Breakfast can be a carb-laden meal in most homes. Toast, cereal, waffles, bagels; basically, a gluten-fest. It’s often easier, healthier, and more affordable to eat naturally gluten-free alternatives- for example, eggs, turkey bacon, yogurt, fruit, or homemade options. Almost always, gluten-foods are made with refined flours, loaded with sugar (a consolation prize for the omission of gluten?), and at least twice as expensive as the original. Check out the unit prices of some gluten-free foods– crackers can cost more than caviar!
That said, sometimes it’s nice to be able to pour a quick bowl of cereal. We enjoy Chex cereal, as well as some nice options made by Nature’s Path, but that’s about it. A few months back, I read that five varieties of Cheerios (regular, Honey Nut, Apple Cinnamon, Multigrain, and Frosted) would soon be gluten-free and hit shelves around July. Oats, the main ingredient in Cheerios, are already gluten-free, but typically contaminated with other grains during transportation and processing. General Mills (who also make Chex) decided to go the extra mile and make sure their oats are safe.
Beginning at the start of July, my little people have been hopefully checking the cereal aisle each time we went to the store. Finally, this week, jackpot! Our local Shoprite had Cheerios with the special “Simply Made Gluten Free” logo on the box. We haven’t seen any of the other varieties yet, but will continue to wait patiently. In the meantime, I was tickled to watch my girls tear into the box with glee, trying Cheerios for the first time in over four years. It may sound silly; it’s just a cereal after all. But when you think about the average cereal aisle with hundreds of varieties, only about six of which are safe for gluten-free families, this is a big deal. Feeling included is an important.
If you’re a family who will now be partaking in this new breakfast option, I encourage you to let General Mills know how happy you are to be included. We couldn’t wait to send in a letter. It’s only through the voices of the food allergy community that companies will know how important this is to us, and how many families out there are happily awaiting the day when each new, healthy, affordable choice becomes available.
Thank you, General Mills!