Cereal rights. How big is your bowl?

But it’s healthy.

That’s what I always hear when I recommend to a client that they eat less cereal. Many of us overdo cereal. Either our portions are quite large or we are having it too often, to the exclusion of other healthy foods.

Cereal bowls have gotten larger, which trick us into having larger serving sizes. A serving of cereal is 1 ounce by weight, uncooked. It is about a large handful of flaked cereal. Check out my cereal bowl (below) and how 1 ounce appears to be quite small. But when I add raspberries and milk it looks more abundant.

Watch out for dense cereals like Grape Nuts. I have had many clients who discovered that their normal serving size of 1 1/2 cups was actually 6 servings, the equivalent of having 6 slices of bread. And 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal is a serving; most packets are 2 servings. Restaurant servings may be 6 to 8 servings. It is so easy to overdo. And, most of us are just not active enough to burn off all those extra calories.

How many times have you had cereal for a quick, late dinner? Now, that isn’t a terrible thing to do once in a while. However, if it’s your habit, you might be missing out on vegetables and protein-rich foods that you would normally have at a dinner meal. Don’t let cereal crowd out the variety of foods that you need in your diet.

To keep cereal being a healthy part of your DASH diet, watch the size and eat a variety of foods each day.




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