Welcome to the Fall 2012 Healthy Eating Challenge, a part of the B'more for Healthy Babies Project through Planned Parenthood of Maryland.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Week 3: Whole Grains Challenge
Welcome to Week 3 - Whole Grains Challenge
This week we are going to get our grain on. Why? Because whole grains provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients and are also rich in carbohydrates, the body’s main fuel supply. Now we're not talking about the refined grains -- white bread, pizza, pasta, and baked goods -- that we most of us eat too much of. No, we're talking about healthy whole grains which help to regulate blood sugar levels, make you feel full for longer periods, and aid the digestive system.
Our goal this week is to get three more servings of whole grains into our diets each day, without a lot of fuss. It can be as simple as adding a serving at breakfast, lunch, dinner and at snack time.
Day 1: Add Whole Grains to Breakfast
Whole grain cereals are good sources of dietary fiber.
Whole grain oats have been proven to lower bad choleserol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL).
As for whole grain breads - try wheat, rye, barley, or spelt. Read the label and make sure the ingredients are 100% whole grain and not a mixture of whole grains and refined white flour.
Whole grain muffins
Whole wheat pancake or waffle mix
Day 2: Add Whole Grains to Lunch
Get rid of all white bread -- instead make your sandwich with two slices of whole grain bread and you'll add two servings of whole grains!
Use whole grain pita bread pockets for sandwiches
Try whole wheat tortilla for tasty wraps
Add 1/2 cup of brown rice, barley, quinoa or cooked wheat berries to chicken, tomato or vegetable soup
Day 3: Add Whole Grains to Dinner
Switch from white rice to brown rice - high in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Cook brown rice in broth (vegetable, beef or chicken) instead of water for great flavor.
Add variety to your whole grain dinner plate with these healthy alternatives: quinoa, bulgur, barley, wild rice, and couscous.
Use whole grain pasta as a substitute for white pasta.
Day 4: Add a Whole Grains Snack Here are some suggestions:
Whole grain crackers
Light or air-popped popcorn
100% whole grain fig newton bars
Homemade steel-cut oatmeal cookies
Day 5: Add a whole grain serving at breakfast and lunch
Day 6: Add a whole grain serving at breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7: Add a whole grain serving at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time
Food for thought:
1. Did you add a whole grain to your diet each day as outlined in this week's challenge?
2. Did you notice any change in your digestion (for example, did you feel fuller, did you experience increased or decreased gas or bloating)?
3. Did you find anything difficult with this week's challenge? If yes, what?
4.What were your successes with this week's challenge?