It's easy to make the switch over to whole grains because you can keep your recipes pretty much the same and just swap the refined flour ingredients for whole wheat ones. This is a change that kids can learn to make early and they probably won't even notice the difference. According to the Whole Grain Council, 40% of American teens have no whole grains in their diets. It's easy to neglect these ingredients, but when you see how easy it is to incorporate them into your family's diet, you won't have to think twice.
Why whole grains? They keep the good nutrients that are stored in the hull of the grain and pass them on to you. Also, whole grains have much more fiber than refined grains which means you stay fuller, longer. That fiber helps your system process foods better too so you avoid constipation. All in all, whole wheat is the way to go if you are going to have a meal with grains.
Want to know how to get started? Here are some easy conversions to try:
Whole Wheat Pasta instead of Semolina Pasta
Whole Wheat Bread (4 grams of fiber and up) instead of White Bread (you can also look for "Whole Wheat White" bread at the market)
Oatmeal Cookies instead of Chocolate Chip Cookies
Whole Wheat Flour instead of White Flour
Brown Rice instead of White Rice
Quinoa instead of Couscous
Barley instead of White Rice
Popcorn or Baked Whole Wheat Pita Chips instead of Chips or Crackers
Other whole grains include buckwheat, corn, rye, bulgur, amaranth and wild rice, just to name a few. You can add whole grains to your diet by trying some of these Rachael Ray's recipes: