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Whole Grain Goodness Challenge feedback thread - chance to win supermarket gift cards! NOW CLOSED

(264 Posts)
PoppyMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 06-Feb-17 10:29:31

Here's what, a not-for-profit campaign aiming to inspire people to eat more whole grain, say about the challenge:

“Most of us know it’s important to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day. But did you know high fibre foods are also an important part of a healthy, balanced diet? The dietary recommendation for adults is that we should aim for at least 30g of fibre a day; but currently only manage, on average, about 18g. Whole grains are a great source of fibre and so public health advice is to base our meals on starchy carbohydrate foods, and to choose whole grain varieties where possible.

So try something different for your new year's diet resolutions this year – take part in our whole grain challenge, involve your family too if you can, and add your feedback here to be entered into a prize draw."

Here's what's involved:
~ Official testers (those already selected by MNHQ) who add a comment here between Monday 6 February and Sunday 26 February can win a £250 supermarket voucher

~ Non-official testers (open to all UK MNers) who add a comment here between Monday 6 February and Sunday 26 February can win a £150 supermarket voucher

- The challenge is to include whole grains / whole grain foods in at least ONE meal or snack per day for two weeks and tell us what you think by adding your feedback here. Involve your family too if you can.

According to

"There’s so much variety available to choose from, such as wholemeal breads, flours, rolled oats, whole grain breakfast cereals, rye crackers. Even popcorn is a whole grain food! Perhaps try going half-and-half, like mixing white with wholemeal flour in baking, wild rice with white rice or brown pasta with white pasta. If you already eat lots of whole grain, feel free to take part in the challenge too, as we’d like to know what you think also, to help us inspire others to eat more delicious and nutritious whole grains.

"If you have any questions about whole grains go to and check out the Guide to Whole Grain pages and the FAQs, or use the Contact Us form. To help you get cooking with whole grains, try these delicious Recipes created by professional home economists and dietitians, designed to show that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring – it can be surprisingly good!"

Please add your feedback below on the following:
~ Let us know what you think of whole grains / whole grain foods and if you knew about the benefits already or not.

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

~ Please add any other comments, photos, recipes, tips or ideas you have too – we'd love to hear from you at various stages of the challenge.


Closing date: Sunday 26 February. Winners will be selected at random from all posting a comment: one ‘official’ tester and one ‘non-official’ tester – prizes as above.

Please note: posts on this thread may be reproduced by Whole Grain Goodness (AHDB).

Stargirl84 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:03:36

We've started our whole grain challenge!

Breakfast this morning was a bowl of porridge, something my family and I enjoy regularly anyway, as it keeps you full until lunchtime. This week I've swapped my usual white self raising flour for whole meal flour, and I'm going to make cheese scones with DD1 later on, probably using half whole meal flour and half white self raising flour. I've also bought whole meal pita bread for lunch, and we are going to fill them with hummus, grated cheese and cucumber. We'll see what the toddler thinks!

The website looks great and I'm keen to try the recipes. The rye hot cross bun loaf looks amazing!

LauraMipsum Mon 06-Feb-17 11:34:17

We've been doing a whole grain diet for three months. I will have a look at those recipes for some inspiration, as it's easy to get stuck doing the same few things!

Tonight will be baked cauliflower with wholewheat giant couscous, tahini and pomegranate.

IToldYouIWasFreaky Mon 06-Feb-17 11:40:08

Checking in on day 1!
I usually eat quite a lot of wholegrains (oats everyday, usually use wholemeal bread and brown rice) but I'm looking for new and interesting way to cook with them, especially main meals.

DS and I both had porridge for breakfast (with linseeds and chia seeds mixed in and chopped banana on top) and we've both got wholegrain crispbreads in our packed lunches. I've also had Nairns Oat Biscuits for a snack.

I've had a look at the WholeGrainGoodness recipes and I'm not that impressed, sorry! Lots of them seem to rely on oats being the whole grain and I eat a lot of oats already. And many of the recipes seem quite bland. Also, the filters don't seem to work properly as when I select "vegetarian" it's including recipes with fish. I'd really like to see some more innovative recipes including the more unusal wholegrains.

I'm planning on doing some kind of stuffed pepper recipe, possibly with quinoa. I've never quite got to grips with quinoa as it always goes a bit sludgy when I cook it so I'm really keen to see what others are able to do with it.

