This topic is for feedback on Mumsnet product tests. If you'd like test a product on Mumsnet please mail

NOW CLOSED Wholegrain Goodness challenge: add your feedback here and be in with a chance of winning supermarket vouchers - open to non-'official' testers too - prizes to be won

(306 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Jan-13 11:00:21

If you're one of the 'official' 50 MNers who are taking part in the Wholegrain Goodness challenge, then this is the feedback/support thread that we'd like you to post on throughout the challenge. Each of the 50 MNers who post their feedback during the challenge will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 supermarket voucher of their choice.

If you're not an 'official' participant but want to take part in the challenge anyway, or just have wholegrain tips and ideas you'd like to share, then please add your comments below. All non-'official' participants who post their thoughts will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 supermarket voucher of their choice.

The challenge is to include wholegrain in at least one meal or snack for your family per day for two weeks, using a variety of wholegrain foods available (e.g. porridge, popcorn, oats etc.). To help, you can visit the Wholegrain Goodness website for their guide to wholegrain, for tips on how to identify wholegrain and for wholegrain recipe ideas.

The challenge starts on Monday (21 Jan) and we hope that participants will post here throughout

Please add your feedback on the following here:

~ Please share any tips and ideas you've discovered while taking part in this challenge e.g. have you found any good ways to encourage your child(ren) to choose wholegrains?

~ Have you discovered any recipes or tasty on-the-go wholegrain snacks that your family really like?

~ Have you tried out any Wholegrain Goodness recipes? How did you and your family find them?

Please add any other comments you have too - we'd love to hear from you at various stages of the challenge.


aristocat Fri 18-Jan-13 16:09:42

Hi, just marking my place and thrilled to be taking part.

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 18-Jan-13 16:15:35

I'm not official so just being cheeky as I was planning on upping our whole grain intake anyway.

I got a popcorn maker as a Christmas present so today I made popcorn with 2yo DS. I hadn't thought of popcorn as a wholegrain before reading the website so I'm really pleased to be able to use my present so well. DS loved making the popcorn (and eating it!) so it's something I'll do more often.

Trills Fri 18-Jan-13 16:22:25

I got microwave popcorn in my graze box the other day (slightly salted) which was lots of fun.

Grockle Fri 18-Jan-13 16:31:12

I'm a tester... I've looked at the recipes and there seem to be very few that are vegetarian and most don't really appeal to me.

In fact, I've searched the recipe section of the wholegraingoodness site for 'vegetarian' & it only comes up with 3 recipes. I am sure there are more than that but it's really disappointing.

We'll have porridge every morning but I need to figure out what else to eat for other meals.

NikkiCrick Fri 18-Jan-13 21:21:15

Not an official but just wanted to say there are lots of (mean & vegetarian) recipes on Whole Grain Council website:

fuzzpig Sat 19-Jan-13 09:01:59

Very excited to be taking part and glad you started this thread already so we can all share ideas. DH is off to spend our voucher today so I am trying to write a list!

DowntonTrout Sat 19-Jan-13 09:16:44

Have ordered my shopping for Monday morning and have replaced my usual bread, cereal, rice, pasta etc with whole grain versions. My biggest challenge will be getting DD to eat them so I'm looking for recipes to "hide" whole grains in.

catinthesnow Sat 19-Jan-13 09:21:14

I love this site for recipes.

helenthemadex Sat 19-Jan-13 10:56:27

I have got bread, rice and pasta. It will be interesting to see if the kids notice the change in the food we normally eat

Im going to try pasta bake with the pasta tonight

MrsKwazii Sat 19-Jan-13 11:52:43

Right, I've been shopping and getting prepared. I've bought:
- popping corn for snacks
- wholemeal flour to make banana loafs, muffins and soda bread
- oatcakes and wholegrain ryvitas for lunches
- wholewheat penne and spaghetti and brown rice
- porridge oats for cooking - like the idea of making a crust for fish (and cranachan for Burn's Night)

All of which came to £10.71. The price difference for some items is quite marked, especially the rice. Would have liked some wholegrain noodles for stir-frying too but couldn't find any in my local store.

I already have wholewheat cereals in the cupboard so will add them into the mix too and we already buy 50/50 bread - DH doesn't like brown bread so it's mainly to sneak wholegrain into his diet rather than DD's grin. I like brown bread but it seems wasteful to buy a whole loaf just for me, even the small ones don't get finished off.

I'm interested to see if DD notices the change to wholegrain pasta and rice as she loves both normally but we have white versions as, again, DH isn't always keen on the brown. He's training for a race though so I reckon I can win him over from a nutrition point of view. We shall see ......

I often use as you can search by ingredient and course. Will take a good look at that other link as well Cat as well as the wholegrain goodness one.

MrsKwazii Sat 19-Jan-13 11:56:56

Sorry, should say that the price between wholegrain and refined versions of some food is quite marked. Why is this? Is it because there is less demand so prices are higher due to economies of scale of producing it? Or is it seen as a 'premium' product so prices are higher simply because they can be?

SunshinePanda Sat 19-Jan-13 16:30:43

Have also been shopping and got prepared. Always buy porridge and oatcakes anyway. Also got whole grain ryvita, made sure all bread was wholemeal and got wholemeal flour. Did look at brown rice and pasta but DS had said please don't make us eat brown pasta so will be interested to see how others get on with that. Have baked wholemeal scones and used the flour for carrot cake although it doesn't seem to have risen much. Both are ready for packed lunches but have just sampled the scones with a cup of tea after major snowball fight - they were a definite hit!

catinthesnow Sat 19-Jan-13 16:42:21

Could not get to shops but had some Food Doctor fig granola and made a traybake. Made two as the first one mixed with coconut oil did not stick together so I split it and mixed half with chocolate and the other half, mixed some butter and honey then baked

Soup with spelt and linseed bread.

MrsKwazii, there is quite a marked difference in price plus in Tesco, the wholegrain products were on the topmost shelf so not so easy to find.

PatTheHammer Sat 19-Jan-13 18:54:31

Right also been to the shops and got prepared, whole grain versions of rice, pasta, spaghetti, wholemeal flour to make muffins and do some more baking, the ryvita with pumpkin seeds were on offer, got oatcakes and oats, multiseed tortilla wraps, wholemeal rolls.

We have whole grain cereals and bread anyway do really I'm more interested in whether the kids can tell the difference with the rice/ pasta and going to try different grains than the cous cous they usually eat.
Money wise my shop was about 10 pounds more, but I wouldn't usually by all that rice and pasta in one go and we will eat it over two weeks,

I do have a chocolate hob-nobs count? They have oats in them, plus I couldn't resistwink

JambalayaCodfishPie Sat 19-Jan-13 20:18:05

With regard to wholemeal pasta - we made the change as a family a few months ago and DD never noticed. There's no real difference in colour once its cooked. The taste is pretty much the same too. Might be worth just cooking it and see if they notice! grin

CraftyBec Sat 19-Jan-13 21:07:32

My family are up for the challenge, although my 7 year old DD, who loves white bread and refined cereals, looked like she'd cry when I told her about the plan. I like to think we already eat quite healthily, with lots of fruit and veg, but was quite surprised when I realised how little wholegrain we actually consume. We bake our own bread (in a bread machine) usually 50/50 white/wholemeal flour, and have quite a few wholegrain cereals, but that's about it.
I went shopping on Friday and bought:
wholemeal pasta
brown rice
wholemeal noodles
wholemeal plain flour
wholegrain cereal bars
wholegrain 'breakfast biscuits'
bran-enriched breadsticks (not strictly wholegrain but the closest I could get).
I spent quite a while studying labels in the store, but concluded that if it doesn't boast about being 'wholegrain' then it probably isn't. The extra things cost around £10 extra to my usual shop, so the voucher covered it nicely, thanks.thanks

Indith Sun 20-Jan-13 11:17:10

Marking my place for monday smile

I've not been to Sainsbury's yet with my voucher, snowed a bit on Friday grin. We have some stuff in the house though.

I need to menu plan for the week. I'll prob get there on Monday.

Plan is to kick dh and the dcs into making flapjack for snacks which they used to do every week and for me to get back into good bread making habits with some wholemeal flour.

Plus try out quinoa and bulger wheat and swap rice and pasta to wholemeal.

Breakfast won't change as is already wholemeal 5/6 days a week. Plus we have pearl barley in stews and soups around twice a week.

aristocat Sun 20-Jan-13 13:10:05

We have also been snowed in here so i will get my wholemeal shopping tomorrow and report back then.

Lesbeadiva Sun 20-Jan-13 13:17:57

We got some pasta, porridge, flour, brown rice and popcorn. I plan on making flapjacks and using the flour to make snacks too. We eat a lot of porridge but need to up our whole grain. Looking forward to starting.

Indith Sun 20-Jan-13 13:31:52

Oh yes popcorn. We do have popping kernals so if all else fails and more snow falls we can eat popcorn and watch dvds. grin

romanianmum Sun 20-Jan-13 15:23:15

Hello all!i'm happy to be taking part in the challenge! All prepared now?

androbbob Sun 20-Jan-13 15:53:25

Went yesterday and got some wholegrain - will try these and get other in the week. I got Shreddies, wholegrain crackerbread, fruit and fibre bagels and the bread for toasting, rather than have white toast.

Will try the shreddies out tomorrow at breakfast for all three of us. DH does not do breakfast!

Planning on getting some oats and pasta later in the week.

romanianmum Sun 20-Jan-13 17:45:45

Have to say the challenge will be fairly easy for us as we usually it wholemeal anyway - pasta,rice,bread,flour etc. we never try the popcorn or the porridge but I will give it a go.

PatTheHammer Sun 20-Jan-13 19:50:00

Lunchboxes done for tomorrow: Wholemeal ham/salad rolls and a Jordan's oat bar (honey and almond) instead of usual cereal bar. Decided to do lunch and breakfast (toast and wheetabix) tomorrow as dinner is chicken pie from roast chicken leftovers and that definitely ain't wholegrain pastry grin.

Going to use the rest of the chicken on tues in a pasta bake using the whole grain pasta.

Grockle Sun 20-Jan-13 20:37:47

I think we'll focus on breakfast & lunch too. DS has requested chocolate porridge in the morning (porridge with a chocolate coin left over from Christmas) so that's a good start. And a wholemeal roll for lunch.

CraftyBec Sun 20-Jan-13 22:25:02

Good recipe for popcorn here. We had some today while watching films on TV (Muppets from Space and Nanny McPhee). The first time I made popcorn I didn't have a clue about quantities and the pan overflowedshock! No burnt or unpopped kernels with this recipe.

MissRee Mon 21-Jan-13 08:55:48

I made some wholegrain muffins yesterday for DD to take to childcare every day this week. I've also got pasta, wholegrain cereals (cheerios and shreddies) and popping corn!

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Mon 21-Jan-13 09:01:56

I've not been able to get to the supermarket because of the snow... school and preschool both closed today but might drag the kids along anyway. But we've got some stuff in already I can use - DS1 and DH both like porridge for breakfast and me and DS2 have weetabix. Thinking of making these with the boys later for post-sledging snack and lunchboxes when school reopens.

Major obstacle so far is DS2 refusing to eat 'balls' in seeded type / wholegrain breads. And spitting them out and handing them to me.

I've made extra porridge this morning so ds's are having it too, having theirs with sugar and cinnamon. Ds2 eaten everything, ds1 not so keen! Think its a texture thing as he doesn't like mash potato either.

We have wholemeal/multigrain bread most of the time but dinner will be a challenge I think. Will try some of the recipes and that might get dh having something whole grain, he's the biggest challenge wink

CraftyBec Mon 21-Jan-13 10:24:07

Well, the first official morning of the challenge and DD chooses rice crispies for breakfast. She is genuinely surprised that they are not wholegrain. She promises to have Weetabix tomorrow. But her portion for today is assured with bread (50/50 wholemeal) for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch. She also has a Hobnobs chocolate flapjack bar, which is 40% oats, so that will count too. We are having macaroni cheese for tea - couldn't find a wholemeal version of macaroni!
I am going to try baking with some of the recipes on the [] link that someone posted the other day - they look good!

Indith Mon 21-Jan-13 10:24:28

My car is going nowhere today, it has been snowing all night and is still coming down. The roads are covered in deep slush even though the ploughs are out.

I went into the local Co-op though after battling through to the next village on the school run and picked up a wholemeal seeded loaf and some brown rice. They didn't have any wholemeal flours or pasta.

Dcs started the day with porridge as usual. They love frozen fruit in theirs hmm so I keep bags of mixed fruit in the freezer (sour cherries, blackberries, raspberries, red and black currants. Super cheap from Tesco). Fruit should be good for muffins if I can get wholemeal flour!

We will have bread at lunchtime. I'm off to put something in the slow cooker for dinner which will probably involve pearl barley. We'll keep the rice for tomorrow I think.

CraftyBec Mon 21-Jan-13 10:25:49

Woops, sorry - not used to inserting links in this way. Will try again

CheeseStrawWars Mon 21-Jan-13 10:36:10

Porridge for breakfast, "just like Abney and Teal!". Chucked some raisins on top and they lapped it up. Will experiment with ginger and/or cinnamon if they start getting bored of it - good to have a warm breakfast in this weather.

Have had a look at the recipes on the HGCA website, the fat-free fruit loaf looked interesting but the sugar content put me off. Oatcakes as a snack is a good idea though, will be swapping them for the usual breadsticks.

Lesbeadiva Mon 21-Jan-13 10:39:35

This morning we did our own muesli. Kids took some porridge, a handful of mixed nuts, some grated apple, sliced banana and raisins, smothered it in yoghurt and a bit of honey! Easy and pretty tasty.

ouryve Mon 21-Jan-13 11:23:05

Grockle - if you'd normally have pasta or rice with a meal, make it with wholewheat pasta or brown rice, instead. That's an easy change that you don't need separate recipes for.

if you bake for the kids, flapjacks use oats, so are there already. Cookies like these and date crumble bars, plus crumbles in general work well with wholemeal flour. Wholemeal pastry is really lovely in a quiche, specially with a bit of parmesan added.

And of course it's easy to change bread to wholemeal or at least brown varieties, if the kids are on board with that (one of mine most definitely isn't!)

THERhubarb Mon 21-Jan-13 11:38:29

Breakfast of porridge today. Not everyone likes porridge so I spiced ours up with some multi-grain 'boulders' from Sainsburys. I don't mind buying the kids cereals because I use them as a topping for the healthier porridge, adding a few raisins or blueberries in there too. The kids get to choose what topping they want and I know they are getting some essential fibre every morning.

My tip is to be imaginative with porridge. Add a variety of toppings and even some sprinkles or chocolate chips if you like (cocoa powder makes lovely chocolately porridge). It's still healthier than a bowl of childrens cereal and much more exciting.

Bread for sandwiches was the 50:50 type as neither of my kids will eat wholemeal bread so this is the compromise. I'll have some for my lunch too.

MissRee Mon 21-Jan-13 12:43:29

Oh yes, I made wholemeal bread yesterday too!

pennylovesleonard Mon 21-Jan-13 13:10:40

Just checking in! I got my voucher last week but haven't been to tescos yet. I'll pop in later & get some whole meal pasta, flour & oats.
I thought I'd ease the family in gently with some muffins or cookies!

Tyranasaurus Mon 21-Jan-13 13:38:09

Not an official tester. The thing that strikes me is the challenge is for one portion a day. I don't consider myself a particularly healthy eater but I've already had porridge and wholemeal bread today.

Wholemeal pasta is good. Brown rice is nice but takes ages to cook. Does quinoa count as wholegrain?

Scrambledchocpancake Mon 21-Jan-13 13:53:21

I also haven't been able to the shops yet but reading all the lovely comments above I think I might be ok for the next couple of days. Who knew popcorn was wholegrain. Got some in the cupboard. That can be our snack tomorrow. We started the day with wholegrain cereal (weetos) and porridge for me although I almost joined in with the kiddy cereal!! Most cereals I find are wholegrain. Looking forward to fulfilling this challenge.

steppemum Mon 21-Jan-13 13:54:18

I am not an official tester but would like to join.

The only thing is we use a lot of wholegrain already. Do we have to change what we are doing to join?

Also is ordinary porridge oats a la asda's own brand really whole grain????
I had no idea, no wonder porridge is supposed to be so good for you. Mine love it, but I haven't made it for ages. We could start there!

We actually only eat wholemeal bread. 2/3 of my kids won't eat white bread, having been weaned and brought up on wholemeal. Just goes to show that you eat what is familiar.

Not sure where we can add it actually - eat wholemeal cereal or wholemeal toast for breakfast, wholemeal bread sandwiches for lunch. Dinner is mostly potatoes as the carbohydrate. I really don't like brown rice, use wholemeal spaghetti, but not wholemeal pasta (because they don't make macaroni in wholemeal and dd loves her macaroni)

I have never bought children's cereals we eat weetabix or shreddies (both wholemeal)

hmmm, will have to have a think

Lilyloo Mon 21-Jan-13 14:42:11

I have done my shopping

Rapeseed oil £2.99
4 wholemeal rolls £1.20
Brown rice £1.79
Wholewheat spaghetti £1.00
Porridge oats £1.59
Wholemeal bread x 2 £2.20

Slightly overspent but we are keen to up our wholegrain intake so happy with that.

trice Mon 21-Jan-13 14:42:37

I didn't sign up for this one as I have spent the last year avoiding all grains apart from a bit of black rice. I have never felt fitter, but i am amused that I am totally at odds with the majority as usual.

