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New Restaurant Serves Cereal All Day

New Cafe featuring flakes and O's could be latest option for healthy fast-food fare.
By Sherry Rauh
WebMD Feature

A restaurant that serves nothing but cereal? It may sound like a scheme from a Seinfeld episode, but the concept is now a reality -- a cereality, that is. Diners at the Cereality Cereal Bar and Cafe in Philadelphia can feast on their favorite flakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As if ordering a sundae at an ice cream parlor, patrons choose from more than 30 brand-name cereals and a multitude of tempting toppings, including fruit, nuts, cookies, and candy. Pajama-clad "cereologists" prepare the custom blends in a homey kitchen setting.

Nutritious Fast Food?

Co-founders David Roth and Rick Bacher opened the original Cereality, a kiosk in Arizona State University's student union, in 2003. The Philadelphia location, across from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, is the first to offer seating. "I was really looking at creating a fast-food concept that would be the healthiest option in the marketplace," Roth tells WebMD. "We want to be known for getting people to enjoy cereal in new and healthy and innovative ways."

Those innovative ways include the Devil Made Me Do It, a concoction of Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms topped with chocolate-milk-flavor crystals and malt balls. "At Cereality, you can be as healthy or as indulgent as you want to be," spokeswoman Lisa Kovitz explains. She says the most popular cold cereal blend is actually the more nutritious Life Experience -- Life cereal topped with almonds, bananas, and a drizzle of honey.

In addition to promoting new ways to enjoy cereal, Roth says his company is cooperating with the "Got Milk?" campaign in "educating people about the healthy aspects of milk and getting people excited about milk."

Roth stresses that Cereality "is not intended to be a health food restaurant" but rather a fast-food eatery with healthy options. He says the cafe's unique menu and comfy couches lure customers from all walks of life. "We have entire families coming in in pajamas and bathrobes and fluffy slippers."

Know Your Cereals

Marilyn Tanner, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, tells WebMD experimenting with cereal blends offers "a great opportunity to try something healthful." Research shows children who eat cereal have a higher nutrient intake and are less likely to be overweight. The benefits to adults may include protection against heart disease and certain cancers.

Of course, all cereals are not created equal, so how can you tell which are the most nutritious? Most cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals and therefore have some nutritional value. But the American Dietetic Association says you'll get the greatest health benefits from high-fiber cereals that contain a source of good fat, such as nuts. By choosing brands that provide at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, you can get 20% of your daily fiber in one bowl of cereal.

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