Offer kids whole grains; they’ll eat them, UF/IFAS study shows

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 09:11 AM.

By Brad Buck

UF/IFAS

Many parents presume their children will shun whole grains because they think they don’t like them, a University of Florida researcher says, but a new UF study may start to debunk that idea.

If whole grains are offered, kids eat them, according to a new study by researchers at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Specifically, former graduate student Allyson Radford and two faculty members found children ate whole- and refined-grain foods in equal amounts.

“We tried to choose foods we thought kids would enjoy, such as cereal bars, macaroni and cheese and SunChips and found that they ate the ready-to-eat snack foods the most,” said Radford, one of the study’s authors. “We were interested to see if they would eat the whole-grain foods as much as the refined-grain foods, and so we were pleasantly surprised that they would eat the same amount whether the food was whole or refined.”

Radford co-wrote the paper with assistant professor Wendy Dahl and professor Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, all of whom are in the food science and human nutrition department. The study was published online last week by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Eating whole grains, combined with a healthy diet, may reduce the risk of heart disease and help with weight management, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



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