Lilyloo Mon 21-Jan-13 14:49:57

So this morning we all had porridge, was a good start for the snowy day. Dd1 managed a little bit as she has been ill with a sore throat, but she does like porridge so would normally eat more. The best thing about it was it made us all eat breakfast together instead of the normal hectic rushing around making everyone their own breakfast choice.
However I must confess to putting syrup on to sweeten.
The girls have taken wholemeal rolls in their lunchboxes so will have to see if they were eaten when they come home. I had wholemeal bread for my lunch but dp won't entertain it.
Ds is now at home stricken down with the bug so no lunch for him.
I have taken mince out of the freezer for tea so will probably make burgers for tea. Will use the rapeseed oil to cook them in.

GiraffesMum Mon 21-Jan-13 16:17:37

Well we are all prepared here too.

Breakfast of shreddies or porridge seems to be going down well and I've rekindled my love affair with oatcakes. We tried the salmon off the website today but the DCs were not impressed with the 'biscuit' topping. DH and I thought it was ok but nothing special - we all preferred my pesto topped version. Going to try the meatballs with brown spaghetti on Thurs and the tomato soup. Kids don't like brown bread though - am going to see if I can do some 50/50 in the bread maker. Also have my eye on popcorn and some of the cakes on the website. Will let you know how we get on.

fuzzpig Mon 21-Jan-13 16:26:33

I really like porridge but for some reason it never fills me up like it's supposed to - quite the opposite in fact, I always end up really hungry way before lunchtime!

I am however going to put a load of oats in my pancake batter the next time DH makes them - I've tried this before (I helped run a healthy cooking for parents course and this was something we did) and it's really lovely.

Kingsmill fruit and fibre bread is lovely - I did the MN product test but only got my parcel on the use by date sad it's taken me ages to find it in the shops.

fuzzpig Mon 21-Jan-13 16:27:52

Weetos are whole grain?! Excellent grin

prakattack Mon 21-Jan-13 16:44:51

All set to start challenge today. Unfortunately I never got my voucher though sad - oh well.
We already eat wholegrain cereals (weetabix or shredded wheat bitesize for the kids, bran flakes for us) but not that good the rest of the day. Planning to try pesto pasta tonight with wholemeal pasta and see if the kids notice!
We eat 50/50 bread so that counts I suppose.
Have got some porridge oats for flapjacks, and I'm also going to try the kids with some greek yoghurt, oats and honey for dessert sometimes.
Am very excited that popcorn is wholegrain, would never have thought of that, so might do that later in the week!

I think all nestle cereals are wholegrain.

We are at my mums today so not wholegrain for dinner, feinitely going to try the lamb and quinoa patties and oaty pork cider from the booklet though.

Blatherskite Mon 21-Jan-13 18:48:00

The snow and closed school and pre school meant I couldn't shop over the weekend or today but I had picked up some wholemeal pasta so we had something to try tonight.

I had picked up both proper wholemeal pasta and a 'best of both' type one that promised the taste of white with the goodness of wholemeal but decided to go the whole hog and put the proper wholemeal stuff with our tomato sauce and meatballs tonight. I was a little worried that uber-fussy DD would refuse to eat it even though pasta is her favourite meal but she didn't seem to notice. I was surprised at how little even I noticed the taste of the wholemeal pasta too to be honest. It wasn't quite so smooth in texture but it was nowhere near as 'healthy' as I'd expected it to taste either.

Tomorrow I've got the DC's other favourite - fajitas - planned with the normal wraps swapped out for wholemeal ones. I hope they're as popular. Hoping the snow has cleared enough for me to go shopping too else our wholemeal for Wednesday may very well be weetabix and popcorn smile

claredanes Mon 21-Jan-13 19:16:17

We usually have porridge in the morning anyway but I was feeling rotten this morning so I chucked wholemeal toast and jam at the DC instead. DH is going to be my challenge because the DC are already pretty good with wholegrain.

nextphase Mon 21-Jan-13 19:21:58

Wholegrain pasta is foul, but I love brown rice - shame DH doesn't feel the same way.
We recently switched to half and half (pre sliced) bread, and (TMI) I can tell the difference it makes. I love granary bread, but that, and 50:50 bread seems to go off quicker than the while stuff. Any way of extending shelf life without compromising health benefits?

I too was shocked a few years ago that dispite eating a fair amount of fruit and veg, I wasn't actually getting much roughage (as opposed to soluble fibre - and it matters)

thestylethatdecadesforgot Mon 21-Jan-13 19:45:21

Not an official tester but I have been trying to up our whole grain intake for the last 6 months or so. Porridge is very popular with us (and thanks to whoever mentioned adding frozen berries, DD1 will love that!). I also add porridge oats to crumble topping.

We always have malted grain/wholemeal/rye breads with white only rarely. I love the nutty taste. DH's mum is German so he's used to having rye and dark breads. The girls are used to eating brown bread from weaning on, so they don't protest!

We have pearly barley in soups and bulgar wheat tabbouleh kisir. I love th extra taste dimension with wholegrain things.

I have just bought wholemeal plain flour and made the batter for toad in the hope with it yesterday. It was just as light but really had a lovely taste. Thinking of trying muffins with the frozen berries again using wholemeal flour.

Reading everyone's ideas with interest.

Oh and also been popping our own popcorn, I didn't realise that was a wholegrain but it makes sense when you think about it! Health wise I don't suppose it's that great dipped in chocolate or covered with salt and sugar but never mind!

MrsKwazii Mon 21-Jan-13 21:12:24

Evening all, it was 50:50 bread all round today for sandwiches or toast. DH and I also had brown penne pasta with pork meatballs and sauce tonight. I used wholemeal flour to bind the meatballs together too. I love brown pasta anyway so was happy eating it. MrK has eaten his but made no comment on it as yet wink I made a little bit too much pasta too so that I can have it with lunch at work tomorrow.

TeamEdward Mon 21-Jan-13 22:43:38

We're an official testing family!
Porridge for breakfast this morning, livened up with a naughty spoonful of golden syrup blush
I make my own bread, normally a granary/wholemeal mix, and this loaf I made with rapeseed oil instead of olive oil or butter. We had toast for tea so we've all had at least 2 portions today!

poachedeggs Tue 22-Jan-13 07:51:11

We've all just filled up on delicious porridge (the DC have that anyway but DH did too today, hooray!) to fuel us for the trek to school, but we've just found out the school is shut! Proper drifting snow last night and the roads are filling in faster than the ploughs can clear them so we're all just going to have to go sledging instead - at least we've had warm breakfast! :

THERhubarb Tue 22-Jan-13 09:25:41

I did look at the rapeseed oil but it's very expensive. I usually do what little frying I have with olive oil and put crisp 'n' dry in the deep fat fryer.

The 50:50 bread was well received but I'm not a huge fan. I prefer crusty loaves that you can cut into yourself so I might track down a wholemeal version of that for myself.

Kids have wholemeal pasta salad in their lunchboxes. Found a lunchbox recipe from the BBC Good Food and just altered it to suit. So they have a handrul of wholemeal pasta, peas and cucumber all mixed together. Drizzle over some lemon juice and add some grated lime rind. It's more of a summer salad but as it's so quick and easy to do, I knocked it up last night. We'll see what the verdict is when they come home from school.

Tonight we're having sticky pork ribs and I'll use the brown rice instead of white. I usually do sticky rice to go with this, not sure if brown rice will hold up but we'll see.

DowntonTrout Tue 22-Jan-13 09:26:41

Had a problem with bread. The supermarket substituted my whole grain loaf from the bakery with rye bread. It had a really funny taste and when I looked on the ingredients list it had caraway seeds in it.

DD took one bite and virtually spat it out. I can't say I blame her. The caraway seeds had a very distinct taste and I'm afraid that's a waste of £1.60 as it isn't going to get eaten.

I'm finishing a box of special K red berries. It has whole grain claims but I suspect it's not the best. We have Cheerios for DD and am doing porridge after tomorrow.

ClaraOswinOswald Tue 22-Jan-13 10:03:32

We tend to buy wholemeal bread anyway, with the exception of a nice fresh loaf of uncut white for bacon butties on a Sunday morning.

I mix wholegrain pasta and non-wholegrain pasta half and half, putting the whole grain in a few minutes before the other stuff. My children have never noticed.

They are not keen on brown rice, however.

Lesbeadiva Tue 22-Jan-13 10:08:34

We are having whole grain pasta for tea tonight with some nice bread I will bake later too. Completely whole grain dinner! Carb overlaid, but in this weather who cares!

Indith Tue 22-Jan-13 10:10:51

Don't know what to have for dinner tonight.

Dinner is the big one for us where I need to make sure there is wholegrain otherwise it isn't much of a challenge since breakfast has always been wholegrain!

Ds1 has lunch at school and 3 days a week Dd has hers at nursery so that will be hit and mix. I love the idea of popcorn as a snack, we do that sometimes at the weekends and snuggle down to watch a dvd. Not so practical when snack is eaten on the walk home from school!

I made oat muffins yesterday with fruit in which are very yummy.

Still very much snowed in so can only get to local shop so no wholemeal flour (or spelt or anything else) or pasta or quinoa yet.

Stew yesterday with barley in it which the children always love. Though dd developed a cast of the runs so just had white rice.

I might prod dh to make a mild curry type thing to have with some brown rice. Dd likes curry but I'll have to see how her bottom is. Ds1 is suspicious but will usually try anything.

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Jan-13 10:56:48

Thanks to all who have posted comments so far - are really interested to see your feedback. They have asked me to post the following to answer some of your queries:

"Wholegrain Goodness will be adding new recipes from time to time, and have just added some more including Baked Barley & Butternut Squash Risotto and Smoked Salmon & Oat Baked Cheesecake.

To those who asked about vegetarian recipes – there are now many more in Wholegrain Goodness recipes when searching for vegetarian under dietary requirements.

For MNers who already eat wholegrain every day, the 'challenge' will not be so 'challenging', but we'd still love you to take part and share any easy tips, ideas or advice to help inspire others. Sharing your feedback on this thread means you'll be entered into the prize draw to win a £100 supermarket voucher of your choice (or £150 if you’re one of the 50 'officials').

Finally, we wanted to share a top tip: as some of you have said, to help get wholegrain into your family's diet, try just adding a little to your usual recipes e.g. mix wild rice with long grain rice, wholemeal pasta with white pasta, or wholewheat flour with white flour. See here for more Wholegrain Goodness top tips."

poachedeggs Tue 22-Jan-13 11:12:45

Hobnob Recipe

8oz porridge oats

1tbsp golden syrup

1/2 tsp bic soda

Mix the flour, oats and sugar, melt marg, syrup and water in a pan. Stir in bic soda and add to

Then mix well and make into smallish balls which you then put on a greased tray and flatten slightly with a fork. Put in the oven at 180 degrees C for 15 mins... and cool on the tray. The aim is to get them golden in the oven not brown.

THERhubarb Tue 22-Jan-13 12:11:53

Drink recipe:

Take one can of cold Guinness from fridge.
Pull back ring pull.
Pour slowly into glass at an angle.
When you have poured 3/4 stop to let it settle.
Pour the rest in vertically.
Drink and enjoy.

Plenty of wholegrain in Guinness you know. It's made from malt and barley and stuff.

Blatherskite Tue 22-Jan-13 12:17:04

I remembered that the kids have swimming tonight so Dinner has been changed to Baked potatoes which meant I needed something wholegrain for lunch. I picked up some wholegrain bread while at the supermarket earlier and had it just the way my Grandma used to serve it to me whenever I was poorly as a child - made up into Spam sandwiches grin

Not the healthiest lunch in the world I know but it was so good I went back for seconds!!

I'm quickly realising that I don't dislike wholemeal anywhere near as much as I thought I did and I definitely snacked less last night after adding wholemeal pasta to our dinner.

I picked up some wholemeal cous cous and quinoa while I was at the supermarket too. I really fancy trying the chicken fingers recipe I found here with the children.

I find the official Wholegrain goodness site quite hard to use. I chose "Dinner" from the drop down menu and it brought up 38 dishes but then a lot seemed to be cakes and desserts. I was a bit confused until I looked at the top of the page and noticed that it was showing 81 dishes again. It doesn't seem to keep the search perimeters when you flick through the pages which is rather annoying.

florencebabyjo Tue 22-Jan-13 12:25:51

Hi, Just spent my voucher this morning and have made a batch of flapjacks with date puree for little ones lunch boxes. So looking forward to trying some new recipes this week. Have planned quinoa for dinner with vegetable ratatouille.

lubeybooby Tue 22-Jan-13 12:44:29

I have received and spent my vouchers

None of the recipes in the book really appealed all that much and DD is vegetarian so I've just switched all white bread and pasta etc for brown and I've bought some wholegrain cereals, and wholegrain wraps.

all going well and enjoyable so far. Wholemeal pasta is taking a bit of getting used to but me and DD have re-discovered out love of wholemeal bread and DD loves the wraps.

My tip would be to try the wraps for kids lunchboxes, so simple and yummy!

aristocat Tue 22-Jan-13 13:11:16

I am a tester and we were rather snowed in yesterday so were only able to have Wholemeal bread and 50:50 bread. School is open today and I have been shopping and purchased

Wholemeal Flour
Wholewheat Pasta x 2
Wholemeal Bread
Wholemeal Tortillas
Brown Rice
Fruit & Fibre Wholegrain Cereal

Total spend was £11.24 already

Today I have made a recipe from the Wholegrain Goodness website and it is a Fat Free Fruit Loaf. Very simple and easy to make, I like it. Will await DCs reaction to it after school grin

In answer to the questions .....

Please share any tips and ideas you've discovered while taking part in this challenge e.g. have you found any good ways to encourage your child(ren) to choose wholegrains?

TBH my DCs are not keen on wholemeal bread and prefer the 50:50 if given a choice. I intend to substitute wholegrain pasta and wraps for our usual choice and will report back with any problems.

Have you discovered any recipes or tasty on-the-go wholegrain snacks that your family really like?

We love flapjacks so I will be making some of those in a few days/at the weekend with DD. Will check out more recipes too as I want to use the quinoa soon.

Have you tried out any Wholegrain Goodness recipes? How did you and your family find them?
Yes, I made the Fat Free Fruit Loaf today and I love it. Not sure what DCs will make of it though. Will let you know.

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Tue 22-Jan-13 13:16:53

I've got us a couple of loaves of granary wholemeal bread, some wholemeal wraps, popcorn, wholemeal spaghetti / penne, oatcakes and rapeseed oil. The oil was expensive and I'm happy to use it for now but really can't see myself forking out for it after this unless we all suddenly have boundless energy / health / glowing skin / shiny hair as a result...

Made these biscuits with DS1 during his snow day yesterday which have gone down well with all but not ever-picky DS2.

We are already quite wholegrain at breakfast time but less so at other meals. I must confess that the bread manufacturing industry has got me quite confused - I've been told that 'brown' bread is no more nutritionally valuable than white, it's just dyed / coloured (is that true?). I usually buy Hovis best of both (so like a 50/50) - which is presumably half wholegrain? I like granary so bought that but there's granary and also granary wholemeal so what's the difference there? I am a simple soul..

androbbob Tue 22-Jan-13 13:38:53

Going to try the hobnob recipe as the kids love biscuits. Have also bought some wholemeal pasta and will mix it tonight with the normal pasta and see if they notice - spag bol, so should be ok!

Will make the fat free fruit loaf at the weekend and report back!

Breakfast is going ok - Shreddies are being eaten, made porridge for me and weetabix has been requested as well, so will buy some tomorrow.

Getting them to try brown bread is proving difficult and they did not like the wholemeal wraps. The Kingsmill Fruit and Fibre toasting loaf and the bagels though are popular.

poachedeggs Tue 22-Jan-13 13:50:42

I've just realised only half of the hobnob review posted! I'll try again later from the PC but it's listed on the MN recipes section smile

TheTempest Tue 22-Jan-13 14:39:55

we're taking part here, I have to say that DP and DD's all like and happily eat wholegrain. I think I'm going to be the one to struggle here. Have substituted wholegrain rice for our chicken curry tonight. Baby steps!

TheTempest Tue 22-Jan-13 14:41:01

Love the sound of the baked barley and butternut squash risotto, might give that a go tomorrow!

THERhubarb Tue 22-Jan-13 14:42:29

Don't worry poachedeggs I don't mind making half hob nobs. It saves me eating a whole one.

Lilyloo Tue 22-Jan-13 15:40:05

Well the dc came home with empty lunchboxes yesterday so the wholemeal rolls went down well.
I have used the others today for packed lunches. We used the rapeseed oil to make burgers last night, nobody mentioned that either.
Porridge for breakfast again which was enjoyed by all. Not really noticed the subtle changes so far which is good. I love wholemeal bread anyway so happy to be getting away from white bread.
We are having sausage casserole for tea so no wholegrain there but I have made a batch of flapjacks so we will be having those for desert.

Indith Tue 22-Jan-13 16:26:43

Lilyloo when making stews or casseroles pop a handful or 2 of pearl barley in them smile

Dd still a little delicate so we are going for a simple dinner of chicken legs and brown rice.

We've dug the car out and parked it on the main road so fingers crossed for better roads and I'll attempt to send dh to the supermarket for more stuff!

