Written by Corina Penaia
From September 2018 to June 2019, APIFM partnered with Garvey Unified School District’s Head Start program to offer a nutrition education series that integrated farm-to-school produce distribution! in one of our monthly nutrition workshops parents learned about the benefits of consuming whole grains.
Whole grains contain beneficial nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber. Did you know that…
- Zinc helps with a healthy immune system and healing wounds
- Magnesium keeps our bones and nervous system healthy
- B vitamins help our cells grow and stay healthy
- Fiber leads to healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full. Eating enough fiber has been shown to keep our hearts healthy, too.
Examples of whole grains are breads, cereals, pastas, and brown rice. However, be wary of products labeled “multigrain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven grain,” or “bran.” These types may not be one-hundred percent whole grains. If available, choose products labeled “100% whole wheat.” Always read closely!
To practice a recipe featuring quality whole grains, parents made brown rice sushi. A few parents shared that they prefer to not make brown rice because it’s challenging to cook, results in a hard texture, and does not taste as good. In a discussion, other parents suggested to soak brown rice for at least six hours, wash, and then cook. This method will result in rice coming out as soft and fluffy. Another way to soften the rice is to use the ratio of using two cups of water for every one cup of brown rice. The reason is that brown rice, being that it is whole grain, has more layers of nutrients compared to white rice. In addition, one parent suggested cooking fragrant brown rice (like jasmine brown rice) for a flavorful taste and cooking it will make your kitchen smell nice! We always love learning pro-tips from the community members in our workshops.
The brown rice sushi was a fun and delicious activity to make and can easily be replicated at home and to make with the kids. Check out the recipe on eatfresh.org, and let us know what your favorite whole grain recipes are!