8 Simple Swaps to Get Your Whole Family Eating More Whole Grains

posted: 07/29/16
by: Amanda Mushro

We're all looking for easy ways to help our family eat better. So this week while your grocery shopping, start with a few simple swaps that will get your family eating more whole grains.

Why whole grains? Eating whole grains, rather than refined grains, reduces the overall risk of strokes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, chronic illnesses and can help you maintain a healthy weight. When selecting food with whole grains, make sure you're reading labels and they say "whole grains," "whole wheat," and "whole oats" and skip anything that says "multigrain" or "100% wheat."

The best part of these swaps is that your family probably won't notice you've made the switch, but you'll know they're eating better because of you.

If your family is searching for a hot breakfast or quick snack, suggest oatmeal. Oatmeal is a great source of whole grains and your family can add their favorite toppings to make the oatmeal a delicious and personalized breakfast to snack.

Finding breakfast cereals with whole grains used to be a challenge, but more cereal companies and making the switch to whole grains--plus taking out things like artificial colors and flavors. Even your kid's favorite cereals area being switched to whole grain version. Just be sure to read the box to see if whole grains are listed.

If you haven't already done it, it's time to say goodbye to white bread and hello to whole grain bread. This easy swap will have your entire family eating whole grains with their sandwiches at lunch.

If rice is a staple in your house, swap out the white rice for brown rice. It's better for everyone and it's a small swap with a big impact.

When it's pasta night, try swapping out regular pasta for whole wheat pasta. This swap will save calories and be better for your entire family.

If you're looking for a snack, skip the chips and reach for popcorn. A lot of people don't know this, but popcorn is a great source of whole grains and it will save you lots of snacking calories too.

If you're breading chicken or making meatballs, swap out the breadcrumbs for oats. You'll have to add more seasoning to your meal as you cook, but the health benefits outweigh having to add more seasoning.

Head to your pantry and swap out regular flour for whole wheat flour. You'll need to add more liquid to recipes or reduce the amount of flour you use, but those are easy adjustments for a healthier family.