Cereal is an incredibly important part of our waking lives. Here at the Science of People we decided to study the behavioral patterns of cereal eating. We believe this is the next frontier in behavioral, psychological, economical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
I stumbled upon this idea when a friend recently asked me the question:
If you could bring one food item in unlimited quantities with you on a desert island and nutrition didn’t matter, what would you bring?
This is a no brainer: Honey Bunches of Oats
She disagreed and said that if any cereal were to be brought on a desert island, it would have to be Cheerios. Bah! Sacrilege. Cheerios are for the tame-hearted. I live on the edge–I want frosted flakes AND granola bunches in my bowl. This got me thinking about the cereal universals:
- Have you ever lost a friend or killed a sibling because they ate all of the marshmallows out of the box?
- Have you ever had cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
- Have you ever ran out of milk and then had to pour more cereal, and then needed more milk, and then had to pour more cereal… and then ended up eating four bowls of cereal?
- Have you ever made a poor decision and accidentally mixed two cereals that tasted bad together—ruining them both for you? (Froot Loops + Cocoa Puffs = Disgusting)
- Have you ever tried to make yourself feel less guilty for eating a sugar-laden cereal by adding a dash of Grape Nuts?
- Have you ever strategized about how to layer your cereal to get the best milk on bite effect and realized that while you thought about it you ate through the entire box dry?
- Have you ever gotten to the last bite and realized you didn’t have a good one and poured yourself a new bowl to try again?
- Have you ever been so furious when someone ate all of the marshmallows out of the box…and then you realized it was you?
- Have you ever wondered why Grape Nuts exists?
The Science of Cereal
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. I feel you can know a lot about someone from their favorite cereal. Are you a wild child? A perfectionist? I bet I can guess from your favorite bowl. So,
If you could bring one cereal in unlimited quantities with you on a desert island and nutrition didn’t matter, what would you bring?
Here is what I can guess about you based on your choice:
Honey Bunches of Oats
You’re a lovely person, just amazing really. Everything you do is good, everything about you is great. I would like to be your friend.
You are very deprived. Perhaps you grew up on a rural swamp infested parcel in the middle of nowhere and had no friends. Because no one ever told you that you can’t have chocolate for breakfast–unless it’s your birthday, and even then, heaven forbid you eat cocoa puffs.
You’re a big kid. You love to have fun, be silly and play practical jokes. But seriously, brush your teeth before and after breakfast or your teeth will fall out of your head from all the sugar.
You’re my Grandmother!
You really want to be seen as adventurous and quirky, but deep down you’re a stickler for tradition and love your routines. It’s ok, we love you for you.
You’re a perfectionist. You also have convinced yourself that you like Cheerios even if they taste like cardboard, so you have a problem with self-deception.
Honey Nut Cheerios
You are so much better than your Cheerio-loving friends. You are traditional, but like a little flare tossed in.
You’re a hipster and think it’s cool to eat kid cereal as an adult. You’ve probably posted a picture of your bowl on Instagram.
You’re on a diet. And you are going to hate it when I tell you that Special K is still carbs and does not count as healthy.
You’re a wild child, party animal who is full of surprises. You are the light of the party.
Who are you? Really, who likes Grape Nuts?
You are a small man who wears a hat and has 2 best friends who talk in high voices. You have always secretly been jealous of Crackle and wished you and Snap could just be besties.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
You’re a dreamer. You love to be spontaneous and follow your whims.
You’re a hard worker and always the one people depend on. Typically, you are the rock in the relationship. This comes from the rock you have in your stomach after eating these every morning.
We get it, you’re very cool. You bring up your cereal choice every chance you get to impress people with your offbeat choice.
Kashi Go Lean
You’re a liar. Or it’s been so long since you had real cereal that you have forgotten what it’s supposed to taste like.
You’re so clever—not! This answer doesn’t count. Please leave.
You’re a fighter. You have to be to enjoy this cereal. You are either fighting with someone to get the most marshmallows in your bowl or fighting with your willpower to not eat the last one in your bowl before you’re ready.
Don’t see your choice here? Congratulations, you’re weird and have now been disqualified.
How to Eat Cereal
Once and for all, let’s set the record straight. There is a proper way to eat cereal. Yes, there is a wrong way. Let me enlighten you:
Step #1: Pour dry cereal into bowl. Never start with the milk! Overflow and the chances of over-milking are far too high to take the milk first risk.
Step #2: Ease in the milk, evenly distributing around dry cereal. Always under-pour. You can always add more milk later, but too much milk could destroy your breakfast experience.
Step #3: Spoon from bottom to top, equally scooping newly wet cereal with dry.
Step #4: Eat slow enough to savor every bite, fast enough to avoid soggy last ones.
Step #5: Strategize your last bite. With cereals like Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles, you have to make sure you save some of the good bites for last. Nothing is worse than ending on a bite without marshmallows.
I hope this post has been illuminating for you. I hope it changes the way you eat cereal forever. There is a right way to enjoy that bowl.
And remember: Happy April Fools Day!
Honey Bunches and Love,
The Science of People