It’s Cereal Business

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s, sugary cereals were growing in popularity. I blame Captain Kangaroo. As I recall, he was sponsored by Kellogg’s. Tony the Tiger haunted my childhood. He’s grrrrrreat!

We didn’t eat a ton of cereal as a kid. It wasn’t that Mom particularly worried about sugar intake the same way young parents do nowadays. We weren’t gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant or any of the intolerances prevalent in today’s world. We just were more likely to eat smoky links than Sugar Smacks, because we also weren’t processed-meat intolerant.

The two cereals you would find in our pantry were Rice Krispies and Frosted Flakes. Tony got to us after all. I preferred the Rice Krispies with bananas. When I would eat Rice Krispies, I would put so much sugar on them that there was a layer of sugary goodness at the bottom of my bowl. It was the best part. As far as I’m concerned, the leftover milk is still the best part.

As an aside, my grands are a divided nation when it comes to the leftover cereal milk. Some like it and some throw it down the sink. As for me, I’m Team Slurp-the-Sugary-Milk all the way. Especially if it’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

I recently came across a BuzzFeed article that ranked 27 cereals by taste. I won’t link to the article because, well, BUZZFEED. Since my grands read my blog, the language wouldn’t be prudent. But I will tell you that number 27 — therefore the least tasty cereal according to BuzzFeed — was Grapenuts. According to this Nana, I couldn’t agree more. Eating Grapenuts is like eating dog food. Wheaties was next worse. Personally, I’ve never tasted the Breakfast of Champions. Raisin Bran was number 25, and I disagree with that. I actually like Raisin Bran, or did when I was not on a low-fiber diet and could eat bran. However, if my choice was between Raisin Bran and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it would be hell-to-the-no on the Raisin Bran. I’m not crazy, after all.

You might have picked up by now that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is my favorite cereal. It’s also my favorite cereal milk. Next in line in both categories is Apple Jacks, a cereal that didn’t make the cut at all by BuzzFeed.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch was number 4 in the BuzzFeed author’s opinion. Beating out my favorite cereal were a couple of dark horses: Reese’s Puffs at 3, and a surprising Life as second runner up. And as to BuzzFeed’s favorite sugary cereal, number 1 was Fruity Pebbles. Wow. Fred Flintstone must have bribed them to claim that as their choice for the best cereal on the grocery stores’ shelves.

In this tell-all blog post, since I admitted that Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favorite cereal treat, I will also tell you that my sister Bec’s secret cereal choice is Frosted Flakes. Like Tony, she thinks they’re grrrrrreat. Another fun fact is that when her grands come over, they are terrified that their only choice will be Frosted Flakes. For them, Froot Loops is the winner by far. In fact, before committing to a sleepover at their nana’s house, they make sure she has been to the grocery store and has an ample supply of Froot Loops to meet their needs.

The other day, my great-niece Lilly told me she and her Grammie (my sister Jen is in town for a visit) were going to the grocery store to buy Lucky Charms. She was quite excited, because sugar cereals are not a part of her typical breakfast. I told her a true story about the time Cole got ahold of the box of Lucky Charms while Mom and Dad were still in bed. His goal: easy access to picking out the marshmallow “charms.”…..

She thoughtfully considered the photo, and then gave her assessment: He shouldn’t have dumped the cereal on the steps; he should have dumped it on the kitchen table. It would be easier to get the marshmallows.

There are cereal rules when it comes to 4- and 5-year-olds.


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