Rubarb grin

pennylovesleonard Tue 22-Jan-13 18:34:13

Dd had wholemeal toast this morning & I had porridge. I love porridge & it's perfect on cold, snowy days like today!
We made flapjacks this afternoon which were very popular! Fussy dd had 3 slices! I added raisins and sultanas & used agave nectar nstead of golden syrup. Tasty. Although, I'd forgotten how much butter is in flapjacks!!
Brilliant idea to just add a little wholemeal rice or pasta - I hadn't thought of that!
I'd like to use up some old bananas, has anyone got a nice recipe for muffins or banana bread?

MrsKwazii Tue 22-Jan-13 18:56:15

I did think about buying some pearl barley on my shop, but I hated it when I was little. We always had it in casseroles and I found the texture odd. May well be worth trying again though as it makes everything go a bit further and is good for you.

It's been a wholegrain cereal day here and I had last night's leftovers - wholewheat penne with tomato sauce - and it was really filling. Lovely to have a hot meal at work too, and saved me a couple of quid in the canteen which is a bonus grin

MrsKwazii Tue 22-Jan-13 18:59:30

Thanks for the tips too OtherHelen. Am planning to do some baking tomorrow. A few of my cookery books had suggested substituting half wholemeal flour for normal flour in recipes, all wholemeal makes cakes etc. much denser apparently. Will report back on findings.

Grockle Tue 22-Jan-13 19:43:25

I'll go back and look at the wholegraingoodness site if it has more veggie recipes.

Today I had porridge, DS had weetos star cereal and a wholemeal roll for lunch. I'm going to make flapjacks later in the week and the fat free fruit loaf too.

Is Bulgur wheat a whole grain?

I'd like to ask about Rapeseed oil as that seems to be heavily promoted on the website. Is it canola oil? I lived in the US, where canola oil is quite popular - I think it's a kind of rapeseed oil. Is it genetically modified?

PatTheHammer Tue 22-Jan-13 20:07:49

Chicken pasta bake with whole grain pasta went down without a hitch tonight, they said not a thing and finished it off so am taking that as a positive.

DD loving the Jordans oat bars and as after school snack today they had ryvita with pumpkin seeds spread with philly for DD and peanut butter for DS.

Will probably try the fish with the oaty apricot topping from the Wholegrain goodness booklet tomorrow as have some fish fillets that need eating and DS and I are going to make some wholemeal banana muffins.

I'm ignoring the rapeseed oil because it looks to me like a different thing, its not a wholegrain and has a different bit of the website ( doesn't it?

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Tue 22-Jan-13 20:15:24

We had chicken chorizo rice for dinner and I used up some brown basmati we had languishing in the cupboard mixed with white - I was quite surprised no one commented, it tasted like normal (I find all brown is a bit chewy..)

There's a couple of banana loaf recipes I use on BBC Good Food - one with chocolate and one with nuts. They are always popular (and DSs love squishing the bananas).

missDiddles Tue 22-Jan-13 20:22:54

I'm not an official tester but must admit we're big fans of banana muffins made with wholemeal flour, and oat/honey cookies! We always have wholemeal basmati too - but that needs livening up with cashew nuts or raisins for my son to eat it!

Grockle Tue 22-Jan-13 20:25:56

Ooo missdiddles, do you have a recipe for the cookies?

Indith Tue 22-Jan-13 20:30:12

brown rice not a hit with dd but she is a bit poorly so we'll see as she normally eats anything. ds said it was not very good, just a bit good. we all agreed it was a bit dry and chewy but it wad better with lots if gravy so we will try it again with stew. the baby on the other hand ate loads and isn't normally a rice fan.

CheeseStrawWars Tue 22-Jan-13 20:38:30

Wholemeal bread sandwiches went down as well as usual bread, i.e. about half-eaten. Looking forward to tackling a pearl barley and onion casserole as part of tea tomorrow, though it does take a long time on the hob. If only the wholegrains didn't take longer to prep!

MrsKwazii Tue 22-Jan-13 22:03:39

Have made the hobbies tonight, they are delicious wink

MrsKwazii Tue 22-Jan-13 22:04:40

That should say ' hobnobs' of course. I bloody hate autocorrect.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Tue 22-Jan-13 22:21:41

Yesterday wholemeal toast with chocolate spread for breakfast was a hot with everyone.
Today I tried doing 50/50 wholemeal & white pasta with bolognaise sauce. Myself & DD 10 ate it all but DS 7 picked all the wholemeal pasta out sad
Will have to be more cunning tomorrow grin

Wabbally Tue 22-Jan-13 22:48:24

So, yesterday we had beans on wholemeal toast for breakfast - huge hit (as we normally have yoghurt!)

Today we have had wholemeal pasta with tuna, sweetcorn, peppers and cheese - yum!

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Jan-13 09:58:43

Hi all - great to see so much wholegrain enthusiasm! Here's another quick note from

"The recipe search has now been fixed (22nd Jan). We're terribly sorry for any problems you experienced - this is a new website and you're the first to use it - thanks for letting us know.

We've also added some more new recipes – including Flavoured Popcorn (as we see popcorn is quite popular with many of you!) – and healthier version recipes for a Carrot Cake and Blueberry & Oat Muffins, as well as a savoury Cheese, Tomato & Oat Flapjacks recipe.

Also, yes - with oats you're virtually guaranteed to get all the goodness of wholegrain no matter what form you eat oats in. Here's our winter-warming Oatmeal Toad in the Hole recipe.

In response to a comment on rapeseed oil - did you know rapeseed oil is sometimes just labelled vegetable oil? It has less unhealthy saturated fat than all other cooking oils and fats. Prices vary greatly across products, from the cheapest oil, to the most expensive on the shelf - as do flavours - from incredibly mild and delicate, to very distinctive. Rapeseed oil, along with linseed, are the only oils grown and bottled in the UK.

And finally, all 'official' MNers taking part in the challenge should now have received their vouchers - thanks for the messages about these, they've been great to read. prakattack - we're sorry your voucher has gone amiss, we'll sort this out for you."

Kezzareece Wed 23-Jan-13 10:31:01

I'm not an official tester, but we went whole grain a year ago. Rice, pasta, flour, popcorn, porridge.

Honestly the only difficulty we encountered was our youngest, 7yo, not liking brown bread, but he will eat whole meal tortillas.

We actually prefer whole meal, it actually has flavour, rather than something just to mop your sauce up with.

The only thing I can't find is whole meal nachos. Will have to start making my own!

fuzzpig Wed 23-Jan-13 10:56:33

Had wholemeal shredded wheat for breakfast today. DH also stocked up on brown rice, whole grain crackers and bread (although he got a whole loaf rather than sliced grr)

Didn't manage to find any of the less popular grains though as the Sainsburys in town is only tiny - will have to get them next time we shop online. I actually really like quinoa, but my family aren't so convinced. Thinking of doing it with feta cheese and Mediterranean veggies.

THERhubarb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:11:06

Found some cheapish Rapeseed oil so will be doing my frying in that.

The brown rice did not go down too well I'm afraid. I couldn't make sticky rice with it, it was just too hard. It didn't go soft and fluffy like basmati rice which is what we normally get. Ds wouldn't eat it either, said it was too chewy and dh was none too impressed.

Oh well I did try.
Oh and the wholemeal pasta was a no-no for ds who again complained of it being chewy (do you have to boil it for longer or are these wholemeal versions always going to be chewier?) but dd said it was ok.

Today I have given them wholemeal pitta bread pizzas in their lunchboxes. These are a hit with my two anyway even though they are cold when they eat them and the wholemeal version should be healthier.

Just get a pitta bread. Spread it with passata or tomato puree (you can even use ketchup). Grate some cheese on it. Add toppings (tomatoes, peppers, ham, etc) and grill until cheese is melted. Then cut into little portions and pop them into their lunchboxes.

I'm going to have a wholemeal pitta for lunch filled with goats cheese and popped into the toaster for a minute.

I don't feel any different from eating all this fibre by the way. Nor am I any more 'regular' iykwim.

Ilisten2theradio Wed 23-Jan-13 11:39:11

Not an official tester and we eat lots of wholegrains anyway without thinking about it.
Breakfast cereal in the houes at the moment is shreddies and wheatabix.
Due to DS having allergies, we have been using a bread machine for years, and always use wholemeal flour - although we do mix wholemeal and a bit of white flour to make the loaf a bit lighter.
I have always popped popcorn at home rather than buy it as one DC like sugar and the other salt, and anyway it is SOOO much cheaper than buying it already popped.
Bulgar wheat mixed with lentils cooke in stock with lemon juice is a great carb to go with roast vegetables spiced up with harrissa paste.

MTBMummy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:17:13

Official tester here, and we've got Spelt, wild rice, wholegrain pasta, pop corn, flour and wholegrain bread.

The bread hasn't gone down well with DD so we've opted for the 50/50 stuff, which she happily eats, so it's better than nothing

For dinner last night we had spelt cooked with roasted vegetable in a thick vege gravy - I have to admit I was a bit hmm about it but it tasted lovely especially in this cold weather.

I did lunch this week, of Spelt cooked and cooled with peas, mint and asparagus and then served with warm chicken breasts, it was really tasty and nice and light for a lunch, but probably more of a summer meal.

Popcorn is becoming a regular afternoon snack, and has actually outranked jelly beans on the request list

DD and I will be attempting a wholegrain Date cake and some biscuitsthis weekend, I've found a great recipe for savory cheese biscuits and if it works, I'll pop back on and share with you all.

It seems that bread aside DD hasn't really noticed the change, which is a huge relief.

helenthemadex Wed 23-Jan-13 12:45:20

we have been having porridge for breakfast with a spoonful of honey, its great in the cold weather. Also weetabix with warm milk but this is what we would normally have

I have swapped the brown bread for wholegrain and its really nice, a bit dry toasted for breakfast but really good with beans on toast

I made a pasta bake with the wholemeal pasta and the girls didnt notice the difference, so thats good and will be a permanent change but I used brown rice and they didnt like it, they found it chewy (could be my cooking grin) tonight we are having stew and I have added some pearl barley so we will see how that goes down with them. They were not really impressed with the oat cakes and jam for a snack, but love popcorn

I might try to make some flapjacks and the honey and orange teabread

THERhubarb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:11:24

Oh must just add this.

Whilst shopping today instead of buying crisps I bought Walkers Sunbites. They are labelled as a wholemeal snack and they are lovely! I shall definitely be using these instead of crisps from now on.

Just eaten my wholemeal pitta with goats cheese and it was actually quite nice. I shall probably switch to wholemeal for pittas at least.

Blatherskite Wed 23-Jan-13 14:04:35

I'm in shock! I just gave ultra fussy DD sandwiches made with wholemeal bread and she ate the lot shock

Can you over wholemeal? The children have had wholewheat breakfast, wholemeal bread for lunch and tonight is Fajitas with wholemeal wraps!

Indith Wed 23-Jan-13 14:37:01

Still not shopped but our mountains of snow are rapidly slushing so I plan to go tomorrow, we will need a Lidl shop too so I can justify heading out that way! Sorry wholegrain people!

Anyway the bread has been going down well, I will make my own once I have flour etc so we go t more bread at local shop today. Dh made flapjack yesterday which we will have for snack after school but dinner is wholegrain free tonight.

I've been looking at the website recipes for inspiration. When I search "quinoa" I don't get any results. Bulger wheat brings up one solitary result. It seems to be very much just spaghetti carbonara but with wholegrain pasta. Meatballs but with wholegrain pasta and so on. I think a few easy, different recipes to try with different grains would be nice. On the whole I'm finding the website recipes quite "virtuous", do the cakes and bakes really all have to be the fat free/rapeseed instead of butter types? What is wrong with just using butter sometimes. I find the whole cake trying to be healthy thing odd. Healthy snack- fruit, breadstick, cracker, rice cake, cheese, nuts, popcorn. Unhealthy snack- cake, proper cake.

I shall however be trying out the apricot and almond slice because that sounds nice and I have all the ingredients. Once I've got different flours then I'll do some scones and stuff.

Blatherskite Wed 23-Jan-13 14:47:00

Silly question - Is Oatmeal just porridge oats?

Blatherskite Wed 23-Jan-13 14:51:49

Silly question number 2 - What would Tesco have cracked wheat under? If I type in "cracked wheat" it brings up Ryvitas and I wanted to try this recipe

I'm going to try rapeseed oil too.

Will definitely have a go at the blueberry and oat muffins, we have some blueberries left in the freezer from our picking at the end of summer smile

We had some lovely little wholemeal rolls for lunch today, just big enough for the ds's, although ds2 isn't well and didn't eat a lot. He did wolf down his breakfast of porridge this morning.

aristocat Wed 23-Jan-13 15:04:22

Forgot to mention before that I already use rapeseed and corn oil. Whole grain today will be the pasta - just exchanging them for the white variety which we usually have.

Blatherskite Wed 23-Jan-13 17:48:36

Well, wholemeal tortillas with tonight's Fajitas got no more than a raised eyebrow! DS ate 2. In fact, they were so popular that there's none left for DH when he gets in blush

Grockle Wed 23-Jan-13 20:14:58

Weetabix for breakfast and DS had another wholemeal roll. He's really fussy about bread but actually like the little wholemeal rolls from M&S so I stocked up on them and have some in the freezer.

Today a friend gave me wholegrain rice crispies... not sure what they'll taste like but I'm going to test them for my breakfast.

Can you use rapeseed oil instead of olive oil? I have some veg oil but am not sure what exactly is in it. I will investigate. I notice my question about it being GM wasn't answered so I guess it probably is.

PatTheHammer Wed 23-Jan-13 20:33:10

Well DH and I tried the 'Oat topped Mackerel' tonight but with Basa fish fillets instead of Mackerel. I also didn't have any chives (mine are crushed under about 6 inches of snow) and I added some fennel seeds.
It was a really tasty topping, kind of like a savoury flapjack!

All of us had wholemeal for breakfast as usual (porridge/weetabix/wholemeal toast) and had wholemeal rolls at lunch except DS who had cottage pie at nursery.

I think children can have too much whole grain, especially young kids. I also remember there being info on how much soluble/insoluble fibre they should have, can't remember how much it is!
Don't think there is a problem with adults except that DH and I have both noticed a bit more production in the wind department blush.

Indith Wed 23-Jan-13 20:38:10

Ooooh Pat I'm glad you said about the wind. This week I have been farting loads and it stinks. I wonder if it is the wholegrain or just something else.

florencebabyjo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:41:02

Hi, Day 3 and the plan is going surprisingly well! Made packed lunches this morning with wholegrain bread topped with seeds and have had no complaints from the kids so far. Amazing really as mine love their soft white rolls, but this has been easier than I thought. Oaty flapjacks went down a treat and vegetable soup with pearl barley was also a hit, although little bits of leek were left behind!
Tomorrow will make salmon and haddock fish cakes rolled in quinoa and wholemeal flour. Will also make a wholemeal fruit cake, but a bit worried it won't rise as much as normal. We'll see, but all going well so far.

PatTheHammer Wed 23-Jan-13 20:42:40

Well Indith, I was tring to be subtle......but since you put it so concisely wink

florencebabyjo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:42:58

Hi, do you know where the wholewheat rice crispies come from, I would love to get some.

Indith Wed 23-Jan-13 20:45:28


Open and honest I am

DowntonTrout Wed 23-Jan-13 20:59:57

Did savoury rice tonight. Half brown/white rice, onions, mushrooms, sweetcorn, bacon, peas and tomato purée. Cooked the brown 10 mins longer than the white. The tomato purée hid the fact that it was brown rice and no one noticed. I could tell that it was "chewier" than normal, but that's just because I know.

I also think that whole grain shouldn't have to mean virtuous, ie no butter etc. it's a small step to introduce whole grains for one meal a day but going the whole hog and cutting out butter/replacing with rapeseed oil is too much at once and likely to put people off.

Grockle Wed 23-Jan-13 21:02:13

Florence, I'm not sure - I'll have a look at the brand in the morning & will report back.

Grockle Wed 23-Jan-13 21:05:10

Florence, it's this one.

Grockle Wed 23-Jan-13 21:05:27

Sorry, from Waitrose.

GiraffesMum Wed 23-Jan-13 21:10:04

Well we had the meatballs and spaghetti (from the website) for tea tonight and DD1 said the spaghetti was 'very yummy' - no one clocked it wasn't the normal white spaghetti so I shall be using that again. Now going to try wholewheat pasta too and see how that goes.

Also made the tomato and wholemeal bread soup from the website and that went down well too.

Have packed homemade 50:50 bread for packed lunches tomorrow (100% brown hasn't gone down well with the DDs) so will see if they will eat that. Also planning on making the fruity oatcakes tomorrow so will report back.

