Research presented last week at the American Society for Nutrition's annual Experimental Biology conference shows how a cereal with milk breakfast is one of the best ways to start the day, according to the Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich.

A Kellogg-sponsored study found U.S. children and teens who have cereal with milk for breakfast consume more of several vitamins and minerals compared to those who have other types of breakfasts.

"Children who skip breakfast may be missing out on important nutrients in their diet, such as vitamins A, D, calcium and iron,” said Latha Devareddy, senior nutrition scientist at Kellogg.

The shows how a breakfast meal of cereal and milk can deliver these nutrients. Skipping breakfast becomes more common as children grow into teenagers, Devareddy noted.

According to the Dairy Council of California, an 8-ounce (1 cup) serving of milk contains three of the four nutrients that USDA deems under-consumed by most Americans—calcium, vitamin D and potassium. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that individuals ages 9 and older consume three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day; those 4 – 8 years should consume 2-1/2 cups each day.

Other research presented at the conference showed how cereal can be consumed outside of the breakfast meal, as a snack at school, to help children get more fiber in their diet. In the study, children exchanged a typical school snack for a snack that provides fiber, such as cereal, resulting in an increase in fiber intake without a change in calories.