There are not many healthy breakfast cereals on the market. And even those that are (porridge oats, Weetabix) tend to be owned by big corporate companies and packed in plastic bags. A few brands are toying with paper packaging. But until then, what’s to do?
You could consider making your own breakfast cereals. Below you’ll find a few good recipes. If choosing ready-made breakfast cereals, follow the ‘5 and 5’ rule for health. That is, per 100g on the nutritional panel, look for more than 5g of fibre and less than 5 of sugar (in the carbs section). You’ll find that hardly any commercial cereals qualify, save porridge, Weetabix and Grape nuts (even the other low-sugar ones have little fibre, which is good for health). Food campaigner Michael Pollan says supermarkets put high-profit sugary cereals at eye-level, leaving porridge oats on the bottom shelf. Take a look, he’s right!
The best option is to visit a zero waste shop, if you live near one. These let you take your own containers and just fill up, a bit like the old-fashioned scoop shops. If you don’t live nearby, you can order online (delivered in paper bags).
- Troo makes healthy gut-friendly granolas, made with local ingredients and sold in plastic-free packaging. Again you can compost the film (made from wood pulp), and recycle the cardboard and glass jars. Ideal to help conditions like IBS and constipation, this is one of the few low-sugar granolas on the market.
- Pimhill makes a range of good breakfast cereals sold in paper bags, which you can order online but also find in many independent farm shops. These grains make a proper bowl of porridge, nothing like those microwave sachets sold in supermarkets (which you can’t recycle either, as the inner contains plastic film). Choose from oats, jumbo oats or muesli. Grown in Shropshire.
- Alara is a brand of breakfast cereals from porridge to BIrcher muesli. Sold in cardboard, the inner wrapper looks like plastic, but is actually a film that can be composted at home. Or will naturally break down when put in the bin. The founder started his company back in the 70s, with £2 that he picked up in the street!