Partial Substitution of Whole Grains Boosts Kids' Consumption

Recent research has shown that children’s acceptance of whole grains varies widely from food to food. Kids will happily consume some foods that are 100% whole grain, while turning down others in which only 10-15% of the grain is whole grain. Using this knowledge, it’s possible to design a roadmap for increasing kids’ consumption of whole grains, without risking “pushback” – an important consideration, since the only healthy nutrients are those that are actually consumed. In this study, Len Marquart, Elizabeth Arndt, and colleagues modeled the change in whole grain consumption that could be achieved by switching 15% to 50% of the refined grain to whole grain in breads, pizza crusts, pasta, breakfast cereals, muffins, waffles and other foods kids eat daily. They found that, without changing documented eating patterns in the children, they could raise consumption of whole grains from 6% of total grains to 28% of whole grains with this approach, while also reducing demographic disparities.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association. September 2011; 111(9):1322-8