Friday, April 4, 2008

Kids and Whole Grains

The health benefits of whole grain foods are just as important for children as they are for adults. Getting children used to whole grain foods early in their lives will establish healthy eating habits that will hopefully last forever. If you have children in your life, aim for at least 2 to 3 servings of whole grain foods each day. Here are some easy ways to incorporate whole grains into even the pickiest eaters' diets.

Serve kids whole grain cereal, but be sure to look for varieties that are low in sugar and fat. Examples include Cheerios, Wheat Chex, Quaker Essentials Crunchy Corn Bran, Shredded Wheat, and Original Total Whole Grain. If they’re not into cereal, try a slice of whole grain bread.

Get rid of your white bread and use whole grain instead. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the package. The color of the bread does not determine its level of healthiness. Wraps are an easy way to change things up and also come in whole grain varieties. Another option is whole grain pitas.

Try whole grain crackers with cheese, whole grain pretzels, or popcorn.

When making pasta, use whole grain rather than regular. If your kids aren’t used to the whole grain and aren’t fond of it, start by mixing in ¼ whole grain pasta with regular. Gradually, increase the amount of whole grain pasta. Or try using brown rice rather than white.