, but are dominated by added sugars and contain no vitamins or minerals.

The breakfast biscuits tested – Red Traktor Brekky Bikks, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bars and My Yummy Lunchbox Breakfast Biscuits – were judged by Dr Stanton as “basically biscuits and not a satisfactory choice as a child’s breakfast. They are certainly not an appropriate substitute for a bowl of healthy cereal with milk and fruit”.

Marketing claims also needed to be checked on breakfast cereals, according to Dr Stanton. Testing was conducted on Kellogg’s Rice Bubbles, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain and Sanitarium Weet-Bix for Kids.

“Although preferable to the breakfast biscuit option because they are mostly consumed with milk, two of the cereals contained high amounts of sugar and were poor sources of dietary fibre,” she said. “At least Sanitarium Weet-Bix for Kids scored highly.”

Parents’ Voice Campaign Manager Alice Pryor said: “While tools such as Health Star Ratings can be useful, parents need to get into the habit of checking individual labels and aim for breakfast with less sugar and salt and more dietary fibre. A healthy cereal served with milk, or for those times when you are in a great hurry, a piece fruit and glass of milk would be a better option than products that are little better than biscuits or sugary drinks.”

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