Sugary cereals have been bashed and slammed for contributing to the obesity epidemic... along with sodas and most things from the snack isles. Without missing a beat, processed food companies raced to "healthify" their products. There are now baked chips, vitamin-infused sodas, and of course, natural cereals. While those companies are laughing their way to the bank from increased sales, all these new forms of processed food are really unfortunate conceptions for consumers.
When I first stumbled upon Marshmallow Oaties from Three Sisters Cereal, the green package design excited me. I thought it was going to be an eco-product that also boasts nutritional value. After all, the words "all natural sweetened", "whole grain", and "no phony flavors or colors" on the front sounded rather convincing. The excitement faded fast as I flipped to the nutritional facts on the back.
Comparing labels from Lucky Charms® and Marshmallow Oaties® reveal some astounding facts. The nutrition facts from the 2 products show that the cereals have virtually the same nutrients.
Lucky Charms® costs $1.99 (when on sale) while Organic Marshmallow Oaties® costs about $3.40 (rarely on sale). Their sizes are comparable so the natural version will set me back an extra $1.40. I would be convinced that the Marshmallow Oaties® are worth the money if they did taste better than Lucky Charms®. Unfortunately, they are still overwhelming sweet and the marshmallows have the texture of rehydrated chalk. And sugar by any other name is still sugar. High fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, dextrose, and the list goes on. Marshmallow Oaties® uses evaporated milled sugar but that surely isn't calorie-free.
The only justification to purchase these natural sugary cereal is their green packaging design. If it is for nutritional value, it would be a serious waste of money. What would be a better option? Buy rolled oats in bulk and add fresh fruit and honey to make some wholesome oatmeal.