Check out the following meal specific ideas to help you eat more grains all day long.
- 1. Set up a bagel buffet for breakfasts on the fly. Just serve a variety of bagels (you might try whole wheat, cinnamon and pumpernickel for starters) along with an array of low-fat toppings.
- 2. A tip for your toast: try one tablespoon of all-fruit jam instead of 1/2 tablespoon of butter for a low-fat start. (See also: Old Fashioned Toast Recipes)
- 3. Have breakfast in an instant with a bowl of instant cooked cereal, then top with honey or cinnamon.
- 4. Waffling about breakfast is out; frozen waffles and pancakes are in. Pop them in the toaster or microwave, then top with applesauce.
- 5. In a hurry? Don't skip this important meal. Pour a bowl of cold cereal for a nutritious day starter that's ready in a flash.
- 6. Drizzle a crisply toasted English muffin with honey or jam for a high-carb breakfast you can eat during your morning routine.
- 7. For a weekend breakfast treat, try a slimmed down version of French toast. Dip bread in an egg substitute, then brown lightly in a non-sa skillet that's lightly coated with cooking spray. Top it off with cinnamon applesauce or a fruit spread.
- 8. Spread pizza sauce on a bagel, pita or English muffin; add low-fat cheese, basil and garlic and broil until the cheese bubbles.
- 9. Try a duo-tone sandwich: Mix white bread with whole wheat; or wheat with rye; or sourdough with pumpernickel. The combinations are endless!
- 10. Choose pretzels or oven-baked tortilla chips instead of a side of fries for a change of pace that's chock full of grains. You can make your own, too. Just cut a refrigerated wheat tortilla into wedges and toast lightly under the broiler.
- 11. For a tropical twist, try raisins, citrus peel and low-fat pineapple yogurt with salad macaroni for a cold salad.
- 12. Pick up pita pockets. Stuff with tuna, chicken or fresh veggies for a power-packed lunch that's easy to fix.
- 13. Do the double-decker. next time you build a sandwich, cut the fat by using twice the bread, but only half the filling.
- 14. Turn a plain soup or salad into a meal. Add a variety of lower-fat crackers for texture, taste and most importantly, energy-rich complex carbs.
- 15. Curl up with a tortilla. Spread with low fat peanut butter and jelly and roll 'em.
- 16. Buy a loaf of French or Italian bread, slice vertically (like they do in deli shops) then fill with tuna, chicken or fresh vegetables. Slice off a "sandwich" at a time.
- 17. Treat yourself with the latest in trendy foods; Oriental noodles. Mix a big bowl of cold noodles with bok choy or shredded vegetables and sprouts and fresh basil. Add a little chicken and hot broth to make it a main dish.
- 18. Make a lighter version of the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Use your toaster to heat the bread. When it pops up, slap on a slice of lower-fat cheese, then heat briefly (30 seconds will do) in the microwave to melt the cheese.
- 19. For easy entertaining. try cucumber sandwiches. They make a great companion for soup or salad. Trim the crust from white bread, cut in fourths, flatten with a rolling pin, spread with low-fat cream cheese and top with sliced fresh cucumbers.
Snack To Snap Up
- 20. Make a sandwich of sorts using reduced-fat crackers (or bake your own crackers), low-fat cream cheese and sliced vegetables. (It makes a great appetizer, too.)
- 21. Sa with it. Bread sas make a good match for your brief case: They help you eat right -- even at your desk -- and can get you through late-day slumps by restoring energy with complex carbohydrates.
- 22. Bag up mini-bagels for a just-the-right-size, energy-rich snack kids can eat on the run.
- 23. Got a sweet tooth? Grab graham or un-frosted animal crackers. They are low in fat, higher in carbs.
- 24. Bake your own bagel chips. (This is a good weekend project your kids will like, too.) Here's how: Cut bagels crosswise into thin slices, then toast in your toaster oven or under the broiler. For a sweet treat, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar before toasting.
- 25. Instead of greasy potato chips, munch on pretzels as a low-fat option for satisfying cravings for salty, crunchy foods.
- 26. Bag your favorite cereal and you've got an instant carry-out snack that will bag you another serving from the grain foods group.
- 27. Whip up a savory snack. Sprinkle low-fat cheese on a tortilla, heat in the microwave. Then roll it up and dip in salsa. Enjoy!
- 28. Tantalize your taste buds with toast fingers. Spread low-fat peanut butter on whole wheat toast. Sprinkle with crushed cereal and slice into "fingers." (This one's sure to be a winner with kids, too.)
- 29. Lightly toasted pita wedges are great for dipping in low-fat spreads. Try hummus, made from chick peas, to get you started.
- 30. Need a nutritious appetizer? Try skinny sub sandwiches. Slice plump, fresh bread sas vertically, then stuff with your favorite low-fat fillings. They're a natural for sporting event parties.
- 31. For an after-school (or after-work!) snack, try spreading applesauce over whole wheat bread.
- 32. Make a bread bowl for your next soup-and-salad supper. Scoop out a round loaf of bread and use the insides to dip into the soup. When the soup's gone, you can eat the bowl, too!
- 33. Get that fried chicken taste without the fat. Roll skinless chicken in egg whites and milk, dip in crushed cereal and bake.
- 34. Think ahead. Boil a big pot of pasta on Sunday, toss lightly with olive oil (to keep it from saing) and refrigerate. Try a different topping every day.
- 35. Switch to tomato or vegetable-based sauce for guilt-free pasta. Remember, a half-cup of pasta adds another serving to your 6 to 11 for the day.
- 36. Toss fresh or dried herbs with spinach-flavored fettuccine for a fresh twist that works as a main dish or on the side.
- 37. Mix freshly steamed vegetables with bulgur or couscous for two-food-groups-in-one main dish.
- 38. Go Oriental. Flavor your Oriental noodles with water chestnuts and low-sodium soy sauce.
- 39. Spice up spaghetti with salsa and chopped green chilies for a Southwestern spin on a powerful meal that's ready in minutes.
- 40. Try an exotic couscous tabbouleh dish for something different. Mix chopped tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro with lemon juice and garlic and add to cooked couscous.
- 41. Pass the bread. Pile bread on a plate and pass it 'round the table every night. It's an easy way to slip in another serving or two from the grain foods group.
- 42. Go gourmet: Add water-packed artichoke hearts to your favorite pasta or Oriental noodles.
- 43. Make any soup a noodle soup. Precook the noodles and add to soup just before serving to build up your base of grain foods, and make your soup a main dish.
- 44. Crush and crumble crackers into meatloaf and meatballs -- extends your servings of grains, cuts back on fat.
- 45. A bowl of cereal works for those working-over-time, no-time-to-cook-but-need-to-eat-dinner blues.
To Top It All Off
- 46. Try low-fat granola-type cereals as a topper for fruit-flavored or frozen yogurt.
- 47. Treat yourself for being good with angel food cake. Top with strawberries, raspberries or other fresh fruits.
- 48. Fig bars hit the spot, but skip the fat. Fortune cookies are fun and low-fat.
- 49. Enjoy a few vanilla wafers with a fruit cocktail cup or with a fresh fruit salad.
- 50. Instead of an ice cream sandwich, mash some bananas with light whipped topping for a graham cracker sandwich filling.
Source: Wheat Foods Council
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