Making it Easier for Kids to Eat Whole Grains

Research shows many reasons why it’s important for kids to eat a diet rich in whole grains. Whole grains can help your kids – and you – maintain a healthy weight. And as your kids become older, whole grains can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and diet-related cancers.Wheat ears in the child hands

Recent research that I have collaborated on through the CHANGE Study suggests that children who ate more than 1.5 servings of whole grains every day had a 40 percent less risk of being obese than children who did not consume whole grains.

Yet only about 5 percent of American adults and children eat the recommended servings of whole grains every day and not all whole-grain products are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber. There are a lot of positive developments in what food companies and others to help kids get more whole grains. But there is still more progress that we can make in three main settings.

Marketplace: Changes made by food companies that have reformulated ready-to-eat breakfast cereal products, combined with new school nutrition policies and healthier meals served at home, will collectively make it easier for children to consume the recommended three servings of whole grains every day. Continue reading


A Fresh Topping for Pasta

rigatoni-and-red-peppers cropped copyWho knew that a delicious pasta dish could fit into a cancer-preventive diet? Our Health-e-Recipe for Rigatoni with Red Peppers fortifies with phytochemical-rich vegetables and fiber, which reduces risk of colorectal cancer.

Whole-wheat pasta has fiber plus protective compounds inherent in whole grains. If you can’t find whole-wheat rigatoni for this dish, try a similar type of bite-size whole-grain pasta, such as penne, rotini or macaroni.

Lightly sautéed red onion, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and spinach to toss with the pasta. You’ll be getting powerful onion phytochemicals, vitamin C in the peppers and tomatoes and lutein from the spinach, all reinforcing each other with health-protection benefits. They’re a fresh change from bottled pasta sauce. Topped with fresh basil and Parmesan, this dish is a tasty and low-calorie way to welcome the spring.

Find more cancer-fighting recipes and information about National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


A Long Winter; A Hearty Winter Salad

winter-bread-salad croppedOur Health-e-Recipe for Winter Bread Salad gives you a heartier kind of salad that’s appealing in cold weather.

Instead of buying croutons, which are usually high in calories and salt, toast some whole-wheat bread cubes. High in cancer-preventive fiber, these homemade croutons will be moistened by the vinaigrette dressing for this salad while keeping their crunch. They also contrast well with the salad’s sweet onion, garlic, tomatoes, celery and romaine lettuce.

Mixing bread chunks into salad is a tradition in Italy, where this dish is called “Panzanella.” Serve it with our Tuscan Chickpea Soup or Chicken Cacciatora from the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.