Cereal straws are an invention of the Kellogg Company, made of cereal on the outside and lined with a sugary coating on the inside. The concept of cereal straws is to “dip, sip, and munch.” In other words, they are edible straws that taste like their respective cereal flavorings. Upon their initial introduction to the market in 2007, cereal straws were available flavored as Froot Loops® and Cocoa Krispies®, and then a third rendering became available in mid 2008 in the flavor of Apple Jacks®.
Presumably, cereal straws were invented to entice children to drink milk. When dipped in a glass of milk, the milk sipped through the cereal straws takes on a sweeter flavor similar to that of the milk left over after finishing a bowl of cold cereal. This concept is potentially problematic for children who do not finish the left over milk from cold cereal. However, cereal straws do not have to be dipped in milk for drinking, as they are acceptable as a stand alone snack.
The nutritional value of cereal straws is relatively non-existent. There are roughly 45 calories per straw and 3 grams of total fat. There are trace amounts of Vitamins A, D, B6 and B12, as well as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin in each straw as well. Each package comes with 24 cereal straws that measure approximately 6 inches (15.2 cm) in length. They do contain milk and soy products.
Essentially, cereal straws are like the kid version of the rolled wafer cookies that many adults eat in accompaniment to their coffee drinks, only cereal straws are hollow and much sweeter tasting. They can be used to slurp up left over milk from a bowl of cold cereal, to drink a glass of milk, or to munch on separate of any milk at all. Cereal straws are definitely marketed to children, and while kids may be drawn to them because they are new and they’ve seen them on television, kids who do not have a particularly sweet tooth may not like them.
Though certainly not a snack with the highest calorie and fat content, cereal straws may not really entice children to drink milk and somewhat defeat the purpose of a healthy glass of skim milk with dinner. However, cereal straws are well suited for on-the-go snacking and do appear to appeal to most children.