Today is National Cereal Day. To be honest, I didn’t know there was such a thing, but it doesn’t surprise me. There are all kinds of “National Days” that you can keep track of at: www.nationaldaycalendar.com .
Now that I am an adult, I tend to eat cereals that are “good for you”. In other words, the cereals that kids will rarely eat because there isn’t enough sugar. I guess that isn’t exactly true, because some of the cereals I eat have some sweetness to them – Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Mini-Wheats, and Life are good examples. I always referred to cereals like Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Cheerios, Rice Chex, and Raisin Bran as “adult cereals” because if you were going to eat them – you almost always had to add sugar. Cracklin’ Oat Bran has some sweetness to it, but it is also a “bran” cereal, so that puts it on the “adult cereal” list for me.
The worst “adult” cereal I ever tried was recommended by my doctor. I was doing Weight Watchers and I needed to up my Fiber intake. He suggested Fiber One. If there is a cereal that is worse than that, I’d like to know! This stuff was just awful! It tasted like pieces of cardboard and you could put the entire bowl of sugar in it and it wouldn’t help!
Hot cereals also need to be placed on the “adult” cereal list for me. I do love oatmeal – maple and brown sugar is my favorite – but, again it falls in the “healthy” category. I used to hate when mom made Malt-O-Meal. I am not sure why, I just didn’t like it. It fell into the same category as Cream of Wheat. Oh sure, now you can but flavored Cream of Wheat and Malt-O-Meal, but originally, there was one flavor – yuk. The only hot cereal that was kind of ok for us was CoCo Wheats. It sort of tasted like chocolate….and sort of like dirt.
Watching Saturday morning cartoons, there was no shortage of cereal commercials. These ads were designed for kids, despite the disclaimer “a part of this nutritious breakfast.” As a kid I hated going grocery shopping! The only part I loved was going down the cereal aisle. Those Saturday morning ads would replay in your head as you saw each box. We drove my mom and dad crazy in that aisle!
Back in the day, there used to be cool toys in the cereal boxes. The toys were also designed to get you to buy the cereal and collect the toys. Rest assured, if your cereal had a crappy toy (or worse – no toy), it did not have a place in our grocery cart! I collected many cars, spoons that changed color in milk, tops, tattoos, plastic rocket launchers, joke books, flimsy records, whistles and more from those cereals growing up!
Some of the sugar cereals we used to get were Sugar Corn Pops, Honeycomb, Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks and Sugar Crisp (which both eventually had the word “sugar” removed from their name and became Honey Smacks and Goldern Crisp), Cookie Crisp, and Cocoa Puffs. I remember some of the great mascots for these, too! There was a cowboy with a big yellow hat for Sugar Corn Pops, Sonny was the bird who was “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs”, Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes, and Dig’em the Frog and Sugar Bear!
There was no shortage of “fruit” flavored cereals. I loved almost all of them! Trix and Fruit Loops were basically the same cereal in different shapes. The Trix rabbit was always being told that “Trix were for kids.” Fruit Loops had Toucan Sam was the bird who told us to “follow his nose” to find the cereal.
Apple Jacks remain one of my favorite cereals. It was an Apple Cinnamon cereal that was loop-shaped. Originally, the cereal was all orange, but they have since added green loops to it. I don’t know that I would call them mascots, but I do remember the Apple Jacks Kids from commercials. This is one of those cereals I can eat in milk or dry and by the handful!
Staying with the “fruit” theme – I still love a huge bowl of Fruity Pebbles! Their mascot was Fred Flintstone. In the commercials, Barney was always trying to trick Fred out of his cereal (“Barney, my Pebbles!”). Seriously, I could probably eat an entire box in one sitting. I love it!
I remember Alpha-Bits, too! They were shaped like all the letters in the alphabet. You would try to spell words on your spoon as you ate breakfast. I haven’t had them in years, but I bet they still are delicious!
Lucky Charms was basically Alpha-Bits with marshmallows. Lucky the Leprechaun was the mascot and the cereal was “Magically delicious!” Originally, there were only 4 marshmallows – pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. There are like 8 of them now!
Cap’n Crunch was another cereal that was popular. There was the original (which always chewed up the inside of your mouth), Peanut Butter Crunch, and Crunch Berries. Crunch Berries were (and still are) my favorite. The berries were so popular, they even put out a box of “Oops – All Berries” once.
I will always love the “monster” cereals! It seemed like we always had these. I was a fan of Count Chocula (made the milk turn chocolate – like Cocoa Puffs and Cocoa Pebbles), my brother was a big fan of Boo Berry (Blueberry goodness), and I loved FrankenBerry (loved the strawberry taste of this one)! I remember their commercials on Saturday mornings and there was always some cool monster toy in the box. There were two other monster cereals that came and went – one was Fruit Brute (which was cherry flavored and had a werewolf for the mascot) and Fruity Yummy Mummy (generic fruit flavor and a mummy mascot).
Gone but not forgotten
There were some cereals that I remember from my childhood that are no longer around. I wish they were! I can’t remember what these taste like, but I remember them – how about you:
Mt. T Cereal
Grins & Smiles & Giggles & Laughs
Fruit Islands – the guy in the ads always said “A Yumma Yumma!”
Crazy Cow – I LOVED this one!!!
C-3PO’s (cashing in on Star Wars, obviously)
I have always been a big fan of maple syrup. I love waffles too, so when this came out, I had to try it and I remember loving it!
Grab a bowl, your favorite cereal, and some milk and chow down in honor of National Cereal Day! What cereals did I forget to mention? What ones do you remember growing up? What ones do you wish were still being made?