How your child’s diet can benefit from wholegrains

Did you know that wholegrains can lower your child’s risk of obesity? Read on to find out more about the benefits of wholegrains for kids.

 Wholegrains contain minerals like zinc, iron and magnesium.

Sometimes striking a balance when it comes to our children’s diets can be challenging. Often foods like wholegrains are overlooked. The overall quality of a child’s diet is better if it includes wholegrains, says registered dietician Megan Pentz-Kluyts. “Wholegrain intake has consistently shown a lower risk of obesity. Not only that, but wholegrains are digested slower, making blood sugars rise gradually and result in longer-lasting energy.”

The difference between wholegrains and refined grains

A wholegrain food contains every part of the grain, including the outer layers, bran, and germ. Refined grains, however, are milled, removing the bran and germ, causing a loss in dietary fibre and protein, along with at least 17 key nutrients.

Three nutritional benefits of wholegrains for kids

  1. Dietary fibre helps tummies to function properly and reduces constipation. It may also play a role in weight control and appetite. Aim for at least 3g fibre per serving.
  2. B vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system. Your child’s body needs vitamins B1, B2 and B3 to convert and produce energy from fats and carbohydrates.
  3. Wholegrains contain minerals like zinc, iron and magnesium. Iron helps transport oxygen in the blood, zinc helps boost immunity, while magnesium builds strong bones and releases energy from muscles.

How many servings of wholegrains should your child eat every day?

Experts recommend at least three servings of wholegrains daily. Examples of foods include whole oats, rye, barley, wholegrain crispbreads such as Ryvita and brown rice.

Tried and tested recipe rich in wholegrains

Smoked chicken and avocado on Ryvita

 *Serves one

You will need

  • 2 Ryvita
  • 1 small handful of salad greens
  • ½ fillet smoked chicken, sliced
  • ½ avocado
  • 20ml good-quality mayonnaise
  • 1ml crushed garlic
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 10ml lime juice
  • 10ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to serve

Method

  1. Arrange the salad greens on the Ryvita.
  2. Top with the smoked chicken and half of the avocado.
  3. Mix the garlic into the mayonnaise and dollop it on top.
  4. Chop up the remaining avocado and add the cucumber, lime juice and olive oil. Serve this as a salsa on the side.