By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food
What if I were to tell you that there was a simple change you could make to your child's eating habits that:
- your child wouldn't even notice
- wouldn't make your child whine or complain
- wouldn't take any effort on your part
- would cut your child's risk of obesity, asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes
The Whole Grain Switch: Your Child Won't Even Notice!
One of the easiest switches you can make is to serve whole grains instead of refined flours. Amazingly, researchers have found that children often don't even notice when whole grains are served instead of refined grains! And they often rate the whole grain products as just as tasty as the refined grain products!
Whole Grains are Easy
Vegetables may be hard to peel and cut. Home-cooked meals may take time. But it takes no more time or effort to use whole grains than it does to use refined grains.
Grabbing a package of 100% whole wheat bread is just as easy.
Selecting a bag of whole wheat flour is just as easy.
Buying the pizza with the whole wheat crust is just as easy.
How To Tell If a Food is Whole Grain
Manufacturers will try to trick you. They know that many shoppers will buy food that looks healthy, and won't check the ingredients.
Beware of these manufacturer scams:
- Using the word "wheat". Real whole wheat products will say "100% Whole Wheat". Even Twinkies are made with "wheat"!!
- Using phrases like "made with whole wheat" when the first ingredient is refined white flour. Always look at ingredients! The first ingredient should be "whole wheat" and there should be no mention of "enriched flour" or "wheat flour" on the ingredient list.
- Making the packaging look healthy by using brown or green colors, pictures of trees or wheat plants, or other healthy imagery.
What Foods Have Whole Grains?
Your child will enjoy:
- Bread and rolls -- Almost all supermarkets have 100% whole wheat breads and rolls. Some are delightfully light (which appeals to kids who are used to white flour). Some are wonderfully chewy, with whole kernels of wheat (which appeals to kids who are used to whole grains).
- Pancakes -- Homemade pancakes are just as easy to make as packaged pancakes. Pancake mixes simply combine flour with baking powder and a few flavors. Use this recipe (but use all whole wheat flour) to make pancake mix that will last for months.
- Tortillas -- Most supermarkets sell 100% whole wheat tortillas. Burritos will have much more flavor if you use these tortillas.
- Pasta -- Spaghetti, tortellini, linguini, lasagne -- whole wheat noodles come in all shapes and sizes.
- Baking -- Most recipes will be virtually indistinguishable if you use whole wheat flour. Experiment to see which ones work the best.
- Oatmeal -- All oatmeal is whole grain, even instant.
- Popcorn -- Yes, popcorn is a whole grain!
This simple change takes no time and effort and can reap huge health benefits. Throw out your white bread and resolve to only eat whole wheat bread from now on.
For a great resource, check out the Whole Grains Council. They have a huge number of articles, tips, and recipes.
Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on amazon.com.
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