only sugar has more sugar.

After the 100+ comments prompted by my little “Pat Robertson is a tool” post a few days ago, I’m moving 0n to stir even greater controversy and religious fervor.

Today, let’s talk about cereal.

Here at Castle Frostbite, we have various tastes when it comes to cereal.  The lord of the manor likes plain Corn Flakes, while the lady of the house prefers Cheerios.  (Her guilty pleasure is an occasional bowl of Lucky Charms.)  The younglings, being kids, like anything that’s sweet, but we try to not feed them Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, so they get Cheerios, Corn Flakes with bananas, and every once in a while some Lucky Charms or Froot Loops. 

Today, I picked up a box of the new Chocolate Cheerios, and I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised.  They’re not coated with chocolate, just flavored with cocoa, and the chocolate flavor is pretty subtle.  The nutritional numbers are the same as for Honey Nut Cheerios, which on the whole tend more toward the “wholesome” end of the cereal spectrum, not the “sugar apocalypse/candy-in-a-bowl” end.  I’ll have to do some more extensive taste-testing, but so far it looks good, and the new variety may just become a permanent addition to the Castle Frostbite cereal line-up.  Robin doesn’t like chocolate-flavored stuff in general, so those will probably remain Daddy’s stash, unless the kids develop a taste for them, and how likely is that?

While I was browsing the cereals, however, I was once again amazed at the number of cereals that are basically just a bunch of colored sugar with no pretensions of nutritional value.  I mean, Cookie Crisp?  Really?  A bowl of chocolate chip cookies for breakfast?  You want a few spoonfuls of sugar on top of that, too?  There’s no way in hell I’d fill my kids’ bowls with that stuff first thing in the morning.  I mean, yeah, Lucky Charms have the marshmallow bits, which are nothing but colored sugar, but at least there are the oat bits, too, as a nutritional alibi, and I use those sparingly.  (I also cease serving them to the kids for a while once they focus on picking out just the marshmallow bits.)  But Cookie Crisp?  What the hell?  That’s just like throwing two packs of Chips Ahoy into the playroom in the morning.  What’s next, Little Breakfast Snickers Bars?


40 thoughts on “only sugar has more sugar.

  1. perlhaqr says:

    I’m a Guiness for breakfast kinda guy myself. 🙂

  2. crankylitprof says:

    Honestly, we mix cheerios in with the Lucky Charms, to cut the marshmallow-to-oat ratio. No one has noticed.

  3. Lokidude says:

    Me, I’ve always preferred Chex and Cap’n Crunch, with Crunchberries as a guilty pleasure.

  4. MarkHB says:

    Capn’ Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch. Preferably at two in the morning when I’m flagging and a deadline is looming. It’s the finest of all cereals – crunchy, delicious, and with just the slight tang of salt in the peanutty stuff.

    It’s seven quid (nearly 15 dollars) for a 350 gram box of that crack-in-a-bowl and I tell you, I’m tempted. I realise it’s irrational. I realise it’s insane – but it’s just so damn nice!

    • ravenshrike says:

      At 15 bucks you’d almost be better off ordering Family Size boxes from America. Even with shipping, that’d have to be less.

  5. Liz Ditz says:

    Growing up, we had a rotation of oatmeal / cream of wheat / Cheerios / cornflakes. I clearly recall adding giant dollops of either white or brown sugar to every item on the rota…

    Unless Dad was on breakfast duty. Onion soup, slices of steak, and garlic French bread!

    One year I gave my stepsons a case of Count Chocula as an advent gift. They stalled out about half-way through, so the remaining boxes went to school for the after-school-snack closet.

    The Count Chocula episode illustrates a general rule of thumb in my parenting — keep the boundaries pretty tight most of the time, but every once in a while, kick out the jambs. Kind of like Saturnalia, only not so predictable as to time & duration. Like Barbarian Dinners (before table manners were invented) or Rude Dinners (feel free to abandon both table manners AND polite discourse).

  6. Jeffro says:

    “I’ll have to do some more extensive taste-testing”

    Oh, the sacrifices you make for the blog!

  7. maddmedic says:

    Malt o Meal


    • Eric says:

      My mother made me eat “Malty Mo” as I called it. Something about wanting me to have a hot breakfast…

  8. Al Terego says:

    Here’s an odd tidbit (heh): according to my mid-twenties son, there’s a whole cult thing about Berry Berry Kix.

    Apparently they are no longer widely distributed, and tracking down stores that carry them (many Target stores do) is kind of a treasure-hunt thing; there’s even an online support group among those of a certain age group (like my son) who have some kind of childhood flashback affinity for the stuff…wtf?

