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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)
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
Oh, me neither! I could have sworn that we've only done this for a week
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.
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 - 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 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! ) 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 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?
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
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.
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!,
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 .
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
As for more frequent pooing and wind. Yes and yes
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.
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