Whole Grains At School

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,705
    Registered dietitian Liz Weiss explains how the new school cafeteria guidelines incorporate more grains to keep your kids fueled and focuses throughout the day.

    Liz Weiss: Hi! I am Liz Weiss, registered dietitian, cookbook author and family nutrition expert. Eating more whole-grain foods doesn't have to stop at the school bus door. New school guidelines will help to make our kids plates healthier by making at least half of their grains whole grains.

    Schools will gradually switch over to all whole-grain rich foods and simple steps in the cafeteria will help our kids adjust more easily. Some of the changes in school meals this year will reflect what you see in the MyPlate icon. They include breakfast cereals and breakfast bars made with whole grains, breads, baked goods and pasta made with whole grains or a blend of whole grain and enriched flours, brown rice and other whole grain choices at all school meals.

    Whole grain foods may look and taste a little bit different to children, but remember whole grain foods provide the fiber and nutrients kids need to get them through their busy school day.

    You can help your kids adjust at home by reviewing the school lunch menu and pointing out all the new whole-grain options. We create a favorite school lunch menu at home using whole-grain ingredients of course, pack a favorite sandwich using a slice of white bread and a slice of whole wheat, cut it into quarters and flip over opposite sides so it looks like a checkerboard.

    Top low-fat fruited yogurt with crunchy whole-grain cereal for a delicious and nutritious breakfast or a snack. Pair whole wheat pita triangles with hummus, whole grain cereal with dried fruit or whole wheat crackers low-fat cheese for a healthy anytime snack.

    Feel whole grains role model for your child. If you eat it, kids are more likely to follow your lead. And finally, take the whole grain challenge by incorporating whole grains into each of your meals. Whole grain foods are nutritious, flavorful and fun at home and at school.