September marks Whole Grains Month. To celebrate, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council (WGC) released a top 10 list of child-tested whole grain choices that can add pizazz and healthful benefits to lunch-box meals.
The Whole Grain Stamp, now found on about 1,400 supermarket products throughout the nation guarantees that the product contains a half-serving (8 g) or more of whole grains per serving. According to USDA 2005 Dietary Guidelines, children ages 4-8 should eat 2 to 4 servings of whole grains daily, while everyone nine and older should eat 3 to 6 whole grain servings each day.
The Top 10 school lunch ideas for Whole Grains Month from WGC are:
1. Pack a baggie of popcorn for snack time. It is a 100 percent whole grain snack, easily made at home.
2. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with whole white wheat bread. White wheat has all the nutrition of other whole wheat varieties, but a lighter color and milder flavor.
3. Choose oatmeal-raisin cookies instead of chocolate chip for whole grain goodness.
4. Pack multi-grain chips or whole grain pretzels instead of potato chips.
Even whole grain cheese puffs are now available.
5. Little hands find whole grain pita pockets easy to hold, and fillings, such as tuna fish salad, stay inside instead of dripping out.
6. Whole grain oats are the first ingredient in most granola bars. Choose brands lower in sugar for whole grain benefits without approaching candy-bar levels of sweetness.
7. Whole grain bagels or square bagel breads make an ordinary sandwich seem special.
8. Share cooking fun with your children and bake one of the many whole grain mixes now on grocery shelves, from cranberry-orange muffins to cinnamon buns. Or, make family favorites using whole grain ingredients, such as brown rice crispy cereal and whole wheat flour.
9. Make trail mix by combining dried fruit bits with whole grain cereal.
10. Whole wheat, multi-grain and whole-corn tortillas make easy wraps.