    While all of that is kind of weird, at least the stuff is comparatively innocuous in the world of sugar puffs…it’s whole grain with only natural flavoring and pretty low in sugar and calories. with the whole nutritional scorecard right on the front of the box. I know this because I just checked, and there are three boxes in his cupboard thanks to a recent stop at the nearest Target which is about an hour away.

    Man, it’s odd what takes on iconic status for different generations. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to my Cracker Jacks.


  9. mac says:

    I haven’t read the boxes in forever, but I used to eat cereal every morning. No matter which cereal I ate: cheerios, rice crispies, frosted flakes, corn puffs, super sugar crisp (yes, I remember when THAT was the name), they all had the same number of calories per serving. The serving size was the same 1/2 a cup (or was it a cup?) of cereal. Each serving, 110 Calories.

    What difference does it make that the cereal has sugar or is mostly grain? At that level of refinement, the substance will be burned as sugar in no time by our bodies. And I always used to add sugar to the more wholesome types, like Cheerios.

  10. Why, when I was a young ‘un, we cracked open the nettles that grew in the yard & ate them. Put water on ’em to soften ’em up a bit, & we LIKED IT.

    Well, no, actually… we were mostly Wheat Chex & Shredded Wheat folks. I still like the little shredded wheat square cereal stuff.

  11. wolfwalker says:

    Something else interesting about all those cereals which are basically colored sugar: they’re all old brands. Cookie Crisp, Trix, Crunchberries, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops — I remember seeing ads for all of them when I was a kid, which was more than a handful of years ago.

    Where are all the _new_ kids-breakfast-cereal brands?

    • perlhaqr says:

      There aren’t any, because the FDA ruled out things like “Sooper Frooty Crack” and “Hyper Meth Flakes”.

  12. Gerry N. says:

    When I was a sprog, we almost never had the boxed cold cereals. Mostly I went to school fueled with bacon, or ham and eggs, fried potatoes or grits, and/or toasted homemade bread. Sometimes if time was tight it would be oatmeal, fried eggs and bacon or ham. Always a hot breakfast. Friday morning was waffles or pancakes, again with eggs and bacon or ham. I still do it that way. A hot breakfast only takes fifteen minutes.

    Cold cereal, any cold cereal, sucks.

    Gerry N.

    • BobG says:

      Had a lot of rice and hot cereal for breakfast when I was a kid; I haven’t cared for cold cereal since I was about ten. These days the closest to it is when I have a bowl of grits for breakfast, or bacon and an egg in a tortilla.

  13. Robert says:

    I don’t eat much cereal any more, but when I do it’s either Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios. I was raised by my grandfather and he was big on cooking a hot breakfast every morning…I think he was trying to compensate for not being sober enough to do much for the other two meals of the day. Good guy all in all, but liked the sauce a bit much. Made a great southern breakfast though, and I’ve tended to follow in his foot steps (as far as breakfast goes!) when I have the time.

  14. ASM826 says:

    “Little Breakfast Snickers Bars”

    Laughed right out loud, I did.

    I can see the box with a ribbon that says, “NOW FORTIFIED WITH EXTRA CAFFEINE!!”

  15. Shrimp says:

    Wait…Wait…hold on one second!

    “Robin doesn’t like chocolate-flavored stuff in general…”

    Am I understanding this correctly, that your wife doesn’t like chocolate, or just doesn’t like things that are chocolate-flavored?

    I only ask because I have never, ever met a woman anywhere that doesn’t like chocolate–so I’m just a bit confused.

    Carry on.

    • mrmacs says:

      FYI, not all women are choco-holics. My wife will handle an occasional chocolate-covered strawberry or piece of cake, but rarely. Something to do with her childhood involving daily doses of ex-lax, or cod liver oil with a chocolate chaser.
      Should I mention that my wife had a strange, superstitious mother?

      Me, I was allergic to milk as a child, and still lactose-intolerant. So it was Cheerios in water for my breakfast. Still love Cheerios. Dry. By the handful.

  16. Al T. says:

    When I was a kid 40 years ago, Quisp and Quake were our favorites. They made Captain Crunch look like health food. They were great! 🙂

  17. Steve says:

    General Mills, Post, and Kellogg all jumped on the health bandwagon back in the 80’s. Sugar Crisp was renamed to Super Honey sumthin, Sugar Pops became something not sugar corn pops. No recipe change, just the names. They’re all about as clever as Barryo, too cute by half as the old yankees say.

    I’m a corn flakes guy myself, they also make a great coating for french toast and chicken fingers. Cap’n Crunch is a every couple of years treat.

