Infant Articles

The Whole Story On Whole Grains

 

What is a whole grain?

 

A whole grain possess natural nutrition and a unique rich flavor.  In fact, whole grains are so good for you that the USDA recommends that 3 of our grain servings each day are made up of whole grains.  Whole grains have fiber, vitamins and minerals and when children begin eating whole grains early, they tend to develop a preference for those flavors for a lifetime of healthy eating.

 

Whole grain is better than typical white bread because it still contains original phytonutrients and micronutrients. When grain is processed it is stripped of the nutritious bran and germ of the grain, removing these inherent vitamins that your growing baby and toddler need.

 

Just remember, you want the bran and germ.  They're good for your children and you.  So when you shop, make sure to check the labels carefully. Purchase only grain products marked with 100% whole grain: not multigrain and don't choose breads based on appearance alone.  When grain is unprocessed the bran and germ is still intact.

 

Benefits

 

Naturally, whole grain provides so many benefits.  Your children will gain several healthy benefits from starting to eat whole grains at an early age:

  • Rich in fiber to help maintain healthy digestion.  To calculate the grams of fiber your child needs each day just add 5 to their age (i.e. 4-year-old + 5 = 9 grams of fiber)
  • Helps control blood sugar and maintain cholesterol within already normal limits.
  • Unique, natural flavors the depth of these natural whole grain flavors is appealing to children and helps them develop a preference for the healthier food.

 

Types

 

Whole grains come in several varieties: brown rice, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, teff, millet, and amaranth.  They are also available as whole grain pasta, whole grain cereal and whole grain tortillas available in grocery stores.  Earth's Best, hass selected the highest quality Durum whole wheat with protein and fiber for our toddler foods. Find this distinct whole grain in Earth's Best Spring Vegetables & Pasta or Spaghetti with Cheese.

 

Step by Step Introduction To Whole Grains

 

  • Whole grain infant cereal: Earth's Best Infant Cereals are made with a variety of whole grains.
  • Jarred foods with whole grains:  After infant cereal, many babies' next foods come from a jar. Look for stage appropriate jarred baby foods and if they have a grain ingredient, make sure it is a 'whole grain'. Earths Best has a large selection of jarred foods with whole grains. Try the Fruit & Whole Grain Combinations
  • Whole grain finger foods:  As your baby's 'pincher' grasp perfects, he'll be looking for things to pick up and put in his mouth. Make sure the food he picks up is made from whole grains.
  • Whole grain snacks:  Healthy snacks made with whole grains comprise an important part of your child's diet.  Earth's Best and Sesame Street offer a wide variety of savory or sweet whole grain snack foods: Tots Honey Graham Organic Crunchin' Blocks, Sesame StreetApple Cinnamon Sticks Crunchin¬¥ Grahams and delicious Kidz Organic Whole Grain Bars.