Lilyloo Wed 23-Jan-13 21:35:04

We had wholemeal toast for breakfast this morning, ds and dp moaned. Dp is adamant he doesn't like wholemeal bread so going to try the 50/50. This was why we had reverted to white so am determined not to do that after this challenge.
The dc had flapjacks in their lunchboxes which went down well. I picked some ryvitas today. We all like them anyway and often buy them in the regular shop. Will pop them in pack lunches tom.
We had curry for tea with brown rice, the dc weren't sure about this but I am loving how much tastier everything is.
I did eat a lot more wholegrain pre dc but tend to just eat what the majority choose so this challenge has made me determined to stick to eating more things I enjoy.
Am browsing the recipes for something nice to cook this weekend.

florencebabyjo Wed 23-Jan-13 21:40:41

That's great thanks, will try anything to get little one to move away from the refined stuff. Will try tomorrow x

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Wed 23-Jan-13 22:00:30

One of the recipes in the leaflet seemed to count wholegrain mustard... So I stirred some through the mash with sausages tonight. Though I'm not sure it does count! Still we all had wholegrain cereal at breakfast and rolls for lunch.

mrsskefton Wed 23-Jan-13 22:09:49

So far: kids often have a gluten free cereal (albeit whole maize and rice) as one has IBS but have got them on Ready Brek with some fruit in which they love. Their lunches this week have included Hovis Wholemeal loaf, Jordans Breakfast Bars (bought 3 varieties - Maple & Pecan, Cranberry & Raspberry and Fruity & Nut) which they think are fab! We've also bought Snack A Jack Jumbo Rice cakes which are whole grain rice (albeit small quantities but some better than none), wholemeal pittas, mixed seeds, Nairn cheese oatcakes, quinoa, bulgar wheat, giant couscous, rapeseed oil, popcorn, oats, polenta, bran flakes. This did come to more than the £10 voucher but I figured I was doing a food shop and would try the new things and keep fingers crossed!

Food plan:
Breakfast either porridge/bran flakes/doves farm cereal/oatcakes with cheese and ham.
Lunch: rice cakes/oat cakes with varying toppings or dips, quinoa or couscous salad/hovis wholemeal bread sandwiches, cheese share and tear scones (in the recipe book), cheese tomato & oat muffins, wholemeal pittas with houmous and veg sticks,
Dinner: middle eastern burgers with quinoa (in the recipe book), veg soup with lentils, oaty fishcakes/chicken goujons, polenta coated chicken,
Snacks: Raspberry & Lemon Polenta Cake (making tomorrow), Rice Cakes, Popcorn, Seeds, Oatcakes, Jordans Cereal Bars, flapjacks, fruit cinnamon oatcakes (

If I do anything differently I will repost. I will also post at the end of the week to let you know how week 1 has gone. If anyone makes the burgers I'd recommend adding finely chopped onion, garlic, some seasoning, coriander and extra tomato puree as I found them a little bland (as did my husband) - I had added some of that but not the coriander which I feel would've made a significant difference. I'd also slightly reduce the amount of quinoa as I found they fell apart as they cooked. Having said that we will be having these again, we had 2 burgers in a pitta, I didn't use tzatziki either as had some Be Good To Yourself Greek Style Yoghurt to which I added some finely chopped garlic - delicious.

I'm so glad I'm doing this as after Christmas, get back on the healthy eating again! grin Cheers wine

mrsskefton Wed 23-Jan-13 22:13:35

florencebabyjo - I cook a banana muffin recipe that requires wholemeal flour, they are gorgeous and you do not notice the difference in the flour at all. I do buy good quality flour as have tried a few - in fact the last batch I made were also for a gluten intolerant friend so I used Doves Farm flour and they were still yummy!

Blatherskite Wed 23-Jan-13 22:19:34

Can you post the recipe MrsS? They sound good

MrsKwazii Wed 23-Jan-13 23:20:46

Brown rice with chillis here tonight. Dd ate some of it, MrK ate it all and said it was Ok but a bit 'worthy'. It takes so much longer to cook but I was ok timewise today. It's not a quick dinner option really though.

Lesbeadiva Thu 24-Jan-13 07:41:05

I made a carrot cake using whole grain flour. I was fab! It looked darker and richer and everyone loved it. I think I can switch flours quite easily for a lot of baking. Not so much healthy eating though!

We have also made our own tortillas with the flour and had chicken wraps. So far so good. My kids eat pretty much everything so no complaints so far at all. They were a fan of the spaghetti too!

DowntonTrout Thu 24-Jan-13 07:51:55

Any thoughts on the new Belvita breakfast biscuits?

I bought some to try as I struggle to eat first thing and usually have "breakfast" mid morning. I have crunchy oats ones and they say 40% whole grain. Is there any value in these at all? They taste quite sweet.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Thu 24-Jan-13 09:41:53

Home popped popcorn was a hit & everyone was surprised that it was a healthy option.
Brown rice fell flat, even I found it too chewy & just not nice.
Going to make some wholemeal muffins so will report back later how they went down.

StellaMarie Thu 24-Jan-13 10:44:20

Thanks for the Sainsbury's voucher, I went shopping at the weekend and bought wholewheat spaghetti, penne, rice, wraps, oats and rapeseed oil and felt very healthy going through the checkout!

So far we've had the spaghetti with a tomato and roasted veg sauce - went down well with everyone.
Brown rice which I used to make a kedgeree, it took longer to make but still tasted good.
Tonight is enchiladas with wholemeal wraps - I am hopeful that these will work well too.

I love oats but do not like porridge so I'll be using them in the other recipes on the website. I like the sound of the Cheese, Tomato and Oat flapjacks as I prefer savoury food to sweet anyway.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 10:58:49

Thanks Indith. Day 4 and I've just noticed how farty everyone is!

Oh and thanks for the warning that I failed to read on Rapeseed Oil. I go out and buy some feeling all virtuous and inform dh that we shall be shallow frying in that from now on. He hols up the large and very cheap bottle of Crisp 'n' Dry and points out that it is 100% rapeseed oil.

So fellow testers DO NOT BUY SPECIAL RAPESEED OIL JUST GET CRISP N DRY it's so much cheaper.

Here's a question though. We stopped filling up our chip pan with vegetable oil because some years ago there was a link reported between reheating the same vegetable oil and types of cancer. Is this still true? If we leave the oil in the deep fat fryer for months without changing it are we putting ourselves at risk?

Anyway, the wholemeal pittas have gone down well so I shall be buying them from now on. Not so keen on the fresh wholemeal bread I bought though, it's got bits in it.

I'll be making burgers for tea using oats. And getting some air freshener.

aristocat Thu 24-Jan-13 11:23:14

Well today we are having a Veggie Stew from my SC. I have chopped 2 onions, courgette, red pepper, green pepper, aubergine and 3 chillies. Given them a stir and added 1 tsp cumin and 2 tins chopped toms. It is cooking as I type and will be ready in 3-4 hours (hopefully grin)

Not sure how it will turn out, planning on eating with the brown rice. Depending on the consistency will either throw the rice into the SC or cook it separately and serve together.

mrsskefton Thu 24-Jan-13 11:25:56

Recipe for banana muffins!

Ingredients -
1 medium egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
55g 2oz soft light brown sugar
1 lg very ripe banana (or2sml ones)
55ml (2fl oz) oil (use rapeseed or sunflower)
85g 3oz whole meal flr
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp grand cinnamon
Pinch salt

Method -
Preheat oven gas 4, 180c/200f
Line 2 cupcake tins with 18 cases (or double quantity of mix and line 2 deep muffin trays)
Crack eggs in bowl and add brown sugar, add vanilla extract and beat together until thick
In a seperate bowl mash bananas
Add the bananas to oil and egg mix
Sift on the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Tip in any bran left in the sieve. Stir gently until just combined (don't overstored as it will affect the result)
Spoon into cases to approx 2/3 full, then bake for 12-14 mind until risen and firm.
You can add a slice of banana and sprinkle of Demerara on top too.
Store in airtight box for up to 3 days. Also freeze well!

This is from Annabel Karmel Mummy and Me cookbook.
If you want to make it as a loaf it will take much longer and I suggest a lower oven temp as top might burn before inside is cooked.

mrsskefton Thu 24-Jan-13 11:33:49

So today I've sent daughter to school with whole meal pitta and the leftovers of last nights lamb and quinoa patties! Other daughter not so well today so not eating much:-(

Dinner tonight - Spiced Chicken Tagine (done in slow cooker) with Giant Couscous. Followed by the Date and Walnut cake I'm about to bake (using recipe on the website).

Tomorrow is big challenge: we typically have a curry but hubby doesn't like brown rice, so I've been to waitrose and bought a wild rice mix which I believe to be whole grain. I'm also adding a little barley to it I think. Kids will have their porridge for breakfast and I'm thinking oatcakes at lunch with cream cheese, ham, small salad (with couscous from tonight) and cereal bar.

Interesting point: having had lots of sleep issues lately eldest daughter slept very well last night, post school attitude improved too. Nice always incorporated oats, grains and whole bran but nit as much as past few days - have I found a super cure to my woes?!?!?

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jan-13 11:45:23

Hi all - have asked me to post this - if you've got any queries for them, do get in touch using link below! But do continue to post here too!!

"There are lots of questions posted (we're dying to join in with the chat!) – if any of your questions have not been answered and you'd like them to be, please do use our Ask the nutritionist tool – we’d be glad to have a chat and try to help."

androbbob Thu 24-Jan-13 12:10:52

Got some mince to use today so will try the burgers with oats in recipe.

Breakfast is sorted, its the lunches that are hard. Tried the 50/50 bread and they are not keen on it. Tried pitta breads and not keen on it. Tried wraps and not keen on it! Bloomin kids! Both me and DH will happily eat the above, but not the two DC.

Made the biscuits and they were well eaten - sweet stuff is ok. Past was ok mixed half and half.

Not sure what to try for lunches - anyone had success? Not tried oatcakes yet, although I eat them.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 12:22:31

androbbob - try the Sunbites snacks from Walkers as they are made with wholegrain.
For lunches I used wholemeal pittas as pizza bases as then the kids don't notice that it's wholemeal.
You could also use wholegrain cereals as a dessert. Just pop some into a container, add some fresh fruit and a dollop of yoghurt and give these to them with their packed lunches. Just don't forget to include a spoon!

At the weekend I'm going to make an apple crumble and I'll try using wholemeal flour and porridge oats in my crumble.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 24-Jan-13 13:58:46

Yesterday's barley thing didn't happen, ran out of time - but did do salted popcorn for "pudding", with which the DC were very chuffed. And it was great from my point of view as they'd already had quite a sugar-heavy day so it was good to be able to get a "pudding" down them that didn't add to that. Also, I was pleasantly surprised that Tesco's salted popcorn has less than 2g salt per 90g bag, so that was good. Though I would rather have made my own popcorn, I couldn't find any unpopped-popping-corn in the shop. The leftovers mysteriously disappeared overnight, so DH is keen on it too.

As an aside, I do find it really hard trying to balance out sugar and salt in the kid's diet - fat's not so much the problem. In the HGCA nutritional breakdown on the recipes, could we have salt and sugar as well as calories and fat? I did see that given on the popcorn recipe page but it's not always on the other recipes.

Today I tried them on rye-bread for breakfast, which got a resounding "yukky" from them both. Can't win 'em all... I really like it, more for me!

Indith Thu 24-Jan-13 14:41:07

Woohoo I made it to Sainsburys! Me and most of the rest of the area I think. Due more snow tomorrow. Urgh.

Anyhoo I have strong wholemeal flour for bread, wholemeal spelt flour, normal wholemeal for general baking, quinoa, bulger wheat and wholemeal pasta.

I think the pasta while be mixed with white pasta. I didn't want to get a huge bag in case the dcs didn't like it (plus the voucher wouldn't have covered it) and so the 1kg bag I did get won't cover the family until the end of next week!

Now then, any suggestions for what to do with the sausages dh got out for dinner tonight?

SandWitch Thu 24-Jan-13 16:09:44

I was not picked to be an official tester sad but was inspired to try and get more whole grains into our diet.

When I actually looked at what was in the cupboard, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we use more whole grains than I thought...

All of the cereals the kids have seem to be whole grain (Waitrose own brand of Cheerios, Weetabix, Fruit and Fibre)
Bread is 50/50 for the kids and wholemeal for dh (I try not to eat bread)
We have popcorn most weekends (with a DVD on Sunday evenings grin)

dc have just started joining me with having porridge every morning and really love it.

The 50/50 is a good idea when wholegrain seems too much. I have decided to try white and brown pasta - first meal will be this evening - will let you know how I go!
Same with rice - dc love rice and so will see if they notice the change.

Quick question - I add oatbran and wheatbran to my yoghurts - does this count?

Not only did I forget to take my voucher to tesco today but I also forgot the harissa paste to make my lamb & quinoa patties tonight! Was pleased to find that tesco value vegetable oil is in fact rapeseed oil grin

Scrambledchocpancake Thu 24-Jan-13 17:05:50

Been going well so far! Dc1 is very open to trying new things and is enjoying her wholemeal option.DC2 however is a bit more fussy. The organic oaty snacks have come in useful once I saw wholegrain written on the box. The mother and toddler group had popcorn as a snack option today so we have fulfilled the challenge again today. Eat up your popcorn babies! Got some strange looks until I explained!!! I was told by a friend that the wholemeal lasagne sheets go down well as they are well disguised. I will try that. Hoping to try a dinner recipe that will be tolerated by the little fusspot!! Also have given the DCs wholegrain breakfast cereal (which they had previously poo pooed) as a dry snack and that has gone down better than expected! All days ticked so far!!

Scrambledchocpancake Thu 24-Jan-13 17:07:49

Oh forgot to ask! Is rapeseed oil wholegrain then or just very good for you?? (confused) doesn't take much to be fair!

PatTheHammer Thu 24-Jan-13 18:18:20

Sausage, bean and savoy cabbage casserole tonight with brown rice (cooked as per instructions and then left with the lid on for a while and it went fairly fluffy).

Was lovely and all eaten up, but not really going to help the wind situation I think..........blush.

For next week I've ordered Lamb mince to make the patties, Pork to make the oaty pork casserole and some more whole grain pasta (its on offer for a quid on Ocado).

DH at a corporate schmoozy thing tomorrow so not sure what to do for dinner. We'll have popcorn as after school snack and I'm tempted to just make some burgers and serve in a wholemeal roll for tea.

Lilyloo Thu 24-Jan-13 18:58:38

Return visit to the supermarket for more bread, picked up some wholemeal pitta breads today, that's for sandwiches for dc tomorrow and we will have the rest with chilli for tea.
We had wholegrain pasta tonight in a pasta bake, enjoyed by everyone. Then treated the dc to popcorn which they were very pleased to find out they could have.
Am going to make some wholewheat cookies this weekend.

aristocat Thu 24-Jan-13 19:16:05

My Veggie Stew was great, a slight change of plan as I cooked wholewheat pasta instead of rice. It was a good choice smile
TBH there is hardly any difference in the pasta and we will continue to use it after the testing.
One problem that I have is the lack of choice of shapes in wholewheat, it was either Fusili or Penne. Shocking considering there is a choice of about 20 in the white pastas ......

Planning on making the Middle Eastern lamb burgers from the booklet tomorrow!

TeamEdward Thu 24-Jan-13 20:36:10

Home made wholemeal toast or porridge for breakfasts so far this week.
We've enjoyed some flapjacks, wholemeal biscuits and popcorn as snacks, along with oatcakes topped with cheese.
Brown rice is a hit with all of us, but the DC dislike wholewheat pasta because of the texture.

MrsKwazii Thu 24-Jan-13 21:55:35

Have only managed to scoff homemade hobbies today. They're delicious but the recipe makes loads, not that I'm complaining of course! Have just taken a wholemeal flour banana loaf out of the oven for tomorrow too. Will report back on how dense or not it is.

MrsKwazii Thu 24-Jan-13 22:06:29

HOBNOBS, HOBNOBS, HOBNOBS! Bloody autocorrect. <Eats hobnobs in defiance>

broxi3781 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:54:39

I love whole grains anyway - but my family is less keen. One way I add whole grain to our diet - and keep prices down is place dry porridge oats in the blender to create a flour. I then add this to mince - and it tasts ever so much nicer than plain mince. It can also be mixed with whole grain flour in home made breads giving the breads a lovely grainery taste. It really can not replace wheat flour, and can not be used in all recipes - but it adds flavour to many.

Another whole grain food I really enjoy is a very thing whole wheat pizza base - just follow any basic pizza recipe but use whole grain flour instead. This goes especially well with a tomato, cheese and basil pizza - and if you like spinach as I do - a drop of spinach goes nicely too.

Finally, wheaten soda bread with butter and cheese makes a delightful light meal.

tully67 Fri 25-Jan-13 00:02:35

I spent my gift card and used it to buy wholemeal bread ( I usually buy this anyway) and wholewheat spaghetti (usually buy this also). I also bought wholemeal pitta as my boys love pitta but in the past I have always bought white automatically. They ate them and enjoyed them so I think this will be an easy thing to buy in the future. I also bought rapeseed oil to use alternately with olive oil. Again I just automatically buy olive and hadn't really thought about an alternative. I also bought wholemeal flour as lately I have been using white only for bread (used to make 50/50) but as someone mentioned earlier I can use it for banana bread and might try scones (I haven't made them in years!). I also bought quinoa which I did try years ago so am going to make a quinoa salad-type thing this week-end with peppers, garlic etc.

For me the challenge has made me think about how easy it is to incorporate wholegrains into our diet. Some swaps like with pitta bread and oil are easy and in future I am going to try wholewheat pasta and brown rice (I don't really like brown rice but thought I could try 50/50 with white in maybe a rice salad for starters.

I am so glad I took part in the challenge - gift voucher - very nice bonus of course but it also made me think about different ways to add it to the family's meals.


GentleOtter Fri 25-Jan-13 09:50:32

Oat cakes for Burns Night.

8oz medium or fine oatmeal
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
pudding spoonful of melted butter

Heat oven to 160 deg C, 325 F

Put dry ingredients into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in melted butter and stir in 6 pudding spoonfuls of hot water to make a stiff paste.

