The Benefits of Wheat Germ For the Whole Family

wheatFeeding your family healthy food can be challenging, especially when you are crunched for time. Wheat germ is a great thing you can add to things you normally cook to add more vitamins and minerals. Check out the list of how everyone in your family can benefit from wheat germ and try the easy recipes below to change things up a little!

5 Groups Who Can Benefit From Wheat Germ

  1. Prenatal women: Folic acid is critical for good prenatal nutrition, helping prevent birth defects. Wheat germ also contains zinc, which is necessary for proper growth and development.
  2. Athletes: Working out? You need to keep your body fueled, and not with empty calories. Wheat germ is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to get the nutrients you need to fuel up or recharge. Add to smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal pre- or post-workout.
  3. Children: Getting kids and toddlers to eat healthy foods can be a challenge. Wheat germ is a great solution because it blends so easily with the foods they already love. Add it to favorite foods like yogurt, cold cereal, mac ‘n’ cheese and, yes, even cookies! This gives children the boost in vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and grow strong.
  4. Health-conscious eaters: Wheat germ is a perfect companion in the kitchen. Sprinkle it on everything from cereals to soups to boost the nutrition, or use it to replace less nutrient-dense foods in cooking, like breadcrumbs. Trying to slim down? When you’re cutting calories, wheat germ helps ensure you’re not also skimping on nutrients by delivering the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and fuller, longer.
  5. Seniors: As we age, our eyesight begins to diminish. Wheat germ is an excellent source of vitamin E that can help promote eye health and may even lower the rate of cataracts. It also keeps brain function strong to possibly help ward off Alzheimer’s.

Here are a whole bunch of recipes you can try to include wheat germ in your family’s meals:

·         Double Berry Banana Smoothie

·         Berry Delicious and Easy Wheat Germ Pancakes

·         Baked Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

·         Kretschmer Wheat Germ Oven-Fried Chicken

·         Homemade Pizza with Wheat Germ Crust

·         Kettle Corn with Wheat Germ

·         Pumpkin Waffles with Wheat Germ

·         Key Lime Tarts with Graham Cracker Crust

·         Chocolate Truffle Pie with Wheat Germ Crust

Make Your Own Baby Food

Baby eatingMake Your Own (Homemade) Baby Food

Making your own (homemade) baby food is really quite simple, and rewarding! You don’t need any fancy tools or even lots of time. Just spend a few minutes to make a big batch of food that you can store in your freezer and use for weeks.

The Benefits of Making Your Own (Homemade) Baby Food

I think one of the best things about making your own (homemade) baby food is that you know exactly what your baby is eating. Some jars of baby food have ingredients on their labels that won’t have in your fresh batch of food. If you are serving your baby butternut squash, you know the ingredients are butternut squash and water and that’s it! It is also a great way to feed your baby more organic foods (without paying extra for jars of pre-made organic baby food).

Another huge benefit is the taste quality of the foods you are making. My biggest complaint of jarred baby food that you buy at the store is how watered down and bland the food is. If you compare homemade sweet potatoes to store bought sweet potatoes by giving them a taste test, you will be able to quickly recognize the difference in flavor. By making your own baby food, you are keeping foods more concentrated and full of flavor, which will be helpful as your baby grows into those picky-eater toddler stages. Your baby will be used to more flavor (like what mom and dad eat) and like a bigger variety of foods.

Variety is a great benefit to making homemade baby food. Since the baby food you make is frozen in ice cube trays (approximately 1 oz/cube), you can have a four ounce meal with many different combinations of foods. And, if you have a lot of different types of food in your freezer, you can keep meals constantly changing. Additionally, it is easy to experiment with mixing foods for even more variety (try avocado and banana!). Baby won’t get sick of the same old food and will probably look forward to what the next meal will bring! If you do this with jarred baby food, you have to open several jars of food and use them up completely right away so they don’t go bad. (Be sure when experimenting with food combinations and providing variety for meals that you have already introduced the food as the only new food for at least three days to make sure there are no food allergies.)

Price is of course a benefit. You can buy fresh produce, cook and puree it into several dozen ounces for just a few bucks. Jarred baby food at the store is not very costly, but it can add up when you baby is consuming a few jars of it per day. And when you compare it with the quality of food you are getting, making your own food is hands down a better value.

How to Make Your Own Baby Food

Each food that you prepare for your baby has an ideal way to be prepared. Some foods are better to steam, while others are to bake or boil. My favorite web site for knowing the best way to cook baby’s food is www.wholesomebabyfood.com. They also have a great chart that breaks down what foods are appropriate at what ages. Here is a basic rundown of how you make your own baby food:

  • Clean the food
  • Cook the food to soften it
  • Puree the food with a food processor or blender
  • Add water to the puree to make it thinner or add rice cereal to the puree to make it thicker
  • Once desired consistancy is reached, fill ice cube trays (each cube is approximately 1 ounce) with the food
  • Freeze the food
  • Once frozen, put the food in storage bags labeled with the food and date made

Recommended Reading

Get recipes and tips for making your own baby food with these books.

Recommended Resources

We love the Ninja food processor. It’s one of the most affordable food processors available, does a great job and makes it easy to pour into ice cube trays! (And, my baby thinks it is fun to help make food with!)