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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)
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.


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

CrazyWithTwins Thu 07-Feb-13 01:52:25

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

LittleBallOfFur Sat 09-Feb-13 09:26:45

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.

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