A better breakfast cereal?

Diggin in ... Ella Holding-McGrath, 11, and her brother Kai, 13, chow down on a bowl of Heart 1st, a breakfast cereal ...
Diggin in ... Ella Holding-McGrath, 11, and her brother Kai, 13, chow down on a bowl of Heart 1st, a breakfast cereal featuring a wholegrain developed by the CSIRO, at Darling Harbour. Photo: Ben Rushton

Can a healthy breakfast cereal designed by scientists taste good enough to pass muster with that most discerning of audiences: children?

Children enjoying their school holidays at Darling Harbour this week tucked into the cereal Heart 1st, which contains BARLEYmax, an enhanced wholegrain developed by the CSIRO with twice the dietary fibre of other grains. They gave the cereal a mixed but overall positive review.

Ella Holding-McGrath, 11, liked that it was healthy but sweet. ''I think I could have this for breakfast every day,'' she said.

Georgia Levy, 5, particularly enjoyed the dried cranberries. But her sister Alexandra, 8, was not a fan: ''It's very nutty. I personally wouldn't eat it.''

Developed by the CSIRO as part of its grains research program, BARLEYmax has four times the resistant starch (the starch that passes through the large intestine to encourage digestive health) than standard grains. It's also low GI.

Matthew Morell, the CSIRO scientist who headed the development, said the health benefits of BARLEYmax are based on internationally published, peer-reviewed scientific data.

BARLEYmax is available in cereals made by the Victorian food manufacturer Popina Food Services under the Goodness Superfoods Brand.

During a taste test, the Herald restaurant critic Terry Durack described the cereal as perfectly pleasant. ''It's a more serious bowlful than your average breakfast cereal and doesn't taste as artificial,'' he said.

''I don't think it would get me leaping out of bed in the morning to rush to the breakfast table; it's more about what it does for you than how it tastes.''

The Herald food writer Helen Greenwood said: ''I don't believe your taste buds have to suffer for your digestive system to be happy. Most of the big brand breakfast cereals taste like the cardboard box they are in.''