YMCA Winter 2020 - Page 21

AUTHOR MIRIAM RALEIGH Miriam Raleigh is an Accredited Practising Dietitian specialising in Children’s Nutrition. She works in private practice helping children of all ages with all of their nutritional concerns. For more information, visit www.childnutrition.com.au. HOW TO GET MORE WHOLEGRAINS INTO YOUR DIET Paediatric dietitian Miriam Raleigh shares her tips on eating wholegrains so that your family has practical ways of incorporating wholegrains into their diet. Earlier this issue, we heard from Dr Tim Crowe about the importance of fibre for nourishing our gut microbiome thereby supporting optimal digestive health. We also know that wholegrains are a great source of fibre that can also help us manage our appetites and even reduce our cholesterol. What are wholegrains and why are they good for you? Many grains and cereals we eat are made of just the endosperm (the innermost part of the grain). ‘Wholegrains’ include the endosperm, but also the germ and bran components of the grain or cereal. This means not only extra fibre, but also additional key nutrients such as B group vitamins, antioxidants and good fats. Wholegrains take longer for our body to digest, which helps to keep us fuller for longer and can keep our blood sugars more stable. Are we eating enough wholegrains? Many families may not be eating enough wholegrains because they are just not sure how to use them. Here are my top ideas for boosting the wholegrain intake in meals and snacks. Many parents ask dietitians about newer products like high fibre white breads, or fibre-enriched cornflakes and whether they really are as healthy as advertisers say. In essence, these ‘invisible fibre’ products use added fibre in the form of resistant starch to boost fibre content. Resistant starch is known as a prebiotic (a fermentable fibre that preferentially feeds the beneficial bugs in our gut). And while it can be beneficial for gut health and regularity, it doesn’t provide the additional nutrients to our diets that wholegrains do. At the end of the day, these products aren’t a magic solution that can replace actual wholegrains. Food to eat to increase your family’s wholegrain intake } Choose whole oats rather than the ‘quick oats’ or try natural muesli. } Choose breakfast cereals that include wholegrains rather than flours. } Add quinoa and barley to soups and salads. } Choose bread, rolls, wraps and crackers with visible grains and seeds. FEATURE ARTICLE WINTER 2020 Look for these words in the ingredient list that represent wholegrains (the higher up the ingredient list, the better): • Wholegrain / multigrain / sprouted wholegrain • Wholewheat / wholemeal • Whole oats / oatmeal / ‘steel cut’ oats • Brown rice / wild rice / red rice } If you’re trying to shift kids away from white bread, try a slow transition: first, to a smooth wholemeal or light rye bread; next, to a more substantial wholemeal, rye or spelt bread; and finally, to a multigrain bread. } Make your own muesli bars and energy balls using whole oats, nuts and seeds. } Buy wholemeal flour, and try replacing at least half in cakes, slices, pancakes and cookies. YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE 21