Kix is a kid’s cereal that’s been around for over 70 years. It recently went through what marketing professionals call a “brand refresh”. See the new package image above.
The package promises “Kid Tested, Mother Approved”. So we had two fooducate community members receive a sample box to try with their kids (and get their approval), while we went over the nutrition information.
Here’s what Laura, a mom with 4 kids wrote: First, I measured the recommended 1 1/4-cup serving of Kix cereal with 1/2-cup milk. Then I let my four kids, between ages 5 and 12, run with it. Being an entirely new experience for them, these are a few of the things they said while eating:
“Well, it’s really sweet.”
“It tastes like corn.”
“It’s pretty basic, and I like that.”
“It tastes really sweet at first and then just like corn.”
“I don’t really like corn.”
“I could eat this everyday.”
Overall, during the experience itself, my kids and I were satisfied. The cereal was fun to eat, lightly crunchy–not one to tear the roof of one’s mouth apart–and rather sweet. However, the serving size was quickly consumed, leaving four children looking around at each other and then inside the cupboards and refrigerator. Just barely over one cup of the sweetly puffed cereal left my athletic and active kids still rather hungry. So, I passed out a tangerine and planned for a heartier late-morning snack.
My own experience mirrors the kids’. It was light, crunchy, rather sweet, and puffed corn for breakfast; fun to eat, but wholly unsatisfying by the end. But, this comes from a family that eats oatmeal, pancakes, eggs and such for breakfasts. For us, cereal is a once-in-a-while treat, so, although I liked the low-sugar levels of this brand, I would prefer more substance, more fiber perhaps. Or, maybe we’ll just add some fruit and sausages on the side, if we ever choose to eat Kix again.
Here’s what Jessica wrote: I checked the label first thing, and the sugar content wasn’t bad, however, the sodium was really too high for my liking. This alone would keep me from purchasing this product. I do not like a breakfast cereal to have more sodium per serving than potato chips. It bothers me.
Aside from the sodium being high, we thought this would make a good occasional “busy snack”. As in, something small, non messy, and easily portable that our child can snack on while we’re on the go. It tasted good, and our toddler very much enjoyed a handful here and there. Being only 3 yrs old, he’s not much into cold cereal with milk yet.
I tried it as a breakfast for a few days, and honestly, I was left starving an hour later. At which point I resorted to a whole fruit to keep me feeling full until lunch. It really isn’t a very substantial breakfast, certainly not something I want my child to rely on for his morning meal.
I think the remainder of the box will be added to our homemade sugar free yogurt with fruit… sort of a kix parfait.
What you need to know:
A serving size is over one cup in size, but from a weight perspective is only 1 ounce. Such is the voluminous nature of puffed corn products. There are only 110 calories per serving. But as you can see from the reviews, a single serving is not enough. If you start consuming twice or 3 times the serving size, the calories will add up.
Each comes with 3 grams of fiber (good) and just 3 grams of sugar (very good for a kid cereal). The sodium count is high though – 180 mg or 8% of the daily value.
This is the ingredient list:
Whole Grain Corn, Corn Meal, Sugar, Corn Bran, Salt, Brown Sugar Syrup, Trisodium Phosphate. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Iron and Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.
You can see that whole grain corn is used, but not exclusively – corn meal is also used. The ingredients are easy to understand, up until the trisodium phosphate. This is a chemical used as food additive and also as a stain remover when painting. The rest of the ingredients are fortifications of vitamins and minerals.
Bottom line: Of sweetened kids cereals, Kix seems to be one of the better options. If only it were more filling.
PS: If you’ll take a look at the box again, you’ll see a marketing claim that we shrug off “Made with all natural corn”. What does that mean? Corn is natural isn’t it?
What to do at the supermarket:
When buying cereal, look for a sugar count lower than 6 grams AND a fiber count higher than 3 grams. Avoid artificial colorings and partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fat).