  18. Jay G. says:

    You kidding? Every morning I give my kids two bowls of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. Put three heaping tablespoons of sugar on each bowl. Some days I add chocolate milk just because. Serve with an energy drink on the side, then put ’em on the bus to be the school’s problem for the day.

    My goal is 100% alcoholism at the local school district. So far, we’ve got an impressive percentage.

    You want to work half-time? Dammit, my demon spawn are going to make that feel like DOUBLETIME….

    (I am, of course, kidding. They get a triple espresso mocha on the side)

  19. Phillip C says:

    I just have one question: What is this ‘breakfast’ thing you’re talking about?

    • MarkHB says:

      It’s what you do at 2am to stave off your body shutting down while you’re chasing deadlines 😉

      • Phillip C says:

        Now that, I’m familiar with. Usually it’s whatever is in the vending machine if I’m onsite at a client’s, or rummaging through the fridge if I’m working at home. Very seldom is it cereal, though.

    • Sendarius says:

      Phillip, I used to be of the same notion, then I started to make a little extra effort, and climb out of bed a few minutes earlier to allow time to eat breakfast – it was part of an “I’m getting old(er) and fat(ter)” thing.

      Lo and behold, I ate more AND I lost weight.


      • Phillip C says:

        Oh, I have no problem with being up earlier, I just tend not to be hungry until at or after lunchtime if I wake up between 5 & 7.

  20. TimP says:

    Cheerios are cereal? Here in Australia cheerios are cocktail sausages:

    Suddenly some things I’ve been reading make a lot more sense. 🙂

    As for cereal, I normally eat muesli. At present we have two different boxes of muesli, one box each of wheat puffs and shredded wheat, and a box of mini-wheats with black-currant, which is basically small pieces of shredded wheat around fruit paste.

    The sugared cereals are still pretty common here in Australia as well though.

  21. Vaarok says:

    I’d have toast when I woke up, but I ate icecream for breakfast pretty regularly during the wintertime working on the farm. Fat, sugar, calcium, just what I needed after three hours of work in the freezing cold before a break for breakfast.

  22. Skip says:

    Whats wrong with last nights spagetti?

  23. Anonymouse says:

    Leftover cold pepperoni pizza and a Dr. Pepper…mmm.

  24. The Other Jay says:

    The entire sub-generation of us born ’58-’68 were the test-subjects in some real pushing-the-envelope sugar saturation in the mornings.

    We had the mortal battle of “Quisp” v. “Quake”, with Cocoa Puffs thrown in on the side. All of the above were sugar-puff cereal the consistency of which only survives today in Cheese Puffs.

    All of this category of cereal had to be wolfed down in the first minute after the addition of milk, or it would dissolve completely.

    This – of course – would lead to truly excellent attention spans for our lessons during school mornings, with a good deal of lunch trading for anything frosted at lunch.

    These cereals in our youth are also – IMHO – the reason that cocaine became a $100B+ industry right about the same time we all hit our twenties and had some disposable income.

    • Cargosquid says:

      Milk? Why would you want to turn all that wonderful stuff to mush? I ate that stuff, along with Fffffrrrrroostted FLAKES! right out of the box, parked in front of Saturday morning cartoons. That was the only time I was awake before my mom…..

  25. Dixie says:

    Err, cereal for breakfast? *Cold* cereal for breakfast? No thanks, cereal’s a snack for me. Bowl of Kix or Cheerios with some warm milk before bed.

  26. DJ says:

    Chocolate is not just for breakfast anymore.

  27. Will says:

    Yeah, as a kid, I used to like to add a little cereal to my bowl of sugar milk!

    Target has the best prices for cereal. Better than even MalWart. There own brand “Archer Farms” has some good cereal. It’s in a hard box with a plastic flip top. Generally, if they carry it (food) you won’t find it cheaper elsewhere.
    Good price on the acidophilus milk Lactaid. Beats the supermarkets by more that a buck a carton.

    With the granola cereals, you can nuke it after adding milk, but don’t wait too long to eat. Quicker than making hot oatmeal.

  28. Mikee says:

    When I was a young graduate student at Texas A&M, my long-distance girlfriend would send me boxes of chocolate chip cookies, made with her own loving hands. They were packed with her own loving hands, too, which meant they arrived in bite sized pieces rather than as whole cookies.

    A&M, as an ag school, has on campus a store where one can buy products of the ag school – everything from delicious steaks to fresh, whole (really whole) milk. Their whole milk makes half and half look like skim.

    The combination of the broken cookies and that milk remains the best breakfast food I have ever had, lo these many decades since.

    And to think I missed out on a marketing idea that has now succeeded among American cereals! Drat!

Comments are closed.