Knead the dough and roll out thinly on a floured surface.

Either make a big circle using a plate and cut into triangles or standard rounds with a scone cutter.

Bake for about 25 mins or until golden.

Have these with some haggis, turnip and mashed potato. and whisky

THERhubarb Fri 25-Jan-13 10:46:43

Ok so the wholemeal bread is going down fine.
Yesterday for tea I did homemade burgers (no horsemeat for me thanks!) and included some porridge oats in the burgers which made them stick better together and to be honest we didn't even notice the oat in them once they were cooked.

Will try one the recipes over the weekend.

GentleOtter Fri 25-Jan-13 10:55:17
THERhubarb Fri 25-Jan-13 11:00:45

How can you have a veggie haggis?
Whatever next, vegetarian black pudding?

It should be illegal! wink

jayseebea Fri 25-Jan-13 11:19:46

I am not an official tester but trying to be healthier after nearly a year of cancer treatment. I make my own muesli with organic jumbo oats, flax meal, organic dried fruit, organic flaked almonds and grape nuts. It has no added sugar but the fruit makes it taste sweet. A great start to the day!!!

GentleOtter Fri 25-Jan-13 11:35:34

It is a substitute for those of us having difficulty catching a real haggis in the snow, Rhubs. wink

THERhubarb Fri 25-Jan-13 11:49:46


Vajazzler Fri 25-Jan-13 13:08:45

I haven't managed to make it to tesco with my voucher yet so did my shopping in a different supermarket.

I bought
Popcorn kernels
Porridge oats
Wholemeal rolls
Wholemeal wraps
Wholewheat spaghetti

We all had porridge for breakfast, which was not enjoyed by the children but i loved it. We made flapjacks with the oats as ell which went down well. The rolls and wraps were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
I used the spaghetti in a bolognese and by the time it was smothered in sauce and cheese i dont think they noticed a difference!
i will continue to make popcorn for the children as they had it in there lunchboxes as an alternative to crisps. I would also keep buying the wholemeal bread products as they were an easy way to increase the whole family's intake.

TheProvincialLady Fri 25-Jan-13 14:25:54

I think the best way to ensure that your children will eat wholemeal bread/pasta/whatever you want them to eat, is to eat it yourself and don't buy the alternative ie white. Start as soon as you can while they are still young enough to be forced malleable, and don't give up when they refuse it the first few times. Just keep on, and make it normal in your family. Use wholemeal flour where it won't be noticed, eg when making a fruit cake, or use sieved wholemeal flour in a chocolate cake.

Indith Fri 25-Jan-13 14:54:12

Cinnamon spelt cookies in the oven. Must remember not to feed them to the baby as they have honey in. Ds1 is having a friend round after school for the express purpose of watching his Lego DVD he got for Christmas so I shall offer them some popcorn to go with it. Pasta bake for dinner which will be a mix of white and wholemeal.

I think that for me the kick up the bum to bake different snacks is the best bit about this challenge. Our diet in other areas was already good and often had wholegrain in it but I do get stuck into baking the same traybakes and cakes again and again.

Couscous question- some people have been talking about having it. Is all couscous wholemeal or is there a white version and a brown version? I usually see it in the wholefoods section but it doesn't obviously say that is is wholemeal. We eat a lot of couscous so if it is wholemeal then that would be great!

Lesbeadiva Fri 25-Jan-13 17:02:31

We seem to be doing pretty well. My children seem to eat anything so it's no big deal to switch. We ate more wholegrain Than I thought! Today it's popcorn movie night after dinner (which is sausages in wholemeal buns masquerading as hotdogs) and wine

SunshinePanda Fri 25-Jan-13 17:02:33

Challenge gone well this week for breakfast and lunches. Great to see veggie recipes appearing - will have a look at these ready for weekly shop. Still not convinced that wholemeal pasta and rice will be any nicer than we remember. Will see if there are any other changes we can make for next week though.

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 19:04:29

Today DS has fried egg on wholemeal toast and popcorn. It's not hard to include wholegrain. If we all ate proper food instead of highly processed stuff like white bread & cereal then it wouldn't be an issue. But I love white bread and cereal blush

florencebabyjo Fri 25-Jan-13 19:26:38

Had haggis for dinner tonight just to let kiddies try it and with very mixed response. DS2 was genuinely interested and asked for more, DD1 politely took a mouthful and looked at me as if I were trying to poison her, DD2 spat it out all over her plate and DS3 said, 'I'm not trying that, are you mad? ' and that was the end of that, oats or not! Any suggestions of how to recycle half a haggis?
Apart from dinner we had a good day with oat cakes for lunch and weetabix for dinner. Made salmon and haddock fishcakes tonight ready for tomorrow with lemon, parsley and rolled in toasted oats. Beginning to feel a bit more inventive and has been refreshing to have to think about how to add, and in our case, often hide the wholegrains! All good, though x

We made the oaty pork in cider and it was yummy! Had it with rice, dh who I was worried about, said he'd happily have it again. Dss loved it and ds1 and 2 ate with a bit of persuasion to try it in the first place! Both left all the leeks though. Making some of the cookie recipes tomorrow. Looking forward to trying quinoa tomorrow smile

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Fri 25-Jan-13 21:02:56

Tonight was takeaway night so had to do wholegrain earlier in the day! But the DSs had wholemeal pasta with tomato sauce for dinner and didn't seem bothered. I didn't point it out and decided against mixing with white as that would've made it obvious! I tried a bit and it was nice.

We have stocked up on popcorn instead of crisps. It's going great. Don't notice any difference at all.
We've also replaced our white pastas with wholemeal. Also going swimmingly and DD hasn't complained which is great!
Wholewheat pitta breads were fine. No complaints at all.

Wholewheat bread however, not to DD's liking. And DP is craving white bread sandwiches!!!

Still, it's going pretty well and has been very easy to find substitutions for things that we would normally eat.

Indith Sat 26-Jan-13 12:08:12

Pasta bake with a mix of white and brown pasta went down well.

I do notice the difference though and I am starting to get a bit fed up of everything being wholemeal, it is in general a bit heavier, a bit......just.....brown.

I am feeling a little uninspired today though. Ds2 has a horrible cold so after being up a lot at night with him the 2 of us slept in until 9am so the wholemeal bread is still rising and dh went out to get milk and bread and came home with white because the wholemeal was more expensive hmm. It being the weekend the dcs have the choice of the more rubbishy breakfast things so while dd opted for toast and had wholemeal ds1 had rice crispies so has not yet had wholemeal. Lunch won't include wholemeal and I don't think dinner will either because dh and I are having curry and the dcs are having fish fingers. They can have flapjack or the spelt biscuits for afternoon snack.

Tomorrow will be slow cooked brisket with either brown rice to give that another go or bulgar wheat.

One week in I think that things we would keep are having more wholemeal bread for our lunches and having a bit more variety or simple biscuits etc for snacks. This coming week we will try bulgar wheat and quinoa so we will see how we like those. I'm not convinced but the rice and pasta though. I do love wild rice but it is far too expensive. We will continue to put things like barely in our stews and soups as we already do. I may try the trick of putting oats in spag bol next week too as an alternative to lentils though we tend to use lentils for the protein as well as the bulk.

Today though I just want cake. Chocolate cake with lots of goo. And I don't want it to be wholemeal!

capecath Sat 26-Jan-13 13:23:25

- We use Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Wholegrain Seeded bread flour - we make all our own bread in our amazing Panasonic breadmaker and we think this is the best bread flour around!
- Sunbites are a super wholegrain snack.
- Brown rice and Wheetabix are also a good source of wholegrain for us.

Scrambledchocpancake Sat 26-Jan-13 13:43:10

I am making spag bol today but will try the wholegrain pasta mixed with white. I agree the sunbites are a tasty snack and a good alternative to crisps. I also bought large wholegrain couscous so will try that with a recipe soon. Want to make the lamb patties tomorrow. Also found oatcakes in the cupboard so that maybe tea or wholemeal pittas and humus. It is actually quite surprising the things that I use regularly are wholegrain anyway but this has definitely open my eyes to

CraftyBec Sat 26-Jan-13 14:36:27

We had haggis last night too at a Burns supper (not the children, just adults) lots of oatmeal and barley in that, and the cranachan too smile. Planning to use left over haggis to stuff roast chicken tonight. In answer to the question about whether all couscous is wholegrain, I don't think so, it's made from same wheat as pasta. Our current one is and explicitly says it's wholemeal. We had wholemeal noodles with stir fry the other night, didn't notice the difference from our usual non wholegrain ones.

Indith Sat 26-Jan-13 14:39:14

That's what I thought about couscous. But what confuses me is that it is sold in the wholefoods section yet I don't think it is wholemeal confused. Those who have wholemeal couscous where did you get it? What does it say on teh packet?

Indith Sat 26-Jan-13 14:44:33

Ah I've found wholemeal cous cous on the Tesco website, never seen it in ours though. When I was looking in Sainsburys I couldn't see any variety though, just cous cous or cous cous.

MrsKwazii Sat 26-Jan-13 15:51:54

Another house who had an Oaty Burns Supper last night of haggis and cranachan. Also agree that sunbites are delicious - the sea salt ones in particular.

We've had wholegrain cereals for breakfast again here, and toasted wholewheat muffins with soup for lunch. I think that the brown muffins are much tastier than the white version, even DD likes them.

Lilyloo Sat 26-Jan-13 15:59:55

We are still having the porridge for breakfast but the dc's have been asking for a change so have been out for weetBix today.
They are happy with the wholemeal bread so beans on toast for everyone for lunch.
I am going to make the chicken tortilla stacks for tea as we all love fajitas so hoping they may be the same thing.

MrsKwazii Sat 26-Jan-13 17:17:09

The banana loaf I made with the wholemeal flour was quite dense btw, but the moistness from the bananas offset it IYKWIM

Grockle Sat 26-Jan-13 19:26:27

We had tuna pasta bake made with wholemeal penne today. DS loved it & didn't realise it was brown pasta til I pointed it out. He said it was delicious & didn't seem at all bothered. I need to do this challenge all the time really. It's not hard to do. I've forgotten why we need to eat wholegrains though blush

Grockle Sat 26-Jan-13 19:27:14

Actually, I meant to say... this morning, DS was hungry. I asked what he wanted for his snack and he said 'Um, I don't know... something with wholegrains in' grin

androbbob Sat 26-Jan-13 19:50:44

Been reading all other posts with interest and will be getting some popcorn for snacks. Three over ripe bananas so will get some wholemeal flour tomorrow and make a banana loaf. Interested to see how oats in spa bol goes down to.

The bread is not going down well at all and tried wraps and bread buns but they do not like them. I had forgotten how nice a decent wholemeal bun was.

Going to search the websie linked to earlier and see what I can find to try this week.

As with everything in our house one liked the quinoa and lamb patties and the others didn't. Dh thought it needed more Harissa paste, ds1 really liked it and dss and ds2 ate it but under sufferance! I really enjoyed, could have eaten more smile

GiraffesMum Sat 26-Jan-13 20:35:18

An update on our challenge. The 50:50 bread was a success and eaten all up. The banana muffins (from earlier in the thread) were really yummy and didn't last long and the kids also liked/didn't notice wholemeal flour in their pancakes.

I tried giving the DC plain air popped popcorn (which I like and I thought was 'healthier' than the sugar/salt versions) but they weren't impressed so I may have to try the sweet version with them. The fruity oatcakes from the website were not a hit with the DC but I thought they were ok (although I think they tasted better on day 2), however I'm not sure I would recommend them/make them again.

Lesbeadiva Sun 27-Jan-13 09:23:28

Carrot cake made with wholemeal flour is really good. Hugh fearnly has a great recipe for it

fuzzpig Sun 27-Jan-13 09:47:11

I adore 50/50 bread, as do the DCs. Hardly ever buy it though as it's expensive (we are normally getting value range!)

aristocat Sun 27-Jan-13 10:59:44

Quick update on our challenge, the Middle Eastern lamb/quinoa burgers were lovely and we all enjoyed them yesterday. Today's wholemeal portion will be the 50:50 bread as sandwiches tonight.

Didn't want to alter our regular Sunday Roast this afternoon (as DCs enjoy it so much grin)

Planning on using the brown rice tomorrow, it is brown basmati rice. Going to make a Chicken Biryani.

CheeseStrawWars Sun 27-Jan-13 15:29:50

So Friday I tried quinoa and bulgur wheat as an alternative to rice... not a success. Think it needs some sort of spice/flavouring to make it more palatable - time to raid the recipes. But on the plus side, it was a brand called Pedon that only took 10 mins to cook and they have other 'grain' stuff to try, so that makes it much easier to incorporate into the meal. And it was on offer in Tesco so that was a bonus.

Saturday, we used wholemeal tortillas as pizza bases, grill them and then fold them in half, they went down well. Today I made the low-sugar banana and oat cookies (MN recipe of the week) with our 2yo, who has given it the thumbs up. DH and DD yet to sample them but I'm confident DD will like them, and we can do them in lunchboxes as a healthier alternative 'pudding'.

gazzalw Sun 27-Jan-13 18:26:44

I'm not an official tester but we've tried to up our wholegrain intake since the New Year. We are eating a lot of porridge in this cold weather and our favourite tip is to add blackberries, a spoonful of brown sugar and some sesame seeds to the porridge as it's cooking. Delicious. Oh and following a money saving tip by adding a couple of spoonfuls of porridge oats to casseroles and stews to make them go further and give the children an extra wholegrain boost...the children haven't noticed a thing grin.

Indith Sun 27-Jan-13 19:28:18

So what can I do with a load of cooked bulger wheat? I am very tired and misread the packet.....

It was nice with stew though, sort of like couscous really, just soaked up the flavour of the stew. I prefer orzo pasta though for that with stews.

Indith Sun 27-Jan-13 19:32:03

And I mean lots and lots of leftovers by the way.....

poachedeggs Sun 27-Jan-13 20:42:24

Well we've had turkey burgers made with wholemeal breadcrumbs this week, wholemeal pancakes, DH has been eating wholemeal bread and we've ALL been having porridge for breakfast. Brown rice is something we have at times anyway (ignoring DH's protests).

I'm finding I have to be careful with DD (2) as wholewheat things fly through her poor tummy like lightning. I recall DS was the same but now at 5 he's fine. This coming week we'll be having oaty pork stew and anzac biscuits.

PatTheHammer Sun 27-Jan-13 21:34:56

Not been doing too well with dinners this weekend as we ate out on Saturday and had roast gammon today but we have been keeping up with whole grain breakfasts and lunches. Dd loving whole grain crackers with cheese ( Foxes I think) and DS liking oaty breakfast biscuits.

Did lots of baking this weekend and the wholemeal cheese scones and banana muffins have been going down well.

firawla Mon 28-Jan-13 00:56:28

I'm a tester, have done whole grain bread and pasta, and checked that the cereals we bought were whole grain. not gone over to brown rice although that is another simple change we could have made so might be one to do this week
and also more oats!
Have to admit dont think we have managed to get whole grain into every meal, but have been thinking about it more

Lesbeadiva Mon 28-Jan-13 10:12:03

We tried the wholemeal chicken pitta off the website. It went down really well too. I swear my kids pretty much eat anything though, but they were very tasty! Switching is definately easier than I thought. We had porridge for breakfast today too.

DowntonTrout Mon 28-Jan-13 10:36:38

Fell off the wagon a bit over the weekend as we have eaten out a lot.

However Friday did a beef in red wine stew which we had with whole grain bread and I put brown rice into the stew, we don't like barley. That was good. I wondered if lentils are whole grain- must look it up.

Breakfasts were again covered by cereals which was fine. Went for the whole grain bread again with our meals out although, given a choice, DD grabbed the white.

Am going to mix 1/2 white/whole meal flour for pancakes later.

THERhubarb Mon 28-Jan-13 11:46:58

Update: I've had a bit of a squiffy tummy as has dd and I'm not sure if it's down to all this extra fibre or not. Certainly no-one in our house is constipated at the moment and we are using more bog roll than is usual!

So I've discovered breakfast biscuits by McVities which are ideal for me as I find it hard to eat breakfast. They are made from oats so probably contain my daily dose of fibre. The kids meanwhile are happy with their porridge and toppings for breakfast.

I have changed our weekly pitta breads to wholemeal as that was a change that no-one noticed much. I'm also going to buy Walkers Sunbites instead of crisps as they are lovely and are wholemeal snacks.

The wholemeal pasta and rice were not hugely successful so I don't think we'll be buying anymore of them.

Frying is now done with Crisp n Dry which is the cheapest rapeseed oil I've found.

Over the weekend we did try the carrot cake recipe using wholemeal flour and it was a success. It's darker than usual but there really is no difference so I might try and use wholemeal flour for other things such as pastry and so on.

All in all we have changed the way we eat and it's been useful to make these simple changes that could actually have a huge impact on our diet. I didn't realise how little fibre I was eating until I started this so it's been a real eye-opener and I will make more of an effort to eat healthier.

I do think you ought to warn people about the rather smelly consequences of eating loads of fibre though! I'm not going overboard anymore but I do ensure that I eat at least one portion of fibre a day and the kids have around two.

prakattack Mon 28-Jan-13 12:53:16

Official tester and finally got my voucher this weekend, so put it to good use in Tesco yesterday...

