Cold cereal is typically a grain product that is usually eaten for breakfast. This food is meant to be eaten without heating, and is most often consumed with milk poured over it. There are a wide range of products that can be classed in this group, covering everything from healthful bran or granola products to sugary children’s cereals that are flavored with such things as chocolate or strawberry icings.
For many babies, a small cold cereal is often the first finger food given to it to eat on his or her own. Typically this type of food is low in sugar, made of whole grain oats, and is easy for the baby to pick up without any help. The pieces are small enough that the baby is very unlikely to choke, and it is easy to have on hand, since it keeps well.
Despite being called cold cereal, this type of breakfast food is not actually served chilled, nor is it normally kept refrigerated. The term is used in order to separate it from hot, or cooked, cereal, that is usually heated and then served warm. It is generally stored and served at room temperature and tends to last a long time on the shelf.
One problem some people have with cold cereal is its attractiveness to insects and rodents. This is usually more of a problem in warm, humid climates, but pests can get into the cereal box in almost any part of the world. The best way to protect this kind of food is to store it in a sealed plastic container that prevents bugs, mice, and rats from entering. Some choose to put the cold cereal into the refrigerator, effectively stopping any pests from getting in.
Children generally like cold cereal because it is a food they can serve themselves. The high levels of sugar that are in so many kinds children’s cereals also makes this a popular food with kids. Parents who are concerned about their children’s health often opt for cereals that are low in both sugar and fat. They may also look for whole grain cereals as a better choice for their kids. Many common cereals such as raisin bran, corn flakes, puffed rice or wheat, and granola are made to appeal to the health conscious.
Reading the label on a box of cold cereal lets users know what’s in it. Consumers concerned about sugar should look for cereals where sugar is not one of the first ingredients listed, and the calorie count and fat content are relatively low. Packaging will also state whether or not the product contains whole grains. In some cases, cold cereal has dried fruit or nuts in it, which many people prefer to marshmallows or other common additives.