Frequently Asked Questions about Cereal
MN WIC Program
What nutrients does cereal provide?
WIC-approved cereals are low in sugar and have a lot of nutrients (like vitamins and minerals) both naturally and added to them. WIC-approved cereals must have iron.
- Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood to every part of your body; this helps you to have energy. Iron also helps protect you from infections.
NOTE: When your blood is low in iron (iron-deficiency anemia), you may feel tired and weak, catch colds and get sick more easily. Children may also have trouble growing and learning.
- Folic Acid helps to decrease spinal birth defects during the first months of pregnancy. It has also been shown to lower your risk of heart disease.
Which cereals are better choices for women to eat?
While all WIC-approved cereals are healthy choices, women have a special need for folic acid during their childbearing years. The WIC-approved cereals that have 100% of your daily need for folic acid are:
- Life (plain)
- Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice
- Malt-O-Meal Frosted Mini Spooners (plain and strawberry cream)
- Malt-O-Meal hot cereals (original and chocolate)
- Multi-Grain Cheerios
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares
- Special K (plain)
- Whole Grain Total (plain)
What if you don't like breakfast?
NOTE: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need to give your body and brain a little wake-up call and breakfast is a great way to do this!
If you don't like breakfast foods, you may want to try a less traditional breakfast. Sandwiches, leftover pizza or tortillas with cheese and salsa are all good choices.
If you don't feel like eating in the morning, sometimes it's easier to drink something for breakfast like a big glass of milk or a smoothie.
If you are always too rushed in the morning and don't have time for breakfast, try to keep easy-to-go foods stocked and readily available. Yogurt, fresh fruit, raisins, dry cereal, string cheese, bagels or crackers are foods that are easy to pack up and take with you.