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Parents who care about their kids’ health are celebrating Whole Grains Month in September, with back-to-school lunch-box choices that are both nutritious and delicious. Oldways and the Whole Grains Council oﬀer this Top Ten list of kid-tested favorites:
Easy Lunch Ideas – Just in Time for Whole Grains Month
- Pack a baggie of popcorn for snack time. It’s a 100% whole grain snack you can easily make at home.
- Make a PBJ with Whole White Wheat bread. Whole white wheat has all the nutrition of other whole wheat varieties, but a lighter color and milder taste – making it the perfect option for picky eaters.
- Enjoy oatmeal-raisin cookies instead of chocolate chip, for whole grain goodness.
- For that little bit of crunch, pack multi-grain chips or whole grain pretzels instead of potato chips. Even whole grain cheese puﬀs are now available!
- Little hands ﬁnd whole-grain pita pockets easy to hold – and goopy ﬁllings like tuna ﬁsh salad stay inside instead of dripping out.
- Whole grain oats are the ﬁrst ingredient in most granola bars. Choose brands lower in sugar, to enjoy the beneﬁts of whole grains without approaching candy-bar levels of sweetness.
- Whole grain bagels or square bagel-breads make an ordinary sandwich seem special.
- Share some cooking fun with your kids, and bake up one of the many whole-grain mixes now on grocery shelves – from Cranberry Orange and Blueberry Muﬃns to Cinnamon Buns and Double Chocolate Brownies. Or make old family favorites with whole grain ingredients like brown rice crispy cereal and whole wheat ﬂour.
- Create a big container of trail mix, by mixing colorful bits of dried fruit with your kids’ favorite whole-grain cereal. Then it’s quick and easy to toss a baggy-full into each lunchbox.
- Whole wheat, multi-grain and whole-corn tortillas make easy wraps. Add a creative surprise, such as sprinkling dried cranberries in a turkey wrap.
If you’re unsure which products really oﬀer signiﬁcant amounts of whole grain, look for the Whole Grain Stamp. This eye-catching black-and-gold symbol is now found on nearly 1400 products in supermarkets across the country. The Whole Grain Stamp is your guarantee that a product contains a half-serving (8g) or more of whole grains per serving.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines call for children ages 4-8 to eat 2 to 4 servings of whole grain daily, while everyone 9 and older should eat 3 to 6 whole grain servings each day. For more information about Whole Grains Month, the Whole Grain Stamp, and the health beneﬁts of whole grains, visit www.WholeGrainsCouncil.org.
For more graphics , an interview, information on Whole Grains Month or story ideas including quick, easy, family-friendly whole grain meal options, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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