When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

Whether you are a healthcare provider, a researcher, or just someone who wants to learn more about cancer prevention, we’re here to help.

AICR has pushed research to new heights, and has helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition, and cancer.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

March 19, 2014 | 4 minute read

Making it Easier for Kids to Eat Whole Grains

Research shows many reasons why it’s important for kids to eat a diet rich in whole grains. Whole grains can help your kids – and you – maintain a healthy weight. And as your kids become older, whole grains can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and diet-related cancers.family, Making it Easier for Kids to Eat Whole Grains

Recent research that I have collaborated on through the CHANGE Study suggests that children who ate more than 1.5 servings of whole grains every day had a 40 percent less risk of being obese than children who did not consume whole grains.

Yet only about 5 percent of American adults and children eat the recommended servings of whole grains every day and not all whole-grain products are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber. There are a lot of positive developments in what food companies and others to help kids get more whole grains. But there is still more progress that we can make in three main settings.

Marketplace: Changes made by food companies that have reformulated ready-to-eat breakfast cereal products, combined with new school nutrition policies and healthier meals served at home, will collectively make it easier for children to consume the recommended three servings of whole grains every day.

This month, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative announced that it had improved the nutrient profile of 24 ready-to-eat cereals, of which two-thirds now list whole grains as the first ingredient. That’s good news because the National Health and Nutrition Survey shows that more than one third of American children’s whole-grain intake comes from ready-to-eat cereals and hot cereals such as oatmeal.

While this is a positive improvement, there are still opportunities for food companies to further reduce by half the added-sugar content in their child-targeted cereals that currently provide as much as 8-10 grams of sugar/serving. Parents need to be confident that the whole-grain cereals they give their children at breakfast are optimally nutrient-dense.

Schools: At school, new nutrition standards will ensure that the meals and snacks provided to students will contain 100 percent whole grains.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Smart Snack Standards requires all foods sold at schools to be rich in whole-grains, provide no more than 200 calories per serving, and the sugar content must be 35 percent or less by weight.

Home: At home for dinner, parents can replace cooked potatoes with a half or a cup of an exotic grain or cereal. They can pull out the global atlas to show their child where other children around the world eat cooked staples such as millet (China), barley (Tibet), buckwheat (Russia) or quinoa (Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru).  Linking what they eat to a memorable story may influence their child to eat whole grains to achieve a healthy weight.

Parents need to read the Nutrition Facts label carefully before they make a purchase at the grocery store. Whole grains should be the second or third ingredient on the label. Foods containing “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not 100% whole-grain products.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that children consume at least half of their daily servings of cereal and grain products as whole grains, or about 3 ounces each day. This represents a half a cup of cooked oatmeal in the morning, a slice of 100% whole-grain bread at lunch, and about 3-4 whole-grain crackers as a snack or a half a cup of cooked whole-grain pasta at dinner.

You can urge companies to reduce sugar in their cereals on in initiative on the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Vivica Kraak, PhD, RD, is a public health nutrition consultant in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area and can be reached through twitter at @vivicakraak.

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