Whole Grain Goodness
According to the new MyPyramid (www.MyPyramid.gov ), half of all the grains you and your family eat every day should be whole grains. That’s because whole grains have more fiber, protein, and important nutrients like B vitamins. Whole grains can include such things as whole wheat flour, corn, brown rice, oats, barley, rye, and even popcorn!
All grains start out as whole grains, basically the entire seed of a plant. The three components of a whole grain are the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. When whole grains are refined as is the case with something like white bread, the more nutritious bran and germ are removed.
If your children refuse to eat anything brown, try some of these ideas:
- Do the squish test:
Let’s face it: Some whole grain breads are dry and well, too healthy tasting, while others are squishy and more similar to white. Read labels and make sure the first ingredient is whole wheat. If you see something like “enriched” wheat flour on the label – which sounds healthy – be aware that enriched wheat flour is essentially white flour that’s been enriched with certain nutrients.
- Wheat in Disguise:
Try one of the new white whole wheat breads. Yes, they are white in color but they’re made with a type of whole wheat that is white (not brown) … so it’s still a whole grain.
- Mix and match:
For kids who are hooked on sugary breakfast cereal, wean them off by mixing their favorite brand with a healthier one that is lower in sugar and made with whole grains. Or, switch to other kid-friendly cereals that are made with 100% whole grains.
Make grilled cheese using one slice of whole wheat and one slice of white. Or, substitute half the white flour in your recipes for cookies, muffins, quick breads and pancakes with whole wheat flour. You can also switch from white pasta to a whole wheat blend pasta (they’re typically made with white flour and whole wheat flour). Once you cover it with pasta sauce, nobody will be able to tell the difference.