Tigerlily13 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:40:37

There's so many things I didn't know you could even get in Wholegrain! We're starting with wholegrain sliced bread - my eldest is quite a fussy eater and we usually just have white slices so will see how that goes! And we also have wholegrain pittas too like the poster above.

dragonfly63 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:45:55

I thought that this challenge would be really difficult for us as we don't eat pasta, white rice, flour, bread, potatoes, sugar or anything processed, but reading g through the list on the whole grains page is really interesting. We are now making a point of having porridge every morning and if we feel like a snack in the evening we have Made popcorn which is something I haven't done in years. Many thanks for the push!

Purplehonesty Mon 06-Feb-17 11:55:21

Our first day is starting with sweet potato soup and cheese scones made with wholegrain flour. They are delicious.
I also bought super berry porridge for supper so will see how that goes. I am going to make it with oat milk.

Rae1000 Mon 06-Feb-17 11:58:59

Thanks for the link. I had just been searching where to write...

So far today the whole family has had sainsburys wholegrain bran flakes.
Hubbie had his with sugar. Kids plain & me topped with banana.

A good start to day one I think!

Thanks very much!

Purplehonesty Mon 06-Feb-17 11:59:52

Oops pressed send too soon.
We are also making the flat bread pizzas and adapting weetabix loaf cake to include whole grain flour.
I plan to dig out the bread maker too and make some half and half bread.

LauraMipsum Mon 06-Feb-17 12:03:33

IToldYou I'm similarly unimpressed with the recipe site. I filtered for vegan and it came up with a whole TWO recipes, one of which calls for both eggs and milk, so, er, not very vegan!

Quinoa often takes less cooking than the box suggests. Try cooking it in stock or in spiced water, and drain it as soon as you see the seeds pop - you will see little white bit on each seed when it's done. Cooked too long in plain water it's grim!

welshmardymum Mon 06-Feb-17 12:21:51

I must admit we started this weekend so I've got slightly ahead of myself ... makes a nice change!
I've been surprised how easy it is to swap, I made the toad in the hole using wholegrain flour and it was just as nice as what I normally make - I added some mustard to the batter mix and it was lovely. I also made apple betty using wholegrain breadcrumbs instead of white and not only couldn't you taste the difference but my daughters seemed to like it more..... maybe a coincidence but i'll certainly make that a permanent change.
I wasn't that impressed with the site - I searched on lunches and nothing grabbed me, I have saved 3 recipes from the main section - I really like the look of the wholemeal chicken pasties so will be giving those a go before the challenge is over.

Sparkles26 Mon 06-Feb-17 12:27:12

I'm so excited to do this challenge! It's really made me think about what we eat daily as a family and really focused me in on what I need to add weekly to my shopping list! This morning I had a bowl of porridge with peanut butter and little one had porridge too! I'm already planning tomorrow's meal... I'm thinking Sweet & Sour Quorn with Whole Grain Rice <3 Happy Days!

(Ps. not a perfectly, perfect foodie pic lol smile

IToldYouIWasFreaky Mon 06-Feb-17 12:33:50

Thanks Laura! I suspect that I have been cooking it for too long then. I usually "cheat" and get those ready made pouches but it would be far cheaper to learn how to cook it for myself so I'll have another go. Thanks for the tip!

aggga8 Mon 06-Feb-17 13:04:20

Our first day we started with waffles made with oatssmile I mix small oats, milk, eggs and put little of oil. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. My kids love oats waffles with greek yogurt and berriessmile)))

dewdneyk Mon 06-Feb-17 13:22:34

I usually eat quite a lot of wholegrains so was going to take the challenge of using them in two not one meal a day. Foiled on day one - my husband picked up the bread yesterday and it's white, sliced and soft! No nice wholegrain toast for me this morning.

However, I've got wholegrain pasta and having looked at the recipes online I've found a lovely looking tuna with rocket and tomato dish so that is going to be dinner tonight. I'm trying to use up what I've got in the cupboards before heading out to the supermarket to buy specific things but should have lots of options available.

cherrybath Mon 06-Feb-17 13:32:00

I started "testing" early too, buying brown rice rather than white rice. We've tried the larger grain brown rice in the past and don't much like it, but the brown basmati smells and tastes delicious. The only problem is that it needs to be cooked gently for exactly the right time - cook it longer or faster and the grain "explodes" and just goes soggy. 27 minutes in the recommended time, so not exactly a quick meal.
The other thing about using basmati as opposed to jasmine or other rices is that it is lower GI so digests more slowly and keeps your hunger at bay for longer. We don't really like wild rice which is ridiculously expensive and does not soak up sauce !
I'm a little disappointed by the recipes on the site too, there seem to be quite a lot of main meal recipes in which the "whole grain" factor is simply a crumby coating of some kind.

