Kid-Friendly Whole-Grain Recipes

Give your children the healthy grains they need by adding these kid-friendly recipes to your file.

  • Kid-Friendly Whole-Grain Recipes
    Photo: © Beau Lark/Corbis

    Healthy Whole Grains  

    Feeding kids a healthy diet is all about balance. And when it comes to whole grains (an essential source of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients), the USDA recommends 3 to 7 ounces of grain foods daily, based on your child’s gender and age.

    Working whole grains into kid-friendly meals is easier than you think. Sneak oats, whole-grain cereal, whole wheat, and other stars of the grain group into their diet with a variety of recipes the entire family will enjoy.

  • Whole-Wheat Banana Muffins
    Photo: Mark Thomas; Styling: Stephana Bottom

    Whole-Wheat Banana Muffins

    Easy and inexpensive, muffins can be made over the weekend and packed in lunchboxes and served as breakfast or snack throughout the week. Feeling adventurous? Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the mix. And don’t forget, with dried and fresh bananas, kids are getting extra fruit (and fiber) in their diets.
  • Whole Wheat Tagliolini with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Francine Degni, Jan Gautro

    Whole Wheat Tagliolini with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

    Spaghetti is one of those must-have weeknight meals; it’s quick, tasty, and family friendly. If making your own pasta sounds like a chore, simply serve the tomato sauce over store-bought whole-wheat noodles—they’re just as healthy. Add a fresh green salad and whole-wheat dinner rolls for a hearty meal.
  • Giant Oatmeal Drop Cookies
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lydia E. DeGaris

    Giant Oatmeal Drop Cookies

    Cookies are the perfect hiding place for healthy ingredients. Knowing this recipe is packed with oats, applesauce, raisins, and walnuts, you’ll be sure to remind your kids to save room for dessert.
  • Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
    Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

    Whether you cook up a big breakfast or serve breakfast for dinner, these fluffy 5-star pancakes (made with whole-wheat flour) are a must for your menu. Instead of loading on heavy butter and whipped cream, let your kids make funny faces or spell words on their pancakes with fresh fruit.
  • Barbecued Pizza
    James Carrier

    Barbecued Pizza

    Make pizza night a family affair. Let the kids dress the pie with their favorite toppings, you cook the pizza on the grill, and then set up a picnic-style dinner outdoors. Remember to choose whole-wheat bread dough to get those grains, and introduce different veggies as topping options. You may be pleasantly surprised at what your little ones try.
  • Multigrain Honey Bread
    Photography: Karry Hosford

    Multigrain Honey Bread

    The beauty of making your own bread is that you know exactly what’s going into it, and exactly what your family is eating. This recipe is packed with bran flakes, oats, wheat germ, and whole-wheat flour, but there’s no need to fill the kids in on our healthy little secret!
  • Whole-Grain Cereal Party Mix

    Whole-Grain Cereal Party Mix

    Cereal isn’t just for breakfast. Take the whole-grain variety your kids like best (think Cheerios or Chex), and combine it with nuts, seeds, and savory seasonings. Bonus: Our party mix makes a big batch. Let the kids have some at snack time, and then serve it at your grown-up get-together.
  • Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts

    After you pick up carpool, pick up a rotisserie chicken and get this quick Asian dish on the table in no time. Cooking long-grain brown rice is a super-easy way to add grains to your meal. When you’re at the store, also look for the healthier whole-grain options of family staples such as pasta, cereal, and bread.
  • Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

    Sure, these breakfast rolls take a little more effort than the kind from the can, but it’s worth it! When the kids smell the sweet aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg coming from the kitchen, you’ll have no trouble getting them out of bed.
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