Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Wholegrain Challenge

A few weeks ago we accepted the Wholegrain Challenge set down by Wholegrain Goodness and Mumsnet. This involved trying to encourage our family to eat more wholegrain in our diet. As Bud's diet is quite poor at the monent, he is very fussy, I felt that this challenge would help all our diets and allow me to ensure that his diet was more nutritious.

Everyone knows that we should try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day but how many people know that we should be encouraged to eat three portions of wholegrain each day? It is estimated that 95% of British people don't eat that many, most don't eat that in a week and a third of people eat none! The challenge we were set was to include wholegrain in at least one meal or snack for the family every day. We decided to take this one step further and go for two instances of wholegrain every day.

We found it quite easy to switch. We swapped our usual loaf for Kingsmill Wholemeal which includes wholegrain. It is important to realise that brown bread is not necessarily wholegrain. You need to ensure that the bread is wholemeal. Two slices of bread is equal to two portions of wholegrain so swapping your morning toast, or your lunchtime sandwich will get you two thirds of the way to your three portions. We don't usually buy wholemeal bread although I prefer it but we have all enjoyed the switch and this will definitely be permanent. I thought Bud may turn his nose up at wholemeal bread but he has enjoyed it too. Result!

The next way we switched was trading our usual crackers for rye crispbreads. I found a pack of Black Pepper flavour which goes perfectly with Brie and I've been snacking on these with homemade chutney. As I'm breastfeeding Little Miss I do tend to look for snacks and I've been really enjoying this one, especially as it has been keeping my hand out of the biscuit jar! Two crispbreads are equal to one portion of wholegrain.

We eat pasta at least once a week, sometimes twice and we switched our usual for wholewheat pasta . The taste is superior and, again, Bud doesn't seem to have noticed a difference so this is another change that will become permanent. A serving of pasta equals one portion.

I make Apple Crumble regularly and I've always included oats in my crumble topping. I upped the oats content when I made this to include a heaped tablespoon of oats which ensured that the three of us shared another portion of wholegrain between us here.

The main switch for the better has been breakfast. Usually we eat cornflakes but I've switched Bud and his Daddy to wholegrain Cheerios and I have returned to porridge for breakfast. I'm a huge fan of porridge and it is the perfect winter breakfast. I buy the microwave sachets which are incredibly easy to use and are ready in two minutes in the microwave. This means we are all getting a portion of wholegrain at breakfast, sometimes two or three if we add a slice or two of toast!

The Wholegrain Goodness website has a range of recipes aimed at helping people to cook with wholegrain. We tried the Oatmeal and Dill Crusted Salmon which was incredibly easy to prepare and cook, and was ready in less than half an hour. This was a really tasty, and healthy, way to cook salmon and a great weeknight dinner. I will definitely be making it again.

We've found it incredibly easy to incorporate wholegrain into our diet and I can safely say that the changes we have made will be permanent. I'm also looking to get some wholewheat couscous and some pearl barley for two recipes I have planned.

Mumsnet Wholegrain Challenge Oats Porridge Crumble Rye Crispbreads

Disclaimer:I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not been paid for this post though I did receive a £10 supermarket voucher. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity

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