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Power Up With Carbohydrates

Power-Packed Grains - The Foundation for building a Healthy Family Eating Strategy 

Let the Food Pyramid Be Your Guide

The USDA developed the Food Guide Pyramid to help all Americans make food choices for healthy eating based on the latest scientific studies.  The Pyramid shows the relative amounts of food to eat from each of the five food groups.  For good health, all foods are needed in the suggested amounts.  For proper balance, more servings from groups at the bottom of the pyramid - grains, vegetables, and fruits - are needed than foods toward the top.

As illustrated by the Food Guide Pyramid, grain foods should form the foundation of a nutritious diet.  The Food Guide Pyramid recommends that we eat six to eleven servings of grain a day.

Power-Packed Fuel Foods

Bread

Oats

Rye

Rice

Cereal

Pastas

Grains

Bran

Waffles

Encourage everyone in your family to set goals to reach these recommendations.  Here are some tips for incorporating more power-packed grains into your diet:

  • Plan your daily meals around large servings of bread, rice, noodles, and tortillas
  • Add a whole-grain breakfast cereal to your shopping list.  Include one you used to eat but haven't had in a while, one you've been meaning to try, or one you've heard is good.
  • At the grocery store or bakery, pick up one type of bread you don't normally buy, such as English muffins, bagels, pita bread, tortillas, rye, pumpernickel, oat bran, or mixed-grain.  Freeze half and alternate the rest with the bread(s) you usually eat.
  • During your next food shopping check out the many new rice products and all of the pasta possibilities on the grocery store shelves.  choose one or two to take home and try.
  • Scan the Sunday newspaper for coupons and sales on new grain foods you would be willing to try.
  • Have ready to eat breakfast cereal intead of your normal snack-with milk or straight out of the box.
  • Add a slice of toast, a bagel half, or English muffin to whatever you normally have for your breakfast or snack.
  • If you don't usually eat until lunch, add a morning snack of bread or cereal.  Start with a small serving and work your way up.
  • Tuck a stash of grains in your desk or backpack: consider whole grain crackers, rice cakes, popcorn, and bagels.
  • Order a pasta dish for your entree' the next time you eat out.  Many restuarants have at least one.
  • Take a cornbread mix.  Leave out the egg and use lowfat milk or buttermilk.  "Homemade" bread in minutes.

 

Additional Resources:

Wheat Foods Council www.wheatfoods.org

Food and Nutrition Information Center  www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/