DH and I both have wholemeal pittas with hummus for lunch today. Yesterday everyone had wholemeal granary rolls with our soup - kids are used to wholemeal/ 50:50 bread anyway so this wasn't really a change. We had chicken pie last night (with non-wholemeal pastry - never mind!) and will be making leftover chicken into egg fried rice with brown basmati rice for dinner tonight - fingers crossed!

So a bit slower off the mark than most but we're getting there... need to do some baking and get some wholegrain snacks sorted for DS1 and 2 - age 1 and 3. Carrot cake sounds good. I had a sugar-free banana loaf recipe that I might try to dig out and try with wholemeal flour.

ShiftyFades Mon 28-Jan-13 13:06:14

Marking my place, we haven't officially started yet as DS and I are pretty poorly, both not eating, both on antibiotics sad
I'm hoping to start at the weekend.
I hope this thread stays open long enough for us to still do the 2 week trial.

Thank you for selecting us x

Lilyloo Mon 28-Jan-13 15:12:45

Week 2 of the challenge here for us. Not a great weekend for wholegrain with our evening meals but still managed to have breakfast and lunches with it.
We are having cheats pizza tonight as we need a quick tea before dog training class.
That's just using pitta bread with tomato puree cheese and whatever toppings kids want (will be wholegrain pitta).
I have found a recipe for quiche with a rice crust, has anybody tried it? Not sure and I have spent my voucher so don't really want to waste money on ingredients if it's not very nice?

THERhubarb Mon 28-Jan-13 15:58:59

Oh right, I forgot it was for 2 weeks.
I don't think I will be using wholegrain for our main meals but I will continue to use it for breakfasts and lunches and will try some more of the recipes. If nothing else, some of the cake recipes give the kids something to do and they make nice packed lunch treats too.

Might try making flapjacks although mine are either too hard or too soft and crumbly. Has anyone any tips for getting the consistency just right?

Indith Mon 28-Jan-13 19:38:41

Back to weekday breakfasts for week 2. For lunch I tackled some of the leftover bulgar wheat and reheated it in the frying pan with a ladle of chicken stock and some pilau rice seasoning, a handful of frozen prawns ans some mangetout. Was nice.

Dinner was chicken pasta soup with barley in it and wholemeal pasta.

aristocat Mon 28-Jan-13 22:41:56

Chicken biryiani tonight with my brown rice - it was lovely and not much different to using white rice. Shame DCs did not like it though ........

I have been eating my Fruit and Fibre cereal for breakfast (but I would usually have this some days anyway)

Also DD has helped me to make Cheese Scones with the wholemeal flour after school today and they are rather good smile Wholemeal ingredients are almost gone eek but I suppose that is a good thing

topsmrp Tue 29-Jan-13 09:31:02

I am one of the 50 tester and I cooked my family the Middle Eastern lamb & Quinoa Patties and my son didn't bat an eye lid result .. ! Its easier than I thought to get wholegrain into my families diet.

THERhubarb Tue 29-Jan-13 09:48:14

Ok this is getting silly now. I went to the toilet THREE TIMES yesterday! We are all suffering from wind, even dd who normally would rather die than fart in public has been letting them rip and they STINK!

What is the point in eating wholemeal if it's just going to come out the other end? I suppose it would be good for people on diets.

Anyway, yesterday we made scones with wholemeal flour and that didn't turn out so good. Because they were already brown dd left them in the oven for too long because she couldn't tell if they were done or not. The result is rock hard scones. ds won't touch them anyway because they've got flecks of brown in them and I'm still running to the toilet so I'm passing. I think the birds might be eating this batch.

I'm going to lay off the wholemeal until my toilet habits are back to normal. The kids are still eating wholemeal pittas and 50:50 bread, plus porridge for breakfast. I reckon that's enough wholemeal in one day for anyone.

Everywhere I went at the weekend had sold out or didn't sell buttermilk so have yet to make the muffins I had planned to make!

Those of you that eat oatcakes, what do you eat them with? Or do you just eat them as they are, never tried them before.

CraftyBec Tue 29-Jan-13 14:05:59

We have been getting most of our wholegrain through breakfast cereal and bread, and a bit of baking with wholemeal flour. I have found main meals the hardest to increase wholegrain in, like many others. Tonight we're okay - DH is making lamb tagine with wholemeal couscous. The couscous comes from a local wholefood co-op. Thanks for the tip about Walkers Sunbites - they taste good!

kelandab Tue 29-Jan-13 16:17:19

We have swapped all our pasta & bread to whole grain this week & I must say, nobody has moaned about being hungry still after a meal & it's tastier then I thought. Now white bread looks really unappeling so we will definetly be sticking to the challenge!

Our favourite whole grain snack is now whole grain ryvita with houmous smile

aristocat Tue 29-Jan-13 20:15:12

Can I ask is the Oaty Pork in Cider nice?

Thinking of trying this in the next few days smile

It's delicious aristocat!! We loved it, very creamy and filling and the meat was really tender. We had ours with rice smile

aristocat Tue 29-Jan-13 22:40:06

Ooooh thanks cinnamon will definitely give it a try then. Hoping to throw it all into the Slow Cooker grin

poachedeggs Tue 29-Jan-13 23:11:55

Oatcakes are fab with pate, cheese or peanut butter. Totally delicious.

Philly and smoked salmon?

Brie and cranberry sauce?

Nairns also do fruit ones, which are yum, and if you can find decent cheese ones they're fab too.

gazzalw Wed 30-Jan-13 07:36:32

I've just realised, reading thro' this thread, that we have been wholegrain champions ever since I've been with DP but without thinking we're overly so.l...
Oatcakes, wholemeal bread, porridge, popcorn are staples in our house... (goes off to polish halo)....

Indith Wed 30-Jan-13 08:10:06

Pancakes made with spelt flour yesterday.

Lesbeadiva Wed 30-Jan-13 11:23:46

Last night we made pizza with wholewheat dough. Variety of toppins and went down as good as usual. Love pizza in any form

Did you make the dough Lesbeadiva? Could I have the recipe please?

Lesbeadiva Wed 30-Jan-13 13:00:49
unquietmind Wed 30-Jan-13 13:09:28


We have bought a few different items, although I have noticed that some whole grain is dearer than other items. Thanks for the gift voucher, it was used, but we also bought some whole grain items from our local vegetarian shop as they had more competitive prices (there are 6 of us so we had to buy a fair bit for two weeks).

With our mixed diet family (vegetarian, meat eaters and fussy) we have to make a number of meals, and sometimes wholegrain hasnt always been on the agenda.

The items we have bought included

Brown Rice
Wholegrain Pasta
Wholemeal flour for home baking
Wholegrain bread and wraps
Bulgar wheat
Wholegrain labelled cereals
Fine oats (new thing for us)
Popping corn (not popcorn as it was flavoured or salted so bought plain corns)
Cous Cous

Most of these are normal buys for us, but its mostly the adults that eat it. The kids do not like the texture of cous cous but have given it a go.

Please share any tips and ideas you've discovered while taking part in this challenge e.g. have you found any good ways to encourage your child(ren) to choose wholegrains?

We told the kids of the challenge and they were keener. They winge a bit when we get brown bread and they love it when Dad breaks the mould and buys top brand white and thick. But having made the birthday muffins with wholemeal, they seemed pretty happy. I think brown rice and pasta can be hidden in sauce and mixed in, but some kids are aware of this.

I usually make something I call tortilla pie - like giant enchilladas and pies combined - oil and line a dish with tortillas, fill the dish with the product and wrap the item like a pie in a dish. Ive done this with wholegrain tortillas and it was still popular.

I made bread for the first time in ages yesterday and forgot how enjoyable it was (as normal, dont usually have time to do this.).

Have you discovered any recipes or tasty on-the-go wholegrain snacks that your family really like?

Popping the corn kernals for the lunch boxes has turned out to be a top idea

Have you tried out any Wholegrain Goodness recipes? How did you and your family find them?

I really like the idea of adding oats to meals, I had never thought about it before and it worked really well. My younger ones dont like porridge but didnt notice!

The only thing I would say about Quinoa is I recently read an article in a UK braodsheet that its not as ethical as we would hope, as we are pricing the south americans out of their main food staple with our search for other foods and that we are willing to pay (this also happens with other products, but Quinoa is their main grain).

Unless I find a more sustainable quinoa, I won't be buying it anymore. If anyone knows of any, please let me know.

ThenWeTakeBerlin Wed 30-Jan-13 14:23:27

I'm not an official tester but here are my thoughts...

I've switched to wholemeal bread, pittas, wraps and pasta. I wouldn't go back now. I find I stay fuller for longer and don't get the 'slump' that I used to get with white bread/pasta.

I don't think kids really mind the difference, it's about the presentation!

This thread has made me want to try wraps, we only ever have them when we have fajitas so will be getting some wholemeal ones when we shop tomorrow.

Thanks for that Lesbeadiva will try Friday for tea smile

GiraffesMum Wed 30-Jan-13 15:22:00

Well brown pasta went down well as did the carrot muffins with wholemeal flour. The best meals seem to be those which are similar to what we've had before but can be 'wholegrained', ie just swapping the white for brown pasta. The only downside is that I have to watch how much my 3yr old consumes as too much goes straight through her.

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Wed 30-Jan-13 16:26:01

I did a pasta bake for the whole family last night using wholemeal pasta and told DH when we'd finished and he was genuinely surprised as he hadn't noticed any difference. I think I would like to switch after the challenge assuming the cost difference isn't too much (regular white pasta tends to be on offer more I think) as I've tried low GI type diets before and I guess wholegrain versions are lower in GI.

And I've ordered some brown rice to mix in with the white in future so I guess I'm a convert! I'm also considering doing my baking with half and half white / wholemeal to get some of the benefits but keep the texture.

I think we weren't too bad as we generally have half and half bread / wholegrain cereal at breakfast time but it's good to find a few little extra tweaks and substitutions I can make.

twinsufficient Wed 30-Jan-13 16:36:44

I bought porridge for breakfast which my kids weren't keen on but they are creatures of habit! Whole grain spaghetti was well received as was the fusili. Used rapeseed oil to fry the turkey burgers and couldn't tell the difference. We also swapped white bread for whole grain and kids loved it. The whole experience has made me evaluate what we're eating and how we can make small changes to our diet to make it healthier.

DowntonTrout Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:08

Breakfasts are still the easiest, by far. Wholegrains cereal is accepted by all. I had an oaty one today.

I'm pretty sure there aren't any wholegrain options at school for DD but she does take a cereal bar in as a snack.

I had a salad with couscous for lunch but DH thinks couscous is the work of the devil. He had a sandwich made with granary roll.

PatTheHammer Wed 30-Jan-13 20:35:33

Oaty pork in cider a massive hit tonightsmile
I added butter beans and it was really filling and tasty. Kids loved it and ate all the brown rice with it without comment.

Lilyloo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:53:03

We all had the lurgy here in various forms since the weekend so not much eating being done at all.
I have to say the breakfasts and wholemeal bread have become 'normal' now which is good and something we will continue.
Me and dd made another batch of flapjacks tonight which we all love and dont last long at all.

Lilyloo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:59:12

Aristocat looking forward to how the pork turns out in the slow cooker, like the sound of that and need a slow cooker meal for Friday.

CMOTDibbler Wed 30-Jan-13 21:03:00

I'm not a tester, but eat a lot of wholegrain anyway, and we always use rapeseed or ricebran oil for cooking with as the smoke point is much higher.
I'm gluten free, so theres a lot less choice in bread or pasta. I've been eating a lot of quinoa lately, and have found it makes a great rissoto or as 'egg fried rice', though its a bit tasteless on its own.

Indith Wed 30-Jan-13 21:05:40

Brown rice with sausage stew went down well so there we go, we can get it past the dcs with stews but not without lots of sauce on it.

I added cannellini beans as suggested PatTheHammer and thought it was a nice addition smile

Blatherskite Thu 31-Jan-13 11:52:26

We're doing really well with breakfasts and lunches - the DC were always weetabix/malt wheat fans anyway and I've found the most delicious multigrain loaf in M&S for lunches - but I need to try harder with Dinners. I've swapped to wholegrain pasta which is going down well but we don't have pasta everynight so I need to get a bit more adventurous.

Going to do these tonight.

I think the wholegrain lunch is definitely curbing my appetite and I'm snacking a lot less in the afternoons which is really good for my diet. I was a little worried that DS would get constipated as he always has seemed to when we've had a lot of wholegrains in the past but he seems fine so far.

Blatherskite Thu 31-Jan-13 14:48:02

I never realised how much cooking quinoa needs! 20 minutes simmering, 10 minutes soaking - so that's half an hour before I've even started on the chicken!

This is NOT a quick mid-week meal

StellaMarie Thu 31-Jan-13 15:17:34

Checking back in with an update of how the family is doing eating more wholegrain on the challenge. The cheese and tomato flapjacks were a big hit and I ended up making another batch for lunchboxes.
Popcorn was also another favourite over the weekend to eat during the movies we watched.
Apple crumble on Sunday was made with half oats and half wholemeal flour, it gave a really nice nutty taste to it.
I have bought a bag of quinoa and given the mixed reactions to it so far on the thread will still give it a try. I found a nice recipe for a curry, soupy/laksa one pot dish so will do that tomorrow night. Saturday will be wholemeal pizza using the breadmaker for the dough and tonight is brown rice and dahl with a tomato chutney.

Indith Thu 31-Jan-13 15:51:30

My baking aspirations have all pretty much flown out of the window this week with ds2 being a bit of a nightmare and now dd has a UTI and is very miserable indeed. So food is not high on the priority list.

To lower the tone (again).

I have noticed this week the farting has settled a bit for everyone, my our bodies are getting used to it all? BUT my poos are big, frequent and really sticky, it erm...makes it rather hard to get the last bits out when you have post baby ishoos in that region. I just did the mother of all poos and blocked the loo and had to go poking with a stick. So that was fun. Not entirely sure I'm supposed to eat so much wholegrain that I block toilets.

Don't know what is for dinner tonight. Everyone had wholegrain breakfast so we have a portion in us.

Blatherskite Thu 31-Jan-13 16:54:12

I already hate these chicken fingers and they're not even on a plate yet!

I left the quinoa to drain for ages and yet it was still really wet when I came to make the fingers and did not want to stick to the chicken at all. Whatever did stick has since fallen off since I started cooking them.

The look vile! The yellowy quinoa with the wholemeal breadcrumbs look like some sort of nasty skin complaint.

Dipping them in egg white rather than whole egg before going in the quinoa/breadcrumbs is just wasteful and worthy to the point of nausea.

Did I mention they look awful? I cannot see these going down well - even I am glad I'm going running so will be eating later as it means I can swerve them!

Indith Thu 31-Jan-13 17:08:49

That's a shame, they look so lovely in the picture!

My packet of quinoa is still unopened, I can't work out what to do with it really.

Blatherskite Thu 31-Jan-13 17:16:29

Thankfully, they look a bit better cooked and taste better than I imagined but...I cooked the quinoa in chicken stock rather than just water to give it more flavour, I used a whole egg to coat rather than just egg white and (and this is where it gets a lot less healthy eating) I cooked them in butter and olive oil which I think helped a lot.

DD has turned them down at a glance. I'll see how DS gets on.

Blatherskite Thu 31-Jan-13 17:33:02

Eat anything DS is peeling what's left of the coating off. Dinner fail

I recommend the middle eastern lamb and quinoa burgers Indith smile

The chicken does look lovely, sad to hear they were rubbish Blatherskite!

Lesbeadiva Thu 31-Jan-13 20:23:35

We might try the lamb burgers too! Tonight was a quick pasta wholemeal bake. I was short of time. I agree that breakfast and lunches seem really easy to do.

aristocat Thu 31-Jan-13 20:46:48

Blathers such a shame those chicken fingers didn't work out so well, I was hoping to make them too.

lily Still not made the Oaty Pork yet, maybe Saturday smile

Have made some flapjacks which didn't last long .....

justamoment Thu 31-Jan-13 20:51:55

Oh my goodness, you 'officials' are all so impressively dedicated! We take a pretty easy route in our house and probably all manage our recommended 3 portions of whole grain most days by just sticking with a few basics: breakfast always a good start & means (at least) one portion covered as plenty of choice too: weetabix; porridge; shreddies; muesli etc and/or wholemeal toast so usually something to please most...? Whole meal bread (except for occasional bacon sarnies!) and pasta (noone notices any difference once sauce is added); flapjacks/popcorn for snacks (even recently discovered unadorned fruit ryvita q popular!). Wonder if corn on the cob counts too? (sorry if previously covered, joining this thread at 11th hour so haven't read all comments). So by dinner time don't need to persuade kids to eat eg. brown rice or similarly more challenging fare...! Guess its finding what works for you & yours, right?

CheeseStrawWars Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:32

The oat cookie things were good. I made a Peach Crisp for pudding on Monday, with an oaty-flapjack type topping, which was predictably devoured. Monday, I chucked some barley/grain mix of the 10 min cook variety into some soup, which DD didn't like as her soup then had "bits" in, so I may blitz it in next time, though DS and DH didn't mind. Brown rice yesterday didn't go down well though. I thought it was pleasantly nutty, but DH said he'd eat it again if I put it on his plate but he wouldn't choose to. DS didn't complain but DD pushed hers about. We mixed weetabix and oats together for breakfast today, which the kids loved, though I may have opened up a dangerous world of cereal cross-breeding now...

Blatherskite Thu 31-Jan-13 21:31:21

Has anyone tried the Toad in the hole yet? Is it jut porridge oats I stir into the batter?

