Stop selling dessert for breakfast!

Oreo cookies on a school lunch tray

Most parents wouldn’t serve their kids ice cream, or candy for breakfast. So why do some popular kids’ breakfast items contain more added sugar than you’d find in a dessert?

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts, cereals like Lucky Charms and Marshmallow Mateys, and breakfast cookies like Rich’s UBR are just a few examples of sugary “breakfast food” that have as much added sugars as desserts. Even more alarming, these products end up in our schools, served to children through the school breakfast program—a program which is supposed to provide essential nutrition to fuel kids as they start out their day.

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Dessert for breakfast

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommend that no more than 10 percent of daily calories should come from added sugars. Children on average consume 170 percent of the recommended limit of added sugars. Excessive intake among children is associated with weight gain, dental decay, and an increase in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

A recent report by CSPI analyzed the nutritional quality of school food products. CSPI investigated whether school food products could meet an added sugar limit consistent with the DGA recommendations. The good news? Many K-12 products could fit within a science-based limit. But, unfortunately, many popular breakfast offerings don’t. Companies must do more to reduce added sugars, and support parents and school foodservice providers trying to do right by their kids.

More about school meals