Grains for Children: A Disappearing Act
By Lisa Sasson
kids to eat healthy foods can be a daily battle for many parents.
Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) changed the food
pyramid to include more whole grains, many moms and dads have become
particularly focused on incorporating more whole grains into their
Lisa Sasson, consulting nutritionist for Muellers Pasta and
clinical assistant professor in New York Universitys Department
of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, believes that it is
sometimes possible to hide whole grains in preparing
meals for children allowing parents to rest easy and kids
to still enjoy the foods they love. She shares the following tips:
For breakfast, if you children insist on their favorite kid
cereal use 3/4 of a healthy whole grain cereal and top it
with your childs favorite sweet cereal variety.
For variety include low sugar, hot whole grain cereals such as oatmeal.
Use multi-grain pasta and find ways to include pasta in meals other
than dinner. A cold pasta salad makes a great lunch. Throw a few
handfuls of multi-grain rotini into your next batch of chicken soup.
Add whole grain cereal to dishes such as meat loaf, and meat balls.
It wont alter the taste and kids can still enjoy these delicious
Use half whole wheat flour/half white flour in cakes and baked goods.
Talk about a sweet way for kids to get their whole grains; theyll
never notice the difference.
Save some whole grain bread that is a few days old and make it into
bread crumbs. You can add your favorite spices. They work just as
well on chicken breasts, fish filets or in meatballs.
Ease your kids into eating whole grain bread. Serve them their next
peanut butter and jelly sandwich using a slice each of whole grain
and white or try a whole grain white variety.
Switch to whole grain snacks such as popcorn, low fat tortilla chips
and whole grain crackers.
Sasson, MS, RD. is a clinical assistant professor in New York University's
Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. In this
role she directs the graduate clinical master's program, dietetic
internship and NYU's study abroad in Tuscany. She also teaches a
variety of graduate and undergraduate courses including Sports Nutrition
and Diet Assessment and Planning. In addition to her work at NYU,
Lisa counsels private clients in healthy eating, sports nutrition,
weight management and eating disorders. She is a frequent commentator
in many television and print media such as Allure, Self, Prevention
and on the A&E Network.