Most Americans eat white flour and white rice that are stripped of their bran and germ. This removes 50% to 90% of the nutrients and photochemicals in the grain. Once this protective layer is removed, the grains and flour ground from them remain shelf stable indefinitely, making them convenient for suppliers and grocers.
Instead kids can eat organic whole grains which provide essential nutrients, disease fighting antioxidants, and fiber. Whole grains are absorbed by the body more slowly than refined grains which prevents spikes in sugar and insulin. Among the most common grains are wheat, oats, corn, rice, barley, and rye. Kids can use mason jars to stock the pantry with the highly nutritious and delicious organic whole grains. By transferring the grains from their packages to jars, kids can easily get to the grains, the jars of grain look beautiful, and the grains are kept air tight.
Kids can check the package label for the “Whole Grain” stamp and the ingredients list to make sure that the word “whole” is the first word listed, as manufacturers often use misleading phrases to suggest the inclusion of whole grains. Kids can cook whole grains according to the directions on the package, in a pot of water for 15 to 50 minutes, depending on the grain. Kids will be excited to try new dishes with other whole grains, such as amaranth, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.
Organic whole grain pastas have fewer calories, 25% more protein, and three time the amount of fiber than regular durum wheat pasta. Brown rice pasta can be cooked very quickly in a large skillet with the sauce, which captures the whole grain nutrients right in the sauce. Kids can look for flour labeled “100% organic stone-ground whole grain”. Stone grinding distributes the bran and germ fairly evenly, uses less heat which preserves the nutrients, and the larger grains are digested more slowly to provide a steady stream of energy. Kids can cook with organic whole grain pizza crusts, tortillas, and flatbread for fun, easy, and nutritious meals.