MS, RDN, CDN
Allison is a registered dietitian who holds a Master’s in Nutrition and Physical Fitness. She also loves helping families get creative with their wellness choices.
Grains are an important part of a healthy diet, especially during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Whole grains contain the entire or ‘whole’ grain seed. Refined grains such as white flour lose important parts of the seed (most often all or part of the bran and germ) during processing. It is mostly in the bran and germ where a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and antioxidants are located. By choosing whole grains you are getting those very important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants in their original proportions, compared to refined grains where those nutrients are stripped away during the refining process.
Whole grains can be eaten in their complete form (such as
quinoa and barley) or they can be ground into whole grain flour and used for
baking bread and making pasta. As long as the grain contains the germ, bran,
and endosperm – whether it be in the flour or the actual cooked grain you are
eating – it is a WHOLE grain.
Examples of whole grains include: brown-, black- or wild
rice, oatmeal (steel-cut oats are the least processed), quinoa, barley, wheat,
wheat berries, farro, bulgur, corn, millet, teff, 100% whole grain flour and the
products made from it (whole grain bread, whole grain cereal and whole grain
While the USDA advises that you
make sure that at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, we’re
encouraging you to go for 100 percent. By doing so, you’ll gain much greater
nutrient value, you’ll discover you eat more flavorful foods, and your baby is
more likely to develop healthy taste preferences.
Choosing meals and snacks from the below listed options will help you consume more whole grains:
*Pregnant women should eat no more than 6 ounces of high mercury fish per week
For more on this topic, check out the following articles:
Our Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler is chock-full of yummy, easy-to-prepare meals your whole family will love.