Make Half Your Grains Whole Wheat!
Participants will be able to plan for the transition of whole grains into their family diet, know the
benefits of whole grains and can identify the whole grains available from WIC.
Use a facilitated discussion format in discussing whole grains as part of daily nutrition
Nutrition Fact Sheet – “Whole Grain Made Easy” (www.eatright.org)
3-4 samples of whole and refined grains
Recipes for preparing whole grains
Introduce yourself and the class session
Why is it important to eat whole grain foods?
What are whole grain foods?
How have you incorporated whole grains in your family’s diet?
Why should we eat whole grains?
Half the grains we eat should be whole grains. It is an important part of a healthy
o Make simple switches: to eat more whole grains, substitute a whole grain product
for a refined product – such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or
brown rice instead of white rice. It is important to make these substitutions to
have a healthy lifestyle
o Whole grains can be healthy snacks: popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy
snack with little or no added salt and butter
o Save some time: Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur or barley. Heat and
serve it later as a quick side dish
o Mix it up with whole grains: Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in
vegetable soup or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Then, you
don’t need that added dinner roll!
o Try whole-wheat versions: For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat
macaroni in macaroni and cheese
o Bake up some whole-grain goodness: Experiment by substituting whole-wheat or
oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, or other flour-based
recipes. They may need a bit more leavening.
o Be a good role model for children: Set a good example for children by eating
whole grains with meals or as snacks
o Read food ingredients: Teach older children to read the ingredient list on cereals
or snack food packages and choose those with whole grains at the top of the list
Whole grains help us control weight, decrease risk of heart disease, protect against some
cancers and other diseases, and keep our digestive system running smoothly
What is a grain?
The grain group includes foods like breads, cereals, oatmeal, grits, rice, tortillas, pasta,
Some common whole grains are: brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat breads, buns, rolls,
oatmeal, whole grain cereal, corn tortillas, whole grain tortillas, whole wheat pasta,
whole grain crackers, popcorn
Identifying whole grain foods…
The food package contains several clues to help identify whole grain products. These
include the ingredient list and the use of the whole grain health claim or a whole grain
Look for whole grain as the first ingredient in the ingredient list to determine whether the
product is whole grain. There may be several sources of whole grains in one food. The
first ingredient will represent the primary ingredient in the product but if the second, third
and fourth ingredient are whole grain, the product could still be an important source of
“Made with wheat, made with whole grain or made with whole wheat” – This means the
product contains some whole grain, but refined, processed flour is probably the first
ingredient. The label should say “Whole Grain”
Wheat flour – this means that the only grain in the product is wheat. The food may not
contain whole grain wheat, however.
Multigrain – This means the product contains more than one kind of grain. However, the
food may not contain whole grains
Whole Grain Guaranteed – Watch out for children’s cereals that advertise “Whole Grain
Guaranteed” These cereals have some whole grain but are usually high in sugar, or they
have a small amount of whole grains and are primarily made from refined ingredients.
Look for cereal that is whole grain with the highest percentage daily value of dietary fiber
and low in sugar.
Color is not an indication of a whole grain product. Bread can be brown because of other
How to add whole grains into my family’s daily eating habits:
Talk to your family about using more whole grains in your diet
Make sandwiches with whole wheat bread
Use whole wheat tortillas or wraps for quesadillas and tacos
Try a whole wheat pita pocket instead of a white tortilla
When making a stir fry, use brown rice
Eat oatmeal for breakfast
Snack on popcorn (without added butter) or low fat pop-corn
Serve hamburgers on whole wheat buns
Make a healthy snack using whole wheat crackers and cheese or flavored cream cheese
Choose whole grains cereals
Make snack mixes using whole grain cereals
Try mixing half whole wheat pasta with standard white noodles to get your kids use to
What was most useful about today’s topic on whole grains?
What tips could you give to other WIC moms or family members who might be hesitant to
change to whole grains?
Remember to affirm all clients for participating and sharing their good ideas
What You Need To Know:
Grains are divided into 2 groups:
o Whole grains - contain the entire grain kernel
o Refined grains – the outside of the grain has been removed, taking away the
nutrients and fiber. Some vitamins are added back in but the fiber is not put back
into these grains
Grains have 3 parts: the fiber rich bran, the starchy endosperm and the heart healthy
Whole grains keep all three parts, even after they are milled into flour and made into
breads and cereals
Eating whole grains may reduce your risk of:
o High blood pressure
o High cholesterol
o Type 2 diabetes
o Some types of cancers
Whole grains give your body energy
Why fiber foods are so good for your health – Dietary fiber is best known for its ability to
prevent or relive constipation. But fiber can provide other health benefits as well, as
lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease
Diets high in plant foods, i.e. fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain cereals, are
associated with a lower occurrence of coronary heart disease and cancers of the lung,
colon, esophagus and stomach
Children 2-3 years old 3oz equivalents 1 ½ oz
4-8 years old 4-5oz equivalents 2- 2 ½ oz
Women 19-30 years old 6oz equivalents 3oz
31-50 years old 6oz equivalents 3oz
51 + years old 5oz equivalents 3oz
Men 19-30 years old 8oz equivalents 4oz
31-50 years old 7oz equivalents 3 ½ oz
51 + years old 6oz equivalents 3oz
Is What You Read What You Get?
Words you may see on packages Is this a whole grain?
Whole grain (name of grain)
Whole (other grain) YES – contains all parts of the grain, so you’re
getting all the nutrients of the whole grain
Stone-ground whole (grain)
Oats, oatmeal (including old-fashioned
oatmeal, instant oatmeal)
Durum wheat MAYBE – these words are accurate
descriptions of the package contents, but
Organic flour because some parts of the grain MAY be
missing, you are likely missing the benefits of
Multigrain (may describe several whole
grains or several refined grains or a mix
Make with whole grain or made with
Degerminated (on corn meal) NO – these words never describe whole grain