The goodness of wholegrains

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Registered dietician, Megan Pentz-Kluyts explains why it’s important for children to eat wholegrains.
Wholegrains, as the name suggests, contain every part of the grain, including the outer layers, the bran and germ. Refined grains, such as white flour, are milled, which is a process that removes the bran and germ resulting in a loss of dietary fibre and protein, along with at least 17 key nutrients.
Eat Wholegrain
A 2014 study reported that the overall quality of a child’s diet is better if they eat wholegrains. In addition to reducing the risk of obesity, the study found that eating wholegrains helps slow down digestion, which keeps blood sugar levels constant and results in longer-lasting energy. The dietary fibre in wholegrain foods helps tummies function properly and reduces constipation. It may also play a role in weight control and appetite. Wholegrains are also packed with B-vitamins, which are essential for a healthy nervous system. Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 also boost energy levels. Wholegrains contain minerals like iron and magnesium, which help boost immunity and build strong bones. At least three servings of wholegrains are recommended daily, which can include whole oats, rye, barley, Ryvita and brown rice – aim for at least three grams of fibre per serving.
So the next time your child wants a snack, look to nutritious wholegrains. Here are some quick and easy wholegrain snack ideas from Ryvita:
Fruit, nuts and mint with cream cheese yoghurt
2 Ryvita
20ml cream cheese
20ml full cream yoghurt
5ml lemon juice
5ml castor sugar
Fruit of your liking
15ml chopped cashew nuts
5ml mint jelly
1. In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese, yoghurt, lemon juice and icing sugar.
2. Spoon the mixture onto the Ryvita and top with fruit, cashew nuts and mint jelly. Serve immediately.
Almond butter, dried banana and roasted almonds
2 Ryvita
1 small handful salad greens
30ml almond butter
4 pieces dried banana
20ml full cream yoghurt
15ml chopped roasted almond
1. Arrange the greens on the Ryvita.
2. Top with almond butter, banana pieces and yoghurt.
3. Sprinkle with almonds.
Smoked chicken and avocado
2 Ryvita
1 small handful salad greens
½ fillet smoked chicken, sliced
½ avocado
5 slices cucumber
10ml lime juice
10ml olive oil
20ml good quality mayonnaise
1ml crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to serve
1. Arrange the salad greens on the Ryvita.
2. Place the smoked chicken and half the avocado on top.
3. Mix the garlic and mayonnaise and add a generous dollop to the Ryvita. 4. Chop up the remaining avocado and cucumber in a bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice and olive oil and serve on the side with fresh lemon.
Megan Pentz-Kluyts RD(SA) is a registered dietician with a Masters in Nutrition. She owns her own Nutrition Consultancy where the scope includes consulting to various clients in the food industry, both locally and internationally on nutrition and assistance with food labelling. Visit

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