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How to build a better breakfast: Part 2, SUGAR

My favorite breakfast as child was deep pocketed Belgian waffles. I loved to fill every square to the top with maple syrup and watch it soak into the bread.

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Then I'd top the entire thing with whipped cream.


As an adult, I still love a syrup soaked waffle covered in whipped cream.

But I save that type of waffle for special occasions.


Eating too much sugar makes me feel yucky, especially at breakfast when the rush of sugar can give me a headache.

I also know that eating too much sugar causes heart disease, cancer and diabetes, so I try to limit how much sugar I eat every day.

Don't get me wrong, I still love sweet treats.

But I treat them as just that: treats. Not something I eat every day for breakfast.

The American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend limiting ADDED sugar to 25 grams/day for kids.

Added sugars are listed on food labels as "added sugars." Natural sugars in milk and fruit are not "added sugars" and don't count toward the 25 grams. Don't limit the amount of fresh fruit your child eats!

It's important to pay attention to how much added sugar you have at breakfast so you can balance it out the rest of the day.

So if you really love to eat a syrup soaked waffle for breakfast, you should probably avoid packing dessert in your lunch too.

Here's a list of the added sugar content of common breakfast foods.

Remember, the limit is 25 grams per day

2 Pop Tarts = 30 grams sugar

1 Blueberry muffin = 25 grams sugar

1 packet hot coco = 23 grams sugar

2 Tablespoons maple syrup = 22 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon Nutella = 19 grams sugar

1 cup chocolate milk = 16 grams sugar

1 glazed donut = 15 grams sugar

1 container strawberry yogurt (6oz) = 13 grams sugar

1 cup Lucky Charms = 12 grams sugar

1 cup Honey Nut Cherrios = 12 grams sugar

1 cup Frosted Flakes = 12 grams sugar

1 capri sun juice pouch = 12 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon grape jelly = 12 grams sugar

1 packet sweetened applesauce = 9 grams sugar

1 cup honey bunches of oats = 9 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon strawberry jam = 9 grams sugar

rice chex, rice crispies, corn flakes = 2 grams sugar

1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter = 2 grams sugar

Plain Cherrios = 1 gram sugar

Eggs, plain milk, plain oatmeal, plain yogurt, fruit = 0 grams added sugar!

My childhood waffle probably had at least 1/4 syrup, which equates to 60 grams of added sugar!

Remember, the limit is 25 grams per day.

See how easy it is to go overboard with sugar at breakfast?

I really hate counting calories or sugar grams, but I do think it's important to be aware of what you are eating.

I still buy syrup and jam, but I almost never buy pop tarts, boxed cereal, or chocolate milk.

They are just too concentrated with sugar, so we save them for special treats.

So if we don't we cold cereal for breakfast, what do we eat?

Here are my top 4 family breakfasts:

#1 Peanut Butter Oatmeal

2 grams added sugar from the peanut butter

2 minutes to make in the microwave

#2 Green Smoothie

2g added sugar from the peanut butter

3 minutes to make in a blender

#3 Raspberry Smoothie

0 grams added sugar

2 minutes in a blender

#4 Scrambled Eggs

0 grams added sugar

5 minutes in a frying pan

Want more healthy breakfast ideas?

Join me for a virtual healthy breakfast cooking class next Tuesday March 26th @ 5:30. Send me an email ( if you want to join and I'll send you the shopping list.

Thanks for reading, I'll be back next week to talk about more healthy breakfast ideas!

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