Mr. T, CP3-Os and Urkel Os were cereals once marketed to kids (in case they craved angry, extraterrestrial, nerdy foods). Today, celebrity tie-ins include U.S. World Cup team member Omar Gonzalez for Fruity Pebbles. Really?
At least you know what Gonzales seems oblivious to: No matter how much you get paid for endorsing sugar-soaked, artificially colored, refined-grain cereals, they're still terrible for kids.
But do you know that even seemingly healthful cereals can pose a risk to children if they're fortified with adult-size portions of vitamins and minerals?
The Environmental Working Group looked at 1,556 cereals and found that some contain more vitamin A, niacin, and zinc than the Institute of Medicine says is safe for children. And many kids eat more than one serving of cereal daily, plus other fortified foods, and still others take a multivitamin.
The EWG also says among kids 2-8 years old who don't take a multivitamin, 13 percent still exceed daily tolerable limits of vitamin A; 45 percent exceed recommendations for zinc; and 8 percent exceed that for niacin (from eating other fortified foods).
Among children who do take a multi, the numbers jump to an excess of 72 percent for A, up to 84 percent for zinc, and 28 percent for niacin! That can raise the risk of liver damage (from vitamin A), immune system dysfunction (from zinc), and rashes and vomiting (from niacin).
So buy cereals that include info on nutrient content levels for kids, or stick with ones that dish up 25 percent or less of an adult's RDA of each nutrient.
© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
© King Features Syndicate