Hook your family on oats by following these innovating tips.
Are your kids eating enough whole grains? Current Dietary Guidelines show that kids of all ages fall short of not meeting the recommended daily value for whole grains. Parents, this include you, too! According to ChooseMyPlate.org, the recommended daily amount of whole grains is 3 ounces for 2-3-year olds and 5 ounces for 4-8-year olds. Oats can be an easy and delicious way to meet these guidelines. Oats are easy to cook, readily available, and very versatile. They provide numerous nutrients, including: B vitamins and minerals like iron, selenium and magnesium, important for growing bodies and healthy hearts. Studies show that whole grains, like oats, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, are useful for weight control, and can help you get enough fiber each day to maintain a healthy gut. Many children can be picky eaters and may shy away from choosing oats over traditional sweeter cereals. However, here are three tips to make oats part of your family’s everyday routine:
It all starts at the grocery store. Trying new foods can be intimidating, but shopping and cooking together with your kids can make it fun. Have an “oats scavenger hunt” and have kids identify products in the grocery store that contain oats. Making it a fun game will make them want to try the food!
Creativity is the key. The more creative the meals are, the more likely your kids will eat those foods. Let your kids prepare their oatmeal in the morning by making a “build your own oatmeal” bar. Offering toppings like chopped fruit, nut butters, chopped, nuts, and honey will not only get them more vitamins and minerals in the morning, but will make it fun to eat oats!
Think outside the box. Oats don’t have to be used just as cereal. Include oats into foods such as pancakes or muffins, add them to fruit and vegetable smoothies, mix with chia seeds and milk to make a pudding. Oats are a versatile grain!