BurnTheBlackSuit Mon 06-Feb-17 13:37:21

dewdneyk I like the look of the pasta, rocket, tuna and tomato recipe too. We're having it later in the week.

We have swapped the lovely soft white farmhouse bread for some whole meal bread. I bought quality and it is actually nicer than I remember, probably because we used to have basics. I plan on having some fresh bread at the weeken, but a normal sliced loaf is fine for weekdays.

Breakfast was wholemeal toast and lunch was an egg and cress wholemeal sandwich. Tonight we're having jacket potatoes with beans and cheese and a couscous salad.

Regarding quinoa, we only had it for the first time the other week and have had it in 2 meals so far: carrot soup with quinoa and feta, and a spicy veg and quinoa one pot. We're loving quinoa - it's so tasty and adds a lovely dimension to meals! Definitely going to have some of that over the next two weeks! (And afterwards)

Sylviasmothersays Mon 06-Feb-17 13:55:34

Started today and visited supermarket for supplies. We all tend to eat wholegrain breakfast (cereal or wholemeal toast) so going to try to add in another wholegrain at some point in the day. Also bought oatcakes for snacks!
I feel like I eat quite a lot of wholegrains but think this might just be positive thinking on my part and it will be interesting to see how many I actually eat and whether I do eat some everyday.
Have also realised that until I looked it up, I wasn't entirely sure what a wholegrain was - this has been a bit of a learning experience!
Brown pasta for tea...

Rich0on Mon 06-Feb-17 14:09:31

Day 1
Started the day whole grain challenge off with porridge, which is a regular breakfast for me as I find it feels me until lunchtime. Looking forward to trying some of the recipes on the website for evening meals. Thanks for the voucher to assist with the challenge. Will post again later into the challenge.

bogglebonce Mon 06-Feb-17 14:26:48

Started the day with porridge which we all love, and lunch today will be wholegrain bread with a sliced banana. Looking forward to trying homemade pizza made with wholemeal flour, should be a bit more tasty in the base I think instead of just using strong white bread flour.

katiewalters Mon 06-Feb-17 14:30:40

Day 1. We went to the supermarket and got some bits over the weekend. We do have a few things wholegrain already that the whole family eay such as porridge, cereals, wholemeal bread and pasta. I got some new wholemeal cereal to try and some snacks that I thought my children would enjoy; wholemeal crisps, crackers and breakfast biscuits qnd we got some popcorn. I am going to try some recipes off the website that I've seen. I don't think the challenge for us is eating the actual foods/snacks but it will be making sure we are having something everyday.

Anononoo Mon 06-Feb-17 14:50:20

non-tester: Brought back some wholegrain bread from Germany yesterday. I love that German bread - so nutty.
Wholegrains are the best - I love brown rice, but partner always says the Japanese rioted to get polished white rice and wont eat it. Arrrrgh.

Jenniferb21 Mon 06-Feb-17 16:37:22

I've loved this challenge so far. I've enjoyed wholegrian pasta, wholegrain brown rice and wholemeal pita breads.

I'm very motivated to make healthier choices for my family (my husband and my 10 month old little boy). I'll choose at least one high fibre wholegrain option twice a day on this challenge.

For breakfast I usually have porridge or wholemeal toast with poached egg. For lunch I've had wholemeal bread and homemade soups or wholemeal pita with ham/cheese/tomato/mushroom/tuna sweet corn toasted. For my evening meal I'm planning on having brown rice and/ wholegrain pasta instead of any white refined carbohydrates.

I've made a beautiful pasta this evening with wholegrain spaghetti, king prawns, vine tomatoes, mushrooms, chillis, spinach and fresh basil. It's syn free on slimming world and is great for this wholegrain challenge! Photo attached. I just modified a recipe I found on the 'good food' website and will continue to use wholegrain products and swap and change in recipes. My little boy has enjoyed his meals as normally so he's very much on board!

Keep it up everyone. Being healthier still means eating lovely yummy food!

foxessocks Mon 06-Feb-17 18:23:33

Non tester - I have swapped my normal white rice for brown rice and although it took longer to cook it tasted really delicious. Much nicer actually which I wasn't expecting! I am pleasantly surprised and will keep this up for the rest of the challenge.

Cookingongas Mon 06-Feb-17 19:33:21

Started off! I didn't realise how lacking in whilegrain my usual repertoire is before this.

I made cottage pie today, but added in 100g oats in place of some of the mince. It was beautiful and made for a very thick unctuous gravy! Simple swap that I'll keep up.

I'll be making a barley and squash stew tomorrow.

As I'm not a fan of wholegrain flours I'll be veering toward spelt/oats/barley/quinoa/freekah

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