I really enjoyed shopping for the challenge and looking at new products. We try and eat healthy and organic meals but it was great switching from normal pasta to wholegrain and using rapeseed oil over olive oil - these simple little changes can have a bigger impact than you think.
|Some wholegrain goodies|
So why make the switch? Well whole-grains are typically lower in fat, higher in fibre and tend to be digested more slowly which is all great when managing your weight, as well as your blood sugar - so less crashes during the day and more energy to do the things you want.
The most important meal of the day! It really is and I find it's the time I eat the most, as being a parent is busy work and I don't always have time to sit down till the evening.
* We swapped white bagels for wholegrain and multi seed ones - even little Mr A enjoyed these
* We all ate a lot more porridge and oats - which is a great base for adding lots of lovely fruit and seeds and creating something new each day. Oats are also very good for heart healthy and keeping cholesterol at bay - no wonder it's a super food and cheap to boot - a Must have on any weekly food plan.
* Also swapped normal cereal for wholegrain high fibre bran which is also great on it's own or topped with cut up banana.
|Multiseed bagel with Manuka honey|
Well I have to work lunch around what little Mr A likes to eat. He is very much into sandwiches at the moment and he doesn't seem to notice the difference between white and wholewheat bread which is great as this was an easy change to implement.
* We also ate a lot of brown-rice rice cakes with hummus
* We tried to eat more fruit and veg for our midday snack
* We swapped white pittas for wholewheat ones
* We also started using wholewheat wraps over the white tortillas we would normally use
We had a lot of fun making some healthy and wholegrain yummy snacks during the two weeks, it is also a great way to get children involved as they need little encouragement to bake and Mr A loves seeing the end results (and eating them). We first we tried out some Sweet Potato brownies using spelt flour and is packed full of goodness and though it may sound like a strange combination it works really well. We also did Mr A's favourite of Banana and organic apricot muffins with spelt and wholegrain flour and Agave syrup to sweeten.
|Sweet Potato brownies|
We used wholewheat pasta instead of normal and everyone enjoyed it, I don't think we will ever go back to using normal pasta now - it's such an easy change but you really do feel more full after eating wholewheat pasta and therefor eat less.
I also used brown rice instead of noodles in our weekly stir-fry, as well as wild rice and long grain in the home-made curry - another easy success.
We also tried buckwheat as a substitute for rice with some of our meals which had mixed responses but I enjoyed the quinoa in salad as a change to cous-cous.
|Home made curry with wild rice|
What did we learn
It's really easy to make these small changes that help you achieve your target of 3 portions of wholegrains a day. We will continue to buy brown bread over white - which to be honest is something we already do, and we will be sticking to the wholewheat pasta and wraps and I am going to start using more rapeseed oil over olive oil when cooking and making salad dressings.
Another thing I want to change is sticking to a really healthy breakfast of either oats or high fibre bran as this is a great way to start the day. It was also really nice having healthy snacks in the house over shop-bought processed ones.
Thanks to mumsnet for letting us be apart of the review panel.