A is for apple. B is for banana. C is for childless woman purchasing alcohol and a box of toddler cereal at the self-checkout, pretending that this is perfectly normal.
Wait, sorry, got that wrong. C is for cereal!
Being the childless woman mentioned above, I questioned my ability to fairly judge Post Sesame Street C is for Cereal. I have no nieces or nephews, and my time around children has been pretty limited in general. To be honest, they make me a little uncomfortable. There’s always something going on with their snot and they ask strange questions that I don’t know how to answer.
After a little thought, though, I realized I do have the mind of a child. I like poop and fart jokes, and I do run into things a lot. I don’t pick my nose in public, but I do occasionally burp out loud, forgetting I’m not at home.
I chose “A is for Apple” over “B is for Banana” (do you “C” what they did there?) partly because I’m not fond of fake banana flavoring and partly because the Cookie Monster is the mascot for that flavor. I get that they’re promoting “healthy” flavors, but dude…Cookie Monster. Cookie cereal. It makes me angry enough that cookies are now a “sometimes food”, but forcing the Cookie Monster to shill bananas is just sad.
Apple gets Elmo as a mascot. I’m cool with Elmo. I’m also going to completely ignore that his voice actor allegedly had sex with underaged boys or whatever. This is about cereal and toddlers and snot. Let’s not drag out any nasty business.
Palate cleanser: the back of Sesame Street Apple shows Elmo trying to catch butterflies. He could not be any happier about it, and the butterflies are happy too, probably because they realize that Elmo’s net is too small to catch any of them, so this is more of a fun outdoor dance party than anything else.
Because there’s a long-standing tradition of kids staring at the back of cereal boxes while they eat their breakfast, there’s some fun activities to occupy a young child’s mind. They are encouraged to count both the butterflies and the X’s and O’s on each butterfly.
These letters were not chosen randomly – Sesame Street Cereal is shaped like X’s and O’s, which I personally find a little puzzling. Why are they limited to the letters that are universally recognized as hugs and kisses? Does Alpha-Bits have a trademark on the rest of the alphabet?
After a quick Google search, I discovered that Alpha-Bits is also a Post product, so what’s the problem, here? Your toddler could be learning how to spell words like “booger” and “poopyhead” with Elmo!
Of course, you could always play tic-tac-toe with your X’s and O’s. I always tie when I play against myself, though.
According to Post’s website, “Sunny days start with Post Sesame Street Cereal: Elmo Apple! It has just-for-toddlers nutrition that moms can feel good about (whole grains, low sugar, and natural colors and flavors), the classic fun of Elmo, and naturally-flavored X’s and O’s that kids will love.”
I guess cloudy and rainy days are out of luck. No Elmo for you.
I was surprised that apple was not actually listed as an ingredient in “Elmo Apple” (which is how Post seems to refer to it everywhere but on the actual cereal box). There’s the presence of always-vague “natural flavor”, but that’s it. While I found this discouraging, the ingredient list as a whole is short and composed of words I can actually pronounce, so moms really can feel good about that. Plus, the list of vitamins and minerals takes up half the side of the box, making my job at the end of this review harder, but making moms feel better knowing their toddler just ate 50 percent of their suggested daily intake of folic acid.
Like any other human being, I first tried A is for Apple by sticking my hand in the box and shoving the dry cereal into my mouth. This did not go well. It tasted like I was eating horse feed. Granted, I’ve never tried horse feed, but I’d imagine this cereal would make a fine substitute.
The best way I could describe the flavor is “grains”. Not grainy, just grains, like if you’d gotten a box of Lucky Charms that had gone horribly wrong somewhere along the assembly line and was completely devoid of marshmallows or any sweetness. There was also a rather prominent, odd bitter taste.
I was so distracted by how blandly healthy the cereal tasted that I forgot for a second that it was supposed to taste like apple. It did not taste like apple. I reached my arms out, struggling to find the apple taste, much like how a toddler reaches up to his mommy when he wants to be picked up. I was able to find a faint taste, a tongue whiff, if you will, of apple, but even that lacked all signs of sweetness.
The box said that one serving for children over the age of four was one cup with ½ cup of fat free milk. I don’t think I’ve ever measured out cereal and milk in my life, but I figured for the sake of the children, I would do it. It made a respectable bowlful. I only had 2% milk on-hand, and I wasn’t willing to commit enough to go buy some watery fat free milk just for this, so…deal.
The milk didn’t really help any. The best I can say is that the cereal stayed surprisingly crunchy in the milk, with only a few soggy pieces. The taste, however, was largely the same – blandly oat-ish, bitter, and with almost zero apple flavor to liven things up.
I may not be a child, but I have vague memories of being one, and I probably would have protested greatly had I been forced to eat Post Sesame Street C is for Cereal A is for Apple. Even the presence of Elmo would not have helped. I understand that it is made to be super healthy for growing little brains and bodies, but bitter oats and no apple flavor are not going to fly for any kid old enough to throw their food off the table.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 85 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 18 grams of other carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 50% iron, 20% vitamin D, 25% thiamin, 25% riboflavin, 25% niacin, 25% vitamin B6, 50% folic acid, 25% vitamin B12, 10% phosphorus, 8% magnesium, 10% zinc and 4% copper.)
Item: Post Sesame Street C is for Cereal A is for Apple
Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 10.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Provides 2/3 of toddler’s daily whole grains. Elmo. Chock full of vitamins and minerals. Outdoor dance parties with butterflies.
Cons: Tastes like grain-and-oat based horse feed. Unpleasant information about the voice of Elmo. Has a distinct bitter flavor. Having to play tic-tac-toe with yourself. Very little apple flavor. Snot.