Indith Fri 01-Feb-13 08:16:36

Just macaroni cheese with wholemeal pasta last night. Hardly experimental but very yummy. Even poorly dd managed a few bites.

Those burgers do look very yummy cinnamon. Sadly the household budget does not allow for such purchases as minced lamb.

I'm struggling a bit with cost now. Obviously wholemeal bread can be baked but with everything going on I've not managed to and the price of a decent (not horrible and dry) loaf of wholemeal is double the price of a decent white loaf so our lunches have rather lost their wholegrain portion this week.

DowntonTrout Fri 01-Feb-13 09:54:27

Well our two weeks is nearly up.

We have managed most days as breakfast is always easy. The brown pasta was ok although I don't think we would always use it- depending on the sauce. A heavy meaty sauce seems more palatable than a light one for my family.

Similarly with the brown rice, white is so much lighter and fluffier, half and half works best for us and was best consumed as my special savoury rice as I add tomato purée. Maybe it's just a case of getting used to it. I have found the brown rice works well as a cold salad mix as its got a nutty texture and remains firm. I sometimes do a salad for me, like a copy of the M&s crayfish and mango one, and always mix wild rice in that anyway.

Made lamb Kofta last night using the middle eastern lamb patty recipe- minus the pine nuts. I added some mustard seeds and they were really delicious with whole meal pittas and a mint and yoghurt sauce. Oh and some fried onions. I have used some rapeseed oil in cooking this week too. I am slightly nervous of it tbh. My parents lived in Nottinghamshire and were surrounded by fields of oil seed rape. I found that I had an allergy to it when it was flowering. If I was outdoors and had touched anything then touched my face my eyes would swell up and shut and all the soft tissue in my nose and throat would become enflamed.

I'm sure this was the pollen and it probably has no corellation with the oil but I have taken it carefully just in case. No reaction so far.

THERhubarb Fri 01-Feb-13 10:08:19

Right, I cut down on the wholemeal and my guts seemed to have calmed down a bit. I figured that incorporating the changes I've made, everyone gets around 3 portions of grain a day.

Kids are now eating porridge everyday and dh has cereal too. I'm having oaty breakfast biscuits.

Lunch is usually sandwiches made with 50:50 bread for the kids or wholemeal wraps or pittas. Dh has granary bread because he's weird. I'm having wholemeal pitta or 50:50 bread as part of my lunch.

The main meal is where I am skipping the wholemeal as nobody much liked the wholemeal pasta and the brown rice as a complete no-no. However if I'm doing burgers I'll add some porridge oats.

I'm also using wholemeal flour for some baking where the colour of the cake doesn't matter. It's not much good for victoria sponge though. Or scones.

I use rapeseed oil for frying.

Adding porridge oats to crumble was a good idea and I'll keep doing this.

Also snacks, the Walkers Sunbites are really good.

I think that because I hardly ate any wholemeal stuff before, my guts just couldn't cope with the huge influx of it. Now that I've cut back they seem to be ok. It's easy enough to make a few small changes and we've done that so all-in-all it was a successful mission and has converted to some wholemeal foods.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 01-Feb-13 11:51:14

Thanks for all your comments throughout this challenge, have ask me to post the following message:

"Hi MNers – thanks so much for your passion and enthusiasm – we're going to miss this – it’s really lovely reading your messages and chat! smile

There's just a few days left of the 'official' challenge now, but this thread will be live until Sunday 10th March 2013, so those who've started late don't worry, there's plenty of time.

Small changes make a difference, so the challenge is to include wholegrain in at least ONE meal or snack a day only. One is great – and if you want to (or do already) eat more that's great too! grin

We're not allowed to chat away with you on this thread – we don’t want to intrude too much – but there's loads of questions, so we've answered some on our website for you now – Mumsnet FAQs – and remember, we're really happy to chat and answer more from our website if you’d like, just Ask the nutritionist.

And finally… Recipes:
Thanks for all the great recipe tips and ideas so far, and for all the feedback to help us improve our recipes – please keep this coming – this will help us inspire others – thank you! We believe eating healthily can be delicious and much easier than you think, and we work with skilled cooks and dietitians to create delicious and healthy recipes that are simple to make and good value for money. We’ve added some new recipes to our website for you from our new recipe booklet, including our Middle Eastern Lamb & Quinoa Patties, as there’s been quite a few mentions of quinoa, a wholegrain that’s rising in popularity. We’ve also added our Thai Turkey Burgers in Wholemeal Baps and Oaty Pork in Cider recipes and more! We'll continue adding new recipes as and when we can (oatcake topping ideas coming soon)! If you’ve tried our recipes you can rate them on our website – just click the number of stars you’d give them on the recipe pages.

There's lots of positive feedback about wholegrain and the challenge, which is great to see – thanks again for taking part from the Wholegrain Goodness team – and keep it coming! thanks "

THERhubarb Fri 01-Feb-13 12:10:59

Glad they explained about my excessive wind problem!

Indith Fri 01-Feb-13 12:36:57

grin They were a little more delicate about it that I was!

Interesting about bulgur as it does appear on many lists of wholefoods. I find it quite confusing as a lot of things are sold in the wholefoods section of the supermarket that are in fact not. confused.

Indith we got the tesco value lamb and mutton mince, was £2.39 for 500g so not bad. It fed 5 of us and I had one pattie left over for my lunch the next day.

Will definitely be looking at the recipe booklet and give the turkey burgers a go smile

MissRee Fri 01-Feb-13 13:39:05

Official participant here! I have made wholemeal shortbread as a treat for the kids and they absoluely love it.

To be honest, its been a lot easier getting wholegrains into our diets than I thought it would be. My only bugbear is that the brown rice/pasta takes a whole lot longer to prepare than the white counterparts. Its a bit of a faff when I've been at work all day and just want to get dinner on the table.

DD (13months) absolutely LOVES shreddies though smile

Blatherskite Fri 01-Feb-13 15:59:46

Ooh, this thread might be better for me than I thought! I've seen a haematologist today who has said I have really, really low iron stores. I've just been looking up iron-rich food and wholegrains were on the list.

Blatherskite Fri 01-Feb-13 18:16:32

I am happy to report that the oaty toad in the hole went a LOT better than the chicken fingers.

I didn't have any wholemeal flour, despite having gone round various shops to try and get some today, but I did add a good handful of porridge oats to the batter.

If I hadn't have put them in, I'm not sure I'd have known they were there. I let the better stand before cooking and they were so soft by the time they came out of the oven that they just added a creamyness to the yorkshire pudding rather than being lumpy like I'd expected.

I used up the last of the batter on making some extra puddings which we had with Golden syrup and ice cream and they were just as yummy if not quite as healthy wink

Lilyloo Fri 01-Feb-13 18:29:28

Picked up some tecsco cereal bars yesterday, they are choc chip and coconut, must say they are very yummy.
Also got a bag of sunbites as they were on offer, very nice to.
We have had the savoury mince crumble for tea, the dc's thought it was cottage pie. Very easy, quick and cheap to make.

CraftyBec Fri 01-Feb-13 19:24:41

Getting towards the end of the challenge now. Having posted earlier that I found main meals the most difficult to adjust, we have managed to have wholegrain for tea every night this week:
Mon - homemade pizza with 50/50 wholemeal flour
Tue - lamb tagine with wholemeal couscous
Wed - meatballs with wholemeal pasta
Thur - wholemeal spaghetti with cheese and spinach sauce
Fri - sausage and bean casserole with brown rice
All went down well with everyone except tonight's brown rice - it is a pain that it takes so much longer to cook too.
I also baked a Finnish-style rye loaf with half white flour, half rye flour as we were getting a bit bored with the 50/50 wholemeal mix. To my surprise DCs like the taste (they've not liked the rye breads I've made before), so I will be trying that again.
Haven't noticed many toilet issues since we've started the challenge - I think how your body reacts might depend on how much wholegrain was in your diet beforehand anyway and for us it's not been a huge increase. Having said that, my 3 year old has done 3 poos today!

Made pizza with wholemeal flour which went down very well. But I am amazed at how much more wholemeal things are, flour was more expensive and I went to buy brown basmati rice until I saw it was more than £2 more expensive per bag!

Lesbeadiva Sat 02-Feb-13 09:52:36

Ooh toad in the hole sounds like a great idea! That's tonight's tea sorted. We are off to do another shop. I agree things are more expensive. And I would have to up my shopping by more than £5 a week to do a full switchover. We have been getting whoops wholemeal bread, pitas for the freezer though, so that's lunches next week sorted out. We tried the oat pork recipes and I found it good. Kids not so keen.

Blatherskite Sat 02-Feb-13 10:17:09

The recipe is here Lesbeadiva

Squiglettsmummy2bx Sat 02-Feb-13 10:36:19

Well we have discovered golden syrup weetabix for breakfast for myself & DD. All converted to wholemeal bread & the banana muffins where scrummy. Brown rice & wholemeal pasta are definite no nod though.

Lesbeadiva Sat 02-Feb-13 12:39:56

Thanks blathers

PatTheHammer Sat 02-Feb-13 14:29:06

Thursday we had carbonara with wholemeal spaghetti which went down well. Yesterday I went out for a chinese so the DC's had pizza's using the Warburtons round wholemeal pitta breads as a base (on offer in co-op). DD loved it but DS wasn't keen, he said the base was too chewy. DH had chicken burgers in wholemeal buns.

Tonight is thai turkey curry with brown rice, the DCs are at MILs for the weekend so they will no doubt be eating processed crap.

androbbob Sat 02-Feb-13 21:01:49

Getting towards the end of the challenge here and doing ok. Wholemeal pasta mixed 50/50 with white went unnoticed by all. Put porridge oats in my chilli and was declared a sucess. Will try the same when I do Spag Bol this week.

Bread - not winning here at all. DH prefers wholemeal but kids not at all. Tried the 50/50 with little success as well, so will not bother with that again. Got wholemeal pitta breads and toasted them and cut into strips and they both ate that with a dip - so all is not lost!

Been interesting challenge but agree with other posters who suggested wholemeal was more expensive - £2 for a bag of flour againt £59p for a white one!

Lesbeadiva Sun 03-Feb-13 10:30:40

I would say we have been successful overall. We did eat quite a lot of wholegrain before, but this has bumped us right up.

I am however about to tuck into a bacon roll...on a white roll! Just because something cannot be changed grin

Indith Sun 03-Feb-13 10:46:22

Well it is Sunday.

So these past 2 weeks I have learned that:

We do eat a fair bit of wholegrain anyway.
My children will eat brown and seeded bread. (We used to have it but then ds1 got fussy and we stopped. I guess he is over the fussy period!)
Brown rice is nice with stew.

We will certainly eat more brown bread and add wholemeal flour to some bakes.


Brown rice is SO expensive. I'm sorry but my food budget only goes so far.
Brown pasta is also more expensive. Sorry.

I was also looking at what you said on your website about mixing for small ones so as not to fill them up with too much bulk. That is something we had been doing and I had read before. My kids are still young so we would continue to mix brown and white. But to do that you need to have packs of both open at the same time. I don't know about anyone else but in terms to storage space it is unrealistic to have a tub of white pasta, a tub of brown. A tub of white rice, a tub of brown. White bread flour, brown bread flour. White plain four, brown plain flour......and so on. We just don't have the space!

I need to attack my baking shelf and rearrange it this weekend to accommodate the additional flours (I'm loving wholemeal spelt) but I don't think brown rice and pasta will remain in my kitchen once the packets are empty as I don't have the storage space and they are just too expensive. We'll see, keeping the rice would be nice to have once a week or so with a stew so the dcs don't get out of the habit again.

Your website is pretty good but you need to remember to keep it realistic. A lot of the people you will be trying to target are on limited incomes and have small homes so you must stay sympathetic to their needs and recognise that brown rice isn't an easy change when it costs £2 a bag more than white and unless you can add a cupboard to their kitchens then telling people to do a 50:50 split of white and brown for everything is not a simple option either!

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 11:03:28

Can't believe the two weeks is up already!

Grockle Sun 03-Feb-13 13:53:59

Oh, me neither! I could have sworn that we've only done this for a week hmm

I've learned that:

We already eat quite a bit of wholegreain - more than we realised

Popcorn is a good snack

Wholemeal pasta is actually ok

Wholemeal foods are much more expensive. If they were the same price as the more processed stuff, I am sure more people would eat better.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 16:11:06

My feedback:

I was pleasantly surprised how much whole grain we eat already without realising it. But, I will certainly be more aware of it and deliberately making better choices too, so I think our whole grain intake will increase thanks to the challenge.

DCs really aren't fussed which bread they have, so I really should stick to wholemeal now, it's actually me who is fussy blush - I do really like granary/seeded etc but sometimes I just crave white bread y'know? Especially with Nutella - so I will have a think about a compromise that will still allow some white bread for me grin I do love the 50/50 type stuff though.

Favourite snack would be popcorn, whole grain rice cakes (yes, I really do love rice cakes! shock) and whole grain fruit loaf.

I unfortunately didn't try any of the website recipes yet because I've been unwell but I do plan to try some when I'm a bit better. What I did do though was put oats in pancake batter, now that is really lovely and the DCs really didn't notice! It just makes them a bit thicker really. Excellent with a homemade berry sauce. It is a shame oats aren't safe for coeliacs because if they were I would be adding them to lots of other things as others have mentioned, but as DH is coeliac it just wouldn't be practical to do it for family meals.

I love brown rice, I had it a lot growing up, but as with bread I do love white rice too. I can't make myself like wholemeal pasta though. I've tried (not just for this challenge, I've bought it before too), but no.

When I'm a bit better I'm planning to start baking (something I am currently rubbish at!) and I will start off with some whole flour or at least a 50/50 mix so that it'll be healthier from the off smile I will also try more grains when cooking new meals.

They are expensive though, and it's hard to pay out for something new when you aren't sure if you'll like it, let alone your DCs who may just refuse it! So I know it'll take me a while to incorporate it into our daily lives (the new stuff I mean - we do eat a decent amount of whole grain already).

I think the key to encouraging whole grain intake is making it achievable. I really like the change4life campaign as it emphasises making small, reasonable changes that aren't too scary or all-at-once IYSWIM?

aristocat Sun 03-Feb-13 19:46:32

Well my last few comments are that as a family we have changed to whole meal pasta and brown rice easily and without fuss (from DCs or DH). The 50:50 bread is OK but DCs prefer white really. DH likes normal whole meal and the more seeds in the bread the better for me.

I also agree that the 2 weeks has gone very quickly indeed.

Porridge was not a success here either - our oats were used for flapjack instead. Thank you for the Middle Eastern Lamb burger recipe - we will be making those again very soon.

Wholegrain items are more expensive and there is still limited choice available even in larger supermarkets ::sigh:: As consumers we need more choice and better prices to enable everyone to enjoy whole meal/whole grain.

Thanks again - really enjoyable smile

Littlecherublegs Mon 04-Feb-13 13:35:17

Most recent wholegrain find - (Swedish) Krisprolls!

They are delicious, versatile and full of wholegrain (2 x krisprolls = 14.6g of wholegrain).
Also low in fat and high in fibre.

I usually have them with soup or as an alterative to bread / rolls for sandwiches.

DoodleAlley Mon 04-Feb-13 17:40:40

We find whole grain rice is virtually indistinguishable from white rice to a four year old.

Also DS favourite sandwiches have one slice white and one slice whole meal. It's a start anyway!,

GinetteandWill Mon 04-Feb-13 19:55:43

I'm not an "official tester" but I thought that I would try this challenge as my children are picky eaters, they both suffer badly with eczema and and asthma and I've been thinking for some time that I should try to improve their diets.

I was actually quite pleasantly suprised by how my wholegrain my children eat already through cereal and bread.

One thing I've realised is that I need to focus on getting them to eat whole grain rice and pasta instead of white.

They also love pizza so my next challenge is going to be to make my own pizza bases using whole grain.

CheeseStrawWars Mon 04-Feb-13 20:02:59

Final update from me... wholemeal pasta went down okay with DS but not DD. Wholemeal bagels successfully adopted. Oatcakes were rejected.

In summary, I can swap any bread product for the wholemeal equivalent where it's a straight swap, no complaints and equal satisfaction all round. Porridge is a massive hit, as is anything puddingy which combines oats and sugar. Only oaty thing that was a fail was oatcakes, where they ate the topping and left the oatcake.

4yo DD is picky, but not noticeably pickier than usual when faced with wholegrain rice/pasta. 2yo DS will eat pretty much anything, bar the quinoa/bulgur wheat mix which was the least successful thing; no-one liked that. Popcorn is great as they love it and it gives me a new snack option for them that's not sugary.

Personally, I prefer the taste of the pasta and rice, I like the nuttiness of it, but rest of the family less keen. But as DH said, if it goes on the table, he/they'll probably eat it. So I don't think I could switch wholesale, but I can probably mix it up a bit more.

If I'm actively looking for wholegrain products, there do seem to be enough offers around at the moment to not make it substantially more expensive to switch, but there is the effort of hunting about which I'm not sure I'd do every week, the weekly shop is usually an "in and out" job. But it has definitely made me think about wholegrain, which wasn't really on my radar before.

milkymonkey Mon 04-Feb-13 21:20:03

I don't think wholegrain is any more expensive for a lot of products, maybe slightly higher for some but only because its not the value range. I appreciate anything other than value range is hard for a lot of families at the moment but a few suggestions that might help;

I use wheat & white wraps for DS1 lunch and we sometimes have wholegrain bagels (both same price as white ones)
porridge at breakfast or wholegrain cereals (I never buy 'kids' cereals)
Wholewheat couscous, this will make a lot of servings for the packet size and is very filling and I can't think of much that's easier or quicker to cook and so versatile what it will go with.
and always buy wholewheat pasta. Having trouble finding wholewheat lasagna at the moment, usual supermarket hasn't had it last few times I've shopped online, might be back soon!

