I was fixing breakfast for my daughter this morning. She wakes up singing “The Cereal Song.” Cereal is a standard breakfast for her, and it just got me to thinking about some of my favorite cereals as a kid. So here is what I came up with.
10. Alpha Bits
This one barely made my top ten. It was almost kept out of the list for one reason: it tried to combine learning with breakfast. I get the marketing ploy – Hey, parents buy your kids this cereal because it will help them develop their grammar skills. But, in all my years of eating Alpha Bits, not once do I ever remember spelling a single word. Why would I waste time exercising knowledge when I could be delighting my taste buds with the sugary goodness of each alphabetic character? No offense to those of you who got hooked on phonics with this cereal. It just never hooked me as a teaching tool.
9. Fruit Loops
As much as I tried to taste the “fruit” in this cereal, I never could distinguish one flavor loop from the other. Don’t get me wrong the flavor was great! But they should have just called them Multi-Colored Loops. The reason this cereal hit record popularity had to be the work of their spokesperson. Toucan Sam was the man! I mean bird. After I saw a commercial, I wanted to “follow my nose.” Why? Because “it always knows.” To this day, I have no clue what that statement means. But it got me to eat The Loops.
8. Honey Comb
“Honey Comb’s big, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s not small, no, no, no.” Ok so the jingle writers never claimed to be Shakespeare. But the words of that jingle were definitely proven true as you began to try to eat it. When you stuck your spoon in for a scoop, you came out with what? One?…Two?… Maybe three pieces if you were extremely lucky (and depending on the size of spoon you were using). I loved me some Honey Comb. But, a cereal with pieces the same size in diameter as a wagon wheel is not ideal for kids.
7. Cocoa & Fruity Pebbles
I am a Cocoa Pebbles man myself. But I have nothing but respect for the Fruity branch of the Pebbles tree. In the commercials, Fred was always mad because Barney somehow found a way to trick him out of his cereal. But, I think the person who should have been the most upset was Bam Bam. Why did Pebbles get her name in the cereal? What makes her so special? Although I am not sure if Cocoa or Fruity Bam Bams have the same ring to them.
6. Cookie Crisp
Let’s all have cookies and milk for breakfast! Mom says, No? Well what if it were disguised as a cereal that is “part of this complete breakfast”? That is exactly what we had in the miracle that was Cookie Crisps. And the commercials messed me up as a kid. They had the Cookie Cop and the Cookie Crook. There was this guy in a mask that would come in and try to steal Cookie Crips. Yes, his plans were always foiled and he was arrested by the Cookie Cop. But I can’t tell you how many nights this chubby boy woke up in a cold sweat and ran to the pantry to make sure the Cookie Crook hadn’t robbed me of my Crisps!
5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
The obvious reason this cereal made the list is its delicious taste. But what solidified its top 5 status is what I refer to as its “binge quality.” Seemingly no other cereal is easier to mow through than a box of these sugar and cinnamon covered squares. I mean I can buy a box of these, get them home and the box is empty by the end of the day! I don’t know what it is about them that leaves you just craving more. They bring a whole new meaning to the word addiction. My name is Jason, and I’m a CTC addict. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
4. Cap’n Crunch
Make no mistake it is Cap’n not Captain. Let me also be clear that I am talking about the Original Crunch ONLY. I am not including all the ridiculously unnecessary spin-offs in the Cap’n Family: Crunch Berries, Peanut Butter Crunch, Chocolaty Crunch, and (are you kidding me?), Oops All Berries Crunch. Don’t mess with the original. Well, unless it was to make the original less dangerous to eat. As much as I love chowin’ down on the original crunch; after I eat it, the inside of my mouth feels like I have eaten razor blades. Even the milk doesn’t soften these things enough. They should put a warning label on the box: “Enjoy With Caution.”
3. Lucky Charms
Another classic that has been tampered with far too much over the years. I am representing the pre-1984 Lucky Charms. The marshmallows included yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers and blue diamonds. I draw the unacceptable line at purple horseshoes that were added in 1984, followed by red balloons in 1989, rainbows in 1992, pots of gold in 1994, leprechaun hats in 1996, shooting stars in 1998, and finally an hourglass in 2008. This doesn’t include the limited edition marshmallows that have come and gone over the years. All this change and not once did they ever address what I feel to be the only drawback for this cereal: Marshmallow Ratio. Can we get a few more mallows in each box, please?
2. Cocoa Puffs
I refer to these as little chocolate spheres from heaven. What was not to love about this cereal? One of my favorite things about The Puffs was the affect they had on milk. You pour a bowl full of cereal; you add milk; and the milk would turn from bright white to chocolaty brown in seconds. There was so much that made me Coo-Coo for Cocoa Puffs. Not the least of which was the experience of drinking the rich chocolate flavored milk after I was finished with the cereal. And after enjoying the cereal and washing it down with the left over chocolate milk, kids were bouncing off the walls of the house like Sonny the Cuckoo Bird!
This is number one, not because it is my all-time favorite. It is because I want to raise awareness. Trix: Awesome cereal, but surrounded by controversy. Every commercial this poor bunny has his heart set on eating some Trix. And just when you think he is going to get the chance to experience the joy of eating them, some kids come along and take the cereal away. Their reasoning? “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!” What kind of messed up reason is that? Why couldn’t they just give him some cereal? Are we really still living in a day in this country where a delicious morning meal like Trix can’t be enjoyed by everyone? Presidential Candidates take note; I want to live in a country where Trix can be enjoyed by all! Make that issue one of the legs of your campaign platform and you will have my vote in November.
What cereals did I leave out that should have made the list?