Last weekend, my kids and were invited to visit the Royal Winter Fair and learn about grains from a dietician at the Grain Farmers of Ontario. It may be a little strange that I jumped at this opportunity when I have celiac disease and are allergic to wheat. That was my thought too. Why would a person with celiac want to know about grains? Like all other opportunities, I went straight to the Ontario Grain farmer’s website to do a little research!
When people think of grains their first thought is wheat (as was my initial reaction), but grains and grain products are a lot more diverse than that.
Did you know…
-There are 5 million acres of grain grow in Canada
-Canada grows three types of grains: Corn, Wheat, and Soy.
-Corn is used to make ethanol to help reduce greenhouse gases
-When soy is hydrogenated it can be used to make clean burning candles.
-The entire wheat plant is used to make products we use every day
-There are over 28, 000 grain farmers in Canada alone.
-Wheat is grown in all provinces except Newfoundland
-Farmers produce and average of 24 million tonnes of wheat a year make it Canada’s number one crop.
My children and I explored the in depth Grain Farmers of Ontario booth and learned a lot about grains then any of us even imagined. From how they grow and where they grow to what type of products were made from grains other than food. My children were shocked to learn that things like motor oil, toothpaste and gum are made with grains that we see farmers grow right outside of our town. The real learning experience came when we had the opportunity to speak to dietitian Cara Rosebloom, a registered dietitian and mom. She taught us how versatile grains are and how easy they are to incorporate a variety of grains into your diet (even when you have celiac disease!).
No question was too big or too small. I loved how easy and comfortable my children were when talking with Cara. They asked her questions like do I have to eat the crust on bread because there are more nutrients in it like Nanny says? Is gum healthy to eat for dinner if it is a grain? And how many grains should they eat each day? Cara took the time to answer each question with ease and factual information that put it into perspective for my kids. They loved the sample lunches that showed then and my children have been more conscious about the grains they have eaten ever since.
- 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
- 2 whole grain wheat tortillas (6 inch ones work best!)
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella or soy cheese
- 2 tbsp finely chopped sweet peppers
- 1 small mushroom, thinly sliced.
- Prepare your cheese, mushrooms and peppers.
- Spread tomato sauce on one tortilla
- Add as little or as much vegetables as you like.
- Top with cheese and then second tortilla
- One medium, brown tortilla in a non stick pan for 4-5 mins.
- Cut into wedges and pack in your child’s lunch!
How can you incorporate more grains into your diet?