Scrambledchocpancake Mon 04-Feb-13 21:20:50

Well we did it! We had at least one portion of wholegrain per day more on most days. Breakfast has to be the easiest meal to have wholegrain in. However it was mine and DD2's birthday this week which meant lunch out and party at the weekend. However we got around it by having some homemade flapjacks and the brilliant home popped popcorn. I even managed to create my own sweet topping which was very satisfying! I even sneeked some wholemeal flour in the fairy cakes!! We had banana buttermilk pancakes for breakfast which I swapped the usual white plain flour with wholemeal self raising flour. They looked heavy and not very tasty but were surprisingly light and yummy. DD's scoffed them all! I usually have some left over but not this time!
I bought some giant wholemeal cous cous which DD1 really didn't like in her chicken casserole although DD2 scoffed it all up!
Wholemeal pasta you can keep. It was awful!! Although when I made it in a macaroni cheese style pasta it was quite nice I have to admit so will be using the rest of the packet in this way.
The wholemeal pitta's were good and we will be getting those again. And the wholemeal bread rolls went down well. Better response to the white they used to only eat before so will repeat those as well!
I have loved Quinoa since I weaned my babies but haven't cooked it myself but I will try to use/cook it in the future thanks to your recipes. I have to say that I really enjoyed this challenge although it appeared we ate it most days anyway, it made me look at our food in a different way and made us try new things. So thank you for selecting me for this challenge it has been fun!grin

Will be using wholemeal flour in baking and buy some oatcakes on my next shop, also tried the wheat and white wraps and ds1 and I enjoyed them.

We have had a mixed reaction to the recipes but generally enjoyed them and opened my eyes to more wholemeal options and new meal ideas.

Plus ds2 is eating porridge every morning with me now which he loves and I feel happier about that than cereal.

Thank you for the opportunity to be part of the challenge.

MrsKwazii Mon 04-Feb-13 22:03:10

Sorry not to report back over this last week - internet has been playing up! We've been really enjoying the wholemeal penne and spaghetti and the brown rice has gone down well too - although you do need to be organised to get it on to boil for a week and a half before you can eat wink.

I did manage to find some multigrain fresh pasta in Sainsbury's this week and it is delicious. I'm definitely going to buy it again.

I've been substituting wholegrain Ryvitas for bread this last week and it's been very tasty. DD wasn't so keen when she had a nibble though. She did eat 50:50 pitta pockets though so will carry on getting them for something different.

I'm definitely going to carry on using wholemeal flour in baking, and the homemade hobnob recipes in the MN cooking section has been a hit with family, friends and visitors. They keep really well too, which is great. We'll also continue with the multigrain cereals as it would be daft not to. I'm holding back some shredded wheat for Easter nests as well!

I completely forgot that we had popcorn (it's fallen down to the back of the cupboard) so I'll need to give that a go this week as I reckon it will be a great snack alternative to bear

As for more frequent pooing and wind. Yes and yes blush grin

MrsKwazii Mon 04-Feb-13 22:07:51

Oh, I didn't try any of the recipes from the Wholegrain site, but I did add oats to pork meatballs I made which you couldn't really notice and were still delicious. I added wholemeal flour to earlier ones and they were tasty too.

LiveItUp Mon 04-Feb-13 22:24:21

Not official, but following .....

I can't get to like wholemeal pasta, but as you are all so enthusiastic about it I will try again.

Mainly, we have upped our wholegrain intake via the bread, rolls, wraps etc. It took the DC's a few weeks to stop wishing for white but now they don't even mention it. I went the whole hog and only buy 100% wholegrain rather than 50/50. The new Hovis wholemeal with 7 seed varieties is particularly yummy, and great as eggy bread etc.

Looking forward to hearing more of your tips.

MrsKwazii Tue 05-Feb-13 07:23:35

Forgot to mention that when DH and I had a curry at the weekend I substituted our normal naan breads for wholemeal parathas, which were delicious. It's finding little substitutions where you can I suppose.

poachedeggs Tue 05-Feb-13 13:26:47

Hello! Late as usual but here's my round up of the fortnight smile

The DC have been easy. DD is only 2 and wholemeal bread is absolutely not good for her yet, but she will eat it happily. DS is 5 and no problems with wholemeal bread in his packed lunch/toasted etc. Both are happy with wholemeal pasta and brown rice (although we've always eaten a fair bit of brown rice), and we are porridge-eaters at breakfast time anyway.

DH is an intransigent old goat and loves his processed carbs. Having said that he's been a good boy and didn't moan about the absence of white bread from the cupboard. In essence I think he just ate much less bread than usual because of this but it's about time he won't fade away smile

We love oatcakes as snacks - slap on some peanut butter or cream cheese and it's perfect between school and a swimming lesson, or as a supper if we've eaten tea early.

I've made hobnobs, anzac biscuits, wholemeal pancakes and half-and-half fruit scones and all of these have been successful.

For main meals we liked the oaty pork in cider - I have been inspired to use oats to thicken sauces in my usual recipes. It had never crossed my mind but it works SO well, so I will definitely be taking that tip away with me. And the oaty toad in the hole was a triumph and will be repeated forever more. We're having turkey burgers again tonight, because they were good (I also mixed wholemeal breadcrumbs through the meat to bulk them up a bit).

Overall I don't think it has changed DH's attitude towards wholegrains but it has armed me with new and more devious ways to increase his intake so I'm very happy with that! smile

madamegourmand Tue 05-Feb-13 15:07:09

I can't believe I only noticed this thread after the challenge has finished! I found this so much easier than I thought and managed to sneak a wholegrain into two meals every day!

Blatherskite Wed 06-Feb-13 18:45:03

I know the challenge is over but we've really gotten into it and will be trying to include more wholemeal in our diet long term. For anyone else doing the same, we tried Cracked Wheat, Wild Rice & Pesto Pilaf tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I served it with some baked salmon. We'll definitely be having it again - and not just because I've still got half a bag of Bulgar wheat to use up wink

I have taken part. I really enjoyed doing this challenge. We eat a lot of wholegrains anyway so we tried to eat all three everyday!

buggerama Thu 07-Feb-13 10:57:52

We have had porridge every morning, I have ryvita minis for a snack mid morning and have swapped and are eating brown rice and pasta. Its been easy as these foods are nice as well as healthy. We are on a health kick for the new year and that includes having no processed food if possible, so it all ties in, which made it easier.

I made chapatis with brown flour last night to go with a chichen curry I made - easy and healthy and the kids are liking couscous too, thanks for letting me take part

Lesbeadiva Thu 07-Feb-13 11:15:54

I have really enjoyed this. I am much regular blushgrin. I overall feel I have more energy and am less sluggish. It's rally easy to incorporate into every day cooking and not just breakfast. Kids have taken it in their stride too.

Faunanflora Thu 07-Feb-13 12:25:54

I have been ensuring that I include wholegrain in at least 3 meals/and or snacks per day. To my pleasant surprise, after researching exactly what is and which foods have it I realised that I already used it a lot in baking any cooking. I have substituted my favoured Olive Oil for rapeseed and pearl barley for whole barley in my stews and casseroles. I make my own bread and have always used wholemeal flour but have used R oil, instead of sunflower to increase our intake. I make oat bars for the children and they have wholegrain cereal for breakfast and eat homemade bread so they are already used to eating wholegrain.

I tried a few of the recipes - including using oats as a thickner but that was awful - but most of them I already knew versions of.

I have not found any clear indicators that I am benefiting from eating more but will still continue to do so.

CraftyBec Thu 07-Feb-13 12:38:43

I enjoyed taking part in the challenge and will continue to try to find ways to sneak incorporate more wholegrain into our diet. Was delighted to find Napolina wholegrain pasta on offer in Sainsburys yesterday at £1 per bag, so snapped up 2 bags grin.

One thing I forgot to add earlier in the thread is that while many products claim to 'contain wholegrain', when you study the ingredients list the content can be pretty small. I found this with some breakfast biscuits (which I'd never usually buy) - less than 20% wholegrain - and some breakfast cereals. It's worth remembering that many 'cereal bars' contain no wholegrain at all - they can be all puffed rice, refined flour and sugar.

Blatherskite Thu 07-Feb-13 13:24:56

I've been pleasantly surprised at how much wholegrain it turns out we were already eating! and how easy and tasty it's been to add more. I think I'm a definite convert to wholegrain bread and pasta and DH was so impressed with the pilaf last night that he's taken the leftovers to work with him today so that will definitely be getting made again along with the oaty toad in the hole.

poachedeggs Thu 07-Feb-13 15:32:46

Fauna rapeseed oil isn't a wholegrain. I don't think!

Pozzled Thu 07-Feb-13 19:47:47

Bit late adding feedback, sorry!

I found this really interesting, and will definitely keep trying to add more wholegrain to our diet. I was pleased to discover that the 2 breakfast cereals favoured by my (very fussy) 4 year-old are wholegrain anyway (cheerios and malties). So both DDs and I were already getting some everyday.

I thought that counting the cereals was sort of cheating, so tried to add at least one more type each day. A couple of days it didn't work out- when the DDs ate at nursery/after school club and DH and I grabbed ready meals. But we did manage most days.

The things that went down really well were mostly sweet snacks and puddings- banana muffins and crumble toppings made with wholemeal flour; homemade flapjacks; popcorn with a little butter and sugar.

However, we did also try some savoury snacks and meals: 'pizza' made on wholemeal pittas; wholemeal toast and pasta, and brown rice. If it were just me, I'd continue to buy those kind of products all the time, but DH and DD1 weren't so keen (DD2 pretty much eats anything and is too young to complain!). So I think we'll try to compromise by buying more of the 'half and half' products and using the wholegrain products occasionally.

I'm glad we did the challenge, and will definitely be making some small changes, especially cooking with wholemeal flour where possible.

danmoore00 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:58:24

Have enjoyed taking part in this - currently weaning my DC3 so great time to take part in this challenge. It was easy with my children to convert them - wholegrain bread, pasta, couscous - they were easily pleased and didn't moan about the change. DP is a real set in his ways likes his processed white bread rice etc. so I had to mix his up a little and find tricks he was ok with the porridge though! I also purchased the wholemeal wraps and replaced them with his white and there were too many moans. Overall think the kids are ok with the conversion may take a little longer with DP but will keep at it! The Thai turkey burgers which were yum were the biggest hit will def be making them again. and the oatmeal toad in the hole - think I even tricked DP with this one.

TheTempest Fri 08-Feb-13 17:47:11

I can't belive how quick this challenge went! We have really enjoyed this challenge and will definitely be carrying on with eating more wholegrain, I feel much fuller with brown seeded bread than the white processed i was eating. We all loved the muffins too :-) thank you so much for picking me to take part!

mrsskefton Fri 08-Feb-13 20:55:33

So haven't managed the pasta or rice conversion but have done bread/wraps/pitta, oatcakes, quinoa, polenta, oil, oats, cereal bars. I am averaging 2 whole grain meals a day, sometimes 3 which is great. I have noticed that we are all suffering flatulence, although also find we are snacking less and feel full quicker which is great. All in all our eating has greatly improved which is fantastic :-). Thanks for the push!

florencebabyjo Fri 08-Feb-13 21:06:42

Hi, have really enjoyed the challenge and have now converted DS and DD to whole grains several times a day. The best thing for me is that I find myself thinking how I can adapt recipes to accommodate whole grains whereas before the challenge I wouldn't have thought about it. The children have on the whole accepted all the changes really well, abandoning white bread was initially a bit of a struggle but they seem to be getting used to it. The other thing that didn't go down so well was brown rice, but mainly because it is chewier. I'm mixing it in with white though which seems to be working. I have also been baking a huge variety of muffins and bakes mainly to just experiment, but much to the delight of all! All in all a really positive experience that I'm looking forward to continuing. Amazing how you can make such changes over relatively short space of time.

We've been having white bread and pasta for a couple of years as we have DS (now 2) and I was told white was easier for him to digest. DH and I have recently started having wholegrain bread again (on a health kick!) and are really enjoying it. It's also so much more filling than white bread so need to use less.

I found the portion recommendations on the website interesting - you actually don't need to eat that much really to get your minimum 3 servings: e.g. wholegrain cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch. So it feels quite achievable.

Generally though the whole 'you need to eat 3 portions of this and 5 portions of fruit and veg, and don't forget to drink water etc etc' feels a bit overwhelming sometimes, like you need a gantt chart to make sure you're covering everything you need! I'm just aiming for the good old cliche - everything in moderation!

peronel Sat 09-Feb-13 15:18:27

My family don't like wholemeal pastry, but I cheat a bit by always using wholemeal flour in the flour sifter, and rolling it out a few times. Makes the gingerbread men have a nice freckled appearance, too! smile

StellaMarie Sat 09-Feb-13 17:41:09

I've enjoyed this challenge and will definitely continue with it. It has made me look more in the supermarket as to what is available. I found whole wheat Chinese egg noodles by Sharwoods today and have tried buckwheat noodles too. The buckwheat noodles were very tasty and will do a veg stir fry with the other ones. Still not tried the quinoa I bought but it's on the list for next week.

Blatherskite thanks for the pilaf link it looks yummy.

Whole meal cheese scones went down well in the lunchboxes and I've had a request from the DCs for more cheese & tomato flapjacks.

Cazmo Tue 12-Feb-13 10:30:34

Have added a small portion of almonds to everyone's snack instead of the usual biscuit. Seems to fill everyone up between meals.

MTBMummy Thu 14-Feb-13 10:16:44

I just wanted to come back and say thanks for selecting us for this challenge, it's made a big difference to our diets (and actually helped with some minor but long term health issues in our family) We'll definitely be carrying on with it.

DD thinks Popcorn is the best snack in the world - she's never had a sweet tooth and it saves us a fortune on crisps

The only thing we've not enjoyed was store bought bread, but we have made our own wholemeal bread and that disappears faster than I ever expected.

MTBMummy Thu 14-Feb-13 10:18:36

Just to add - found a great recipe for wholemeal muffins which DP is devouring on a almost constant basis (and the mix lasts for 30 days - so I just bake 6/12 in the morning) and he doesn't feel the need to snack on cakes and biscuits

ShiftyFades Wed 20-Feb-13 19:53:19

Finally managed to take part: some meals were easy (change of breakfast cereal), some a little harder (eating whole meal rolls / bread for lunch - took a bit of getting used too but the seeded loaves went down well)
Others much harder: whole meal pasta / rice. As a vegetarian (who doesn't eat cheese) I found I was quite limited.

I definitely felt fuller for longer. I am going to try more recipes and continue.
DH loves whole meal bread so he was very happy grin
I've always hated brown bread so this has been a very disciplined thing for me but I've felt very good about it.

Thank you for selecting me grin

Snoozie101 Fri 22-Feb-13 18:27:23

It is easy to get the kids to have wholegrain for breakfast - Shreddies, Branflakes or Weetabix. Also wholegrain toast is good, but they turn their noses up at wholegrain bread untoasted. Trying to have brown rice - but only DH only one keen on this.

Leafmould Sat 23-Feb-13 20:47:46

Hi, not official here, but got the recipe book, and loved the look of the lamb with quinoa kebabs...... Tried to buy quinoa.....£3.99 for 500g!

There must be a way to buy the stuff a bit cheaper than that. I haven't read the thread, so am I the only one who is struggling to buy some of the ingredients?

florencebabyjo Sat 02-Mar-13 16:44:30

Hi, It has been a few weeks now since we officially did the challenge and we are now all used to whole grains daily which is great. I have felt much more aware about how we can incorporate them and the kids have been coming up with ideas themselves, amazing!

tgroom57 Wed 06-Mar-13 10:20:37

Bread freezes well - if you don't think you'll finish the loaf then freeze half on the day of purchase. Always good to find half a loaf in the freezer when you thought you had none. (newbie)

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Mar-13 16:37:55

Thanks to everyone who took part in this product test - asked me to pass on this message:

"Thanks so much MNers - we've really enjoyed reading your posts and have learnt lots! I hope the Wholegrain Goodness Challenge has inspired you smile

The Mumsnet team will now draw the lucky prize draw winners, to receive a voucher from us for a supermarket of their choice - £150 for an 'official' Wholegrain Goodness Challenge MNer and £100 for an 'unoffical' tester - good luck to you all!

Please do pass on your wholegrain tips and ideas and recommend to friends. Look out for new recipes on the website and if you haven't already, make sure you get a recipe booklet. Remember, if you have any nutrition questions about wholegrains, oats or rapeseed oil just ask our nutritionist - we hope to hear from you! Thanks again thanks"

AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Mar-13 17:30:49

The winners have now been chosen - CheeseStrawWars wins £150 voucher for taking part as an official tester and SandWitch wins a £100 voucher for taking part as an unofficial tester. Well done to you both!!

Gilla01 Sat 30-Mar-13 22:28:42

I like the bread with added seeds, etc. Makes great toast. Have been eating more porridge this cold weather as well, and am sure that this is good for the digestion.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now