Mom’s Best Toasted Cinnamon Squares – A good breakfast choice?

We got this request from Jennifer, a Facebook friend of Fooducate: “Can you guys do a breakdown of the brand…Mom’s Best Naturals – specifically the Toasted Cinnamon Squares. I am hoping to find a better choice for my kids and I who love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Thanks!!”

Sure thing Jennifer.

Here’s what the manufacturer boasts:

Made with whole grain wheat and rice for a delicious breakfast cereal.

Breakfast cereal is all we make. We use only the highest quality ingredients. There’s nothing artificial, no added saturated fat or hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup.

  • 10g of whole grain per serving
  • Made with whole grain wheat
  • Naturally cholesterol free
  • 0g trans fat per serving

Here’s what we say…

What you need to know:

Here is the ingredient list:

Whole grain wheat, evaporated milled sugar, rice flour, sunflower oil, fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, salt, tricalcium phosphate, cinnamon, soy lecithin, trisodium phosphate, annatto (for color), caramel color, natural flavor, nonfat milk.

Note that the rice is NOT whole grain, but reading “whole grain wheat and rice” one could be confused to think both are whole grain. Tricky…

So is the claim “Naturally cholesterol free”. Of course it is. Cholesterol comes from animal sources. You wouldn’t expect a Coke to state that it’s naturally cholesterol free, would you?

Lots of sugar varieties here , and they add up to 10 grams per serving (2 and a half teaspoons). That’s too much. Unfortunately, other brands are also as sweet or more. For example, Barabra’s Bakery Shredded Oats Cinnamon Crunch Cereal has 15 grams of sugar (very high). General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch has 10 grams of sugar.

Fiber is low at 1 gram, which is also a disappointment for a product boasting “10g of whole grain per serving”.

The sodium, 140mg, is medium at 6% of the daily value. You should try for less than 100mg of sodium per serving in breakfast cereals.

A serving is 130 calories which is reasonable for cereals.

Bottom line: You’re getting more sugar than cinnamon here. Not a great choice. But not as bad as kids cereals colored with fake dyes.

A few quick words about cinnamon, which in and of itself tastes great and is healthy too. A highly fragrant spice, cinnamon has been around since biblical times and was used even by Moses. The inner bark of a small evergreen tree, cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka, where 90% of the world’s supply comes from today. It’s used in many processed foods but can also be purchased in stick or powder form at most grocery stores.

Studies conducted by the USDA have shown that cinnamon may help  better regulate blood-sugar levels.This could be a boon to diabetics. In tests, half a teaspoon a day lowered blood-sugar levels in patients with Type II diabetes and reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Cinnamon may also inhibit cancer cells, is anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial. It also tastes darn good sprinkled in a cup of hot coffee or tea.

What to do at the supermarket:

We haven’t found a really healthy cinnamon cereal (low sugar, high fiber). But you can make your own – choose a low sugar cereal and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

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  • Big Ass Food Corp

    May, might, could, but who funds the study? Oh right. The USDA. The USDA whose board nominations are price checked at Cargill headquarters.

    If you must choose cereal, this is a fantastic option among the choices available to you.

    My peers follow simple rules. If you won’t buy it, we won’t produce it. Hemi ought to know that standard as a high tech exec. Then again, high tech produces a ton of completely useless crap you don’t need either, buy, hey, gotta pay the bills.

    Better advice is to demand product that you actually want. Low sugar is a good start. You can always sweeten the product yourself. Are you buying sugar infused roasted coffee beans? How come few of my peers produce these?

    You control me. It’s not the other way around.

  • Zorbs

    Kashi Cinnamon Harvest is whole grain and relatively low in sugar.

  • http://www.betterschoolfood.org Dr. Susan Rubin

    I’m not convinced that puffed or extruded breakfast cereals are a healthy option.
    http://editor.nourishedmagazine.com.au/articles/puffed-grains-should-we-eat-them
    How about thinking outside the box? Why not make your own muesli instead? This way you get truckloads of fiber and all the cinnamon you could ever want! My making muesli yourself, you control the quality of the ingredients AND you save money big time.

  • http://www.theomep.com Wet Wolf

    Refined , Processed foods ideal? Never.

    Stick with quinoa, oats or steel cut oats.

  • http://breadwinesalt.blogspot.com/ JeCaThRe

    What about making cinnamon toast with whole grain bread? More fiber and you control the sugar.

  • http://foodtrainers.blogspot.com Lauren Slayton

    I’m normally one to toss a product way before others are.Howver, I do think this is a better, kids, option. The ingredients are better, the sugar isn’t insanely high and when your kids say their friends eat cinnamon toast crunch, this isn’t horrible. My kids like cinnamin puffins. They also eat oats and quinoa but if the cereal mentioned above was a 1/week item it wouldn’t bother me.