8 Snackable Cereal Facts Every Cereal Addict Needs

Grab your bowl and spoon and come celebrate National Cereal Day.

national cereal day openeriStock/MariaBrzostowska

Forget Christmas! Who needs Thanksgiving? Fourth of what? Never heard of it. But Monday, March 7 is National Cereal Day! I don’t know about you, but I have a bowl and spoon already picked out. In the meantime, here are some serious cereal facts to snack on.

1) Cereal Was Invented to Stunt Your Sex Drive
Yes, yours, you dirty so and so. John Harvey Kellogg was convinced that a healthy sex drive was evil and resulted in unhealthy habits, like bad posture, fickleness, bashfulness, boldness, and even fondness for spicy food (that’s it, I’m joining a nunnery!) And at the root of healthy sex drives? Poor eating habits. Meat and seasoned food brought on wanton thoughts. His solution? Dull food. So he invented the dullest of foods, Corn Flakes. Luckily for the rest of us, he got his brother Will involved. That’s because it was Will who said, “Hey, this food’s too dull. Let’s add sugar and sell it and make lot’s of money so we can meet pretty women and have lots of wanton sex.” (I may be off a little bit on the exact quotes, but that’s how I picture it.) John Harvey wanted nothing to do with it, so Will said “fine,” (or something along those lines) and opened up the Kellogg Company and started selling the Corn Flakes we all know and love and eat before and after sex.

2) The Marx Brothers had Zeppo; Snap!, Crackle!, and Pop! Had Pow
We all know that Rice Krispies has three “pitch elves,” but did you know at one point there was a fourth elf? A long, lost brother who’s never invited to family gatherings? It was in the 1950s when Pow! was introduced. He was a “spaceman,” meant to exude the power of whole grain rice, a Kellogg’s spokesman told Smithsonian.com. Unfortunately, Pow! was more of a Pfft, and was soon dropped. (These facts about our world will surprise you.)

3) How Well Do You Know Your Cereal Slogan?
Every American kid spent hours with our eyeballs glued to the tube, half the time watching commercials. Half of those commercials we were watching (between the ones for Easy Bake Oven and G.I. Joes and Barbie’s Malibu Dream House and Milton Bradley’s Operation) were for cereals. And, of course, we learned to speak the language of cereal slogan before mastering English. So take this quiz and see what you remember. Match the cereal to its slogan:

1)    Cap’n Crunch
2)    Wheaties
3)    Froot Loops
4)    Kix
5)    Life
6)    Lucky Charms

A)    “They’re magically delicious!”
B)    “The breakfast of champions”
C)    “Follow my nose. It always knows”
D)    “Stays crunchy even in milk”
E)    “He likes it! Hey Mikey!”
F)    “Kid tested, mother approved”

ANSWERS: 1-D; 2-B; 3-C; 4-F; 5-E; 6-A

4) The Breakfast of Me (Because I’m a Champion) 
Wheaties started putting athletes on their box in 1934. The very first was the great Yankee star … No, not that one, the other one … no, not him either. The guy who sort of looks like Gary Cooper. No, not him, Lou Gehrig. Since then, it seems that everyone other than dart throwers have graced the front of the box. Such sports luminaries include: Aaron Rodgers, Stephen Curry, Lindsey Vonn, Peyton Manning, Mia Hamm, Richard Petty, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Michael Jordon, Roy Campanella, Hank Greenberg, Mel Ott, and Jesse Owns.

5) FrankenBerry Cereal Used to Turn Your Poop Red
Well, that’s a grabber of a headline. According to a 1972 paper in the journal Pediatrics, everyone’s favorite strawberry-flavored cereal was the same color coming in and going out. You can thank the cereal’s synthetic dye, which “can’t be broken down or absorbed by the body,” says Smithsonian. The condition was benign, but not the nickname it spawned: Frankenberry stool. Not to be outdone, a sister cereal, Booberry, turned stool green, while Smurfberry Crunch Cereal turned your American Standard blue. Mm-mmm! Makes me want to skip breakfast and head directly to late-night snack! Luckily, all three dyes were later switched out.

6) Cereal Isn’t Just For Breakfast Anymore
Cereal is also for lunch, dinner, and, best of all, Happy Hour! Food Network chef Justin Warner concocted a Fruity Cheerios Colada in conjunction with General Mills. Here’s what he says we need:

2/3 cup white rum
1/3 cup Fruity Cheerios
1 tsp. turmeric
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup cream of coconut
½ cup plain Greek yogurt

In a small bowl, combine all of the rum ingredients; and stir. Allow the Fruity Cheerios to soak in the rum for 10 minutes or until softened but falling apart. Strain mixture through several coffee filters to make ½ cup rum. Behold! Orange colored rum! Combine cocktail ingredients in a blender with 8 to 10 oz. of ice. Blend on high speed until combined. Transfer this to festive glasses and garnish with Fruity Cheerios.

I’m not sure whether Warner discovered this cocktail on purpose or he accidentally spilled his cereal into his drink and tried to cover up his mistake. But either way, cheers!

national cereal day krustyOsiStock/powerofforever

7) There Have Been Some Bizarre Cereals Along the Way
Cereal makers probably think we’re all so groggy in the morning that we won’t stop to think, “What the heck am I eating?!” Here’s a list of cereals—some that were actually on the market; others I can only wish for. Can you tell which is which?

1)    Sir Grapefellow
2)    Kellogg’s Oks
3)    King Vitamin
4)    Post Steak-O’s
5)    Mr. Wonderfull’s Surprize
6)    NutCases
7)    Crunchy Loggs
8)    Strawberry Colon Cleanse
9)    Grins & Smiles & Giggles & Laughs
10)    Green Cereal & Ham
11)    Freakies
12)    Snotz
13)    Moonstones
14)    Corn Flukes (Made with real fish!)
15)    Wackies

The ones you won’t find in the cereal aisle, at least just yet: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

8) But Winner of Most Bizarre Cereal of All Is …
That prize goes to a strawberry and banana flavored cereal consisting of yellow and red loop pieces called Urkel-Os. Can you guess who the cereal was named after? Yes! Steve Urkel, the lovable nerd from the 1989-1998 ABC sitcom Family Matters, played by Jaleel White. Quick, someone, hand me a Fruity Cheerios Colada!

Sources: Mental Floss, Smithsonian.com, thedailymeal.com, Justin Warner

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Andy Simmons
Andy Simmons is a features editor at Reader's Digest.