Tammy McLeod is usually out of the house before all three of her boys (ages 14, 11, and 8) are up. Her husband, John, is often on the road for several days each week, so at workday’s end, after shuttling kids to various activities, she’s short on prep time. “Throwing something in the Crock Pot” before she heads out in the morning is a favorite solution. And though she makes healthy meals and eating together a priority, “I don’t think I ever really focus on whole grains,” she says. “As a person who constantly battles weight, I worry about whether adding more will affect that.”
We need to change Tammy’s mindset. We’re not asking her to add three more grain servings on top of what she usually eats—but to swap in whole grains for refined grains. So instead of a regular English muffin at breakfast, try a whole-wheat muffin. At lunch, try your sandwich on whole-wheat bread or in a whole-wheat pita. Come dinnertime, try brown or wild rice in place of white rice or potatoes. It’s more like fine-tuning or trading in than adding. And some weekend warrior–type ideas (cook big batches on the weekend when you have more time) can help her meet her whole-grain quota during the week.