When I was recovering from my brain surgery, I posted this picture on Instagram to show how I like to add healthy mix-ins like flax and pumpkin seed and rice cereal to my gluten free Chex cereal. I soon received an email from my PR contact, Kim, at General Mills, asking me if the kids and I would like to try some of the new gluten free flavors that Chex recently introduced as a kind of get well package from her and Chex. Sure!
Much to my surprise, she sent over the entire line along with a package of Betty Crocker gluten free sugar cookie mix that Lucie quickly put to good use. (I haven’t had a chance to try out the Betty Crocker All Purpose Baking Mix that Kim sent over yet. However, I’m glad to see that General Mills has come out with a Betty Crocker version that people can find in the regular baking aisle instead of the usually more expensive health food aisle. Living gluten free doesn’t have to be expensive or hard!)
What’s your favorite flavor, kids?
I’d be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of having sweetened cereals in the house, except when my mother-in-law is visiting because she’s too skinny and could put on some weight! I usually buy either the corn or the rice version of Chex for myself, though sometimes my son Nathan treats himself to a bowl and adds a spoonful of stevia to sweeten it. Understandably, the kids went nuts over the two newest flavors of Chex are vanilla and chocolate along with all the other flavors – Apple Cinnamon, Cinnamon, and Honey Nut. Lucie thought the Vanilla Chex tasted like cupcake batter. (It really does!) Both kids liked the chocolate. However, Nathan loved the Cinnamon Chex and I had to agree with him on that one – wow! Lucie didn’t try the Honey Nut, because of her nut allergies and Nathan thought it was just OK.
Funny thing was that after a few days, the novelty wore off. Nathan had cereal a few mornings before school and maybe a few times after school and then he was back to eating heated up leftovers. Lucie brought a few baggies worth in her lunch bag, then the boxes were left untouched. They liked the Chex cereal, would certainly enjoy it once in a while, but it wouldn’t become their favorite breakfast meal. (I soon found out their dad was making them avocado and tomato open faced sandwiches every morning for breakfast. Who could turn that down?)
Tuning down the sweet
True confession time – I’m on medication that makes sweet stuff obnoxiously sweet to the point of being disgusting. So maybe I’m not the best judge, but the flavored Chex cereals are too darn sweet, even the Cinnamon Chex. I think many moms would agree with me and may not be comfortable with serving their kids a sweet cereal in the morning even if they have to find them something that’s gluten free due to a food sensitivity, allergy or celiacs.
So here’s a solution: combine 1/3 of the sweet gluten free Chex cereal and a 2/3 of the corn or rice Chex cereal, which has less sugar grams. You’ll still get the taste of the vanilla, chocolate, apple cinnamon or whatever your child likes. And you still have a safe, gluten free cereal that’s affordable because it’s Chex. You could also do a combo of vanilla, chocolate and rice Chex as a snack to take to school in a baggie for snack time. Or use it to make a trail mix along with dried fruit, nuts or seeds, etc. Or you could sprinkle the sweet Chex cereal on plain yogurt along with some fruit. There are many ways to combine a sweetened Chex cereal with healthy things and make it a win-win for all.
For more information about gluten free Chex cereals, go to their the Chex gluten free cereal website. They also have gluten free recipes. And remember, all Chex cereals have Box Tops for Education coupons that you can clip to help out your school.