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What are Whole Grains?

1. Whole grains are nutritious, delicious, and are included in the WIC program!
2. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel.
3. That means whole grains have all the fiber and other nutrients found in the “whole”
4. Whole grains can come from wheat, rice, corn, oats, or other grains.
5. Whole grains include all the nutrients found in the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.
6. Examples of whole grains:

  • whole‐wheat bread
  • oatmeal
  • brown rice
  • corn tortillas
  • popcorn
  • whole‐wheat pasta
  • whole‐wheat crackers
What are refined grains?

1. Refined grains start out as whole grains, but then they are milled. This process removes parts of the grain, along with certain nutrients.
2. Examples of refined grain foods:

  • white rice
  • flour tortillas
  • enriched pasta
  • Enriched
  • Macaroni
  • many crackers
  • white bread
  • Cereals
  • Pretzels
  • Grits
  • baked goods
Whole grains are healthier, so make the switch!

1. Instead of white bread, try whole‐wheat bread.
2. Instead of white rice, try brown rice.
3. Instead of flour tortillas, try corn tortillas or wholewheat tortillas.
4. Instead of cooked grits, try oatmeal.

Why are Whole Grains Important?

1. Whole grains are healthy choices!
2. Whole grains are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are good for you and your family:

  • Fiber
  • B vitamins
  • vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Phytochemicals
  • antioxidants
What can whole‐grain foods do?

1. Whole‐grain foods can:

  • help you reach a healthy weight.
  • help lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
  • improve digestive health.
  • help you feel full.

Get Your Family to Eat More Grains

Add whole grains to your family’s meals.

Breakfast Ideas:

1. Choose whole‐grain, ready‐to‐eat cereals, like Cheerios or Mini‐Wheats.
2. Try oatmeal! All types of oatmeal are whole grain ‐ old‐fashioned, quick‐cooking, even instant!
3. Enjoy whole‐grain toast or whole‐grain bagels.

Lunch and Snack Ideas:

1. Use whole‐grain bread for sandwiches.
2. Use corn or whole‐wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
3. Try low‐fat whole‐grain crackers or baked tortillas chips.
4. For a take along snack, pack some dry wholegrain cereal.
5. Enjoy some popcorn (try the low‐fat microwave kind).

Dinner Ideas:
1. Stuff cabbage leaves, peppers, or tomatoes with brown rice or add brown rice to your favorite stew or casserole.
2. Use whole‐wheat pasta when you make spaghetti, pasta salads or macaroni and cheese.
3. Use brown rice for making Spanish Rice (see recipe at the end of this lesson!).

Whole grains take longer to cook since they still have an outer layer of bran. For example, brown rice needs 45 to 60 minutes to cook. But instant brown rice is also available.

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