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Starting Monday, March 17, Grow Happy Kids will be a brand new website! The new site will include recipes, money saving tips, connection to local services, and much more! Go to http://www.growhappykids.org on Monday to check it out!


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Family Enjoying Walk In Park
Youth and young adulthood is the period when bones build up to their peak strength. Helping youth lead a bone-healthy lifestyle—with exercise, adequate calcium, and adequate vitamin D—can help them keep strong bones through all their adult years.

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Parents who drink milk and eat dairy foods show their kids that it is important.

-Dairy foods are especially important to build the growing bones of kids and teens.

-Routinely include low-fat or fat-free dairy foods with meals and snacks–for everyone’s benefit.

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Part of being a powerful parent is helping kids make smart food choices. You can’t be with them all of the time and they need to learn skills on how to choose foods that keep themselves nourished! 

Here are some tips that might help you help your child to choose to eat more whole grains:

  • Parents kissing girl.If your child asks why you are serving brown rice instead of white rice (or any other whole grain switch!), instead of focusing on fiber and nutrients, try answering with “because I love you and want the best for you.” Whole grains are complete grains and are more filling and satisfying than refined grain foods.  They have more naturally occurring nutrients to help nourish your child.  That’s a win-win for parents and kids! But we don’t have to bore them with the science. We just need to love them.

Kids love having choices. All grains don’t have to be whole grains. The recommenWhite bread and brown breaddation                                                                is “Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains.” Ask your son or daughter what they would like for their whole grain and then what they would like for their refined grain.  Or ask them what whole grain they would like to substitute for a refined grain.  For example, if you usually buy fruity O’s with no whole grains, have your child pick out a cold cereal that is   a whole grain choice.  Have your kids visit the Bell Institute “Go with the Whole Grains for Kids” on-line game to learn more about how to choose whole grains.  


All kids want to feel strong.                                                                                                                                                                                   Remind them that eating whole grains will help them grow strong and give them the energy they need for the day.  Encourage them to be Whole Grain Heros and track how many whole grains they eat each day using this Grain Tracker, also from the Bell Institute.  And remember you are one of the most powerful people in your child’s life when it comes to healthy eating, so release your inner superhero and be a super role model!

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Some whole grains cost more than refined grains, but they don’t have to be overly expensive, and it really is an investment you are making in your child’s future.

Penny in Piggy Bank Slot

Check out this short, helpful video offering simple tips for “How to Cook with Budget-friendly Whole Grains.” 

This is one of five videos to help serve up more love in every bite by making at least half grains whole grains. The other topics are Whole Grains for Breakfast, Whole Grains at School, The Benefits of Whole Grains, and Whole Grains for the Whole Family (with info about cooking once and eating twice!).

The videos are hosted by Liz Weiss, a registered dietician, cookbook author and family nutrition expert.

But we know you are the expert for your family! Do you have tips and ideas on how to serve up more love in every bit with whole grains to share with parents?  Please post a comment!  We would love to hear from you.

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“Made with whole grains”

“Contains whole grains”


“100% Wheat”

“Stone Ground”

“Cracked Wheat”


Which of these foods contain whole grains?  Probably none of them. Finding true whole grain foods can be a little tricky, but here are 3 secrets to being pretty sure you are getting a whole grain. Even if not 100%, at least you will be moving in the right direction!

153693320Look for the Whole Grains Stamp. The 100% whole grain stamp means the food is a whole grain. The Basic Stamp means that there is at least 1/2 serving of whole grains in the food-a good way to start “Making Half Your Grains Whole.”



Check the package label.  The key is to look for “100% Whole Wheat” or other whole grain.

100% whole wheat bread

153693320Check the list of the ingredients. If the first ingredient listed contains the word “whole” follow by a grain, it is likely this food is high in whole grains. WholeGrainIngredient

All that being said, it is also pretty easy and also most cost effective to stick with the basics: oatmeal, brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread and bread products, whole wheat tortillas, plain toasted oats cereal, and shredded wheat cereal. Not always very exciting, but isn’t your life exciting enough?!

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Your kids depend on you to give them the very best! Here are some tips to help you meet their expectations:


  • Aim for 3 servings of whole grains per day or make half your grains whole grains. This is for the most health benefits. But even small changes add up to make a difference over time!
  • Start small and build.  Replace a refined grain with one of these whole grains:
    • Oatmeal
    • Brown Rice
    • Whole Wheat Noodles
    • 100% Whole Wheat bread, buns, pitas and tortillas
    • Whole Grain Ready-to-Eat (cold) Cereal like toasted O’s, shredded wheat or wheat flakes
  • It can take some time to get used to the heartier flavor and chewier texture of whole grains. But you can do it! Stick with it! Your kids are looking to you to do the right thing. Just think of how proud you will feel when you are successful.

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