Corn- most hamsters only eat the heart- so you don't really have to worry about them getting too much- unless you have the rare hamster that really likes corn, then you'd want to pick half of hte corn out. Fact is, though, a lot of mixes- you are paying say $5 for a lb (rough estimate) and 1/3 or 1/2 that weight is corn- corn is cheap, so you are not getting your money's worth.
I buy some layer feed- cracked corn for hens- and mix a bit in for the gerbils and a tiny bit into the hamsters. A bag goes a long way, so buy small, even though you could get a huge bag for the same price- as corn will mold if it sets.
Cherrios and other cereals- most do have added salt and sugar. Cheerios, kix, corn flakes, chex- all have a little added salt and sugar. Puffed wheat or puffed rice are better- and they are cheap. You can mix in cereals, nuts, a little dried fruit, etc- but you want the add-ins not to be more than about 1/4 of the total mix- because the mixes are already balanced for nutrition and that should be the majority of their diet. The main concern with sugar is getting more sugar than they can burn off in exercise- so as long as your hamster is active, and not overweight, a little sugar is helpful to give them energy. All carbs and fibers are broken down into sugars by the body, anyway- so adding TOO much extra is going to give them more than they can work off.
I would take the blocks you have and crush them and mix them in with whatever mix you change to. They are good utrition, yes- but not very fun and often difficult for them to eat.
Last edited by jennawing; 09-17-2006 at 05:38 PM.