When presented with a choice in the grocery aisle, we always opt for the whole grain version of a food product over the traditional. My kids don’t know the difference, but I do, and both of those reasons are important. General Mills‘ cereals now have whole grain as their first ingredient, which means my kids get to have the cereal they really want (ahem, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and I won’t feel guilty about it. Thanks to General Mills, cereal labels have become a whole lot easier to read – just look for the white check! Because the whole grain cereals come in versions my kids will eat, too, as a family our whole grain intake will increase even more now.
But, it’s still easy to see why shopping the cereal aisle can be a confusing, if not daunting, task, particularly if you’ve got little ones tugging at your sleeve for this or that. What advertising do you believe? How do you translate those labels into something a typical consumer can understand? According to Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of “The Doctors,”identifying whole grain products can be challenging. Shoppers can look for nutritional cues on the front of the box, but they need to read the ingredient list to know if they are getting enough whole grain. Ingredient lists detail ingredients in order of prevalence, and if the words “whole grain” are followed by a grain like wheat or oats, it means the food contains more whole grain than any other single ingredient. Dr. Stork has some additional recommendations to help you include whole grain easily into your diet. They include:
- Start Early! The Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. Get a jump-start on the day’s nutrition by incorporating whole grain into your morning routine. For instance, when choosing cereal make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient. One easy choice is cereal with the white check, which have more whole grain than any other single ingredient.
- Make Simple Swaps. Choose whole grain versions of the foods you love. Great options include whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread or even whole grain crackers. Also, try different types of whole grain. Use brown rice instead of white rice as a side dish at dinner or popcorn, which is a whole grain, for a snack.
- Don’t Judge a Food by Its Cover. The front of food packages provide good nutritional cues, but don’t forget to read the ingredients and check the nutrition label and side labels for additional health information. Cereals with the white check even include the amount of whole grain per serving on packaging.
To help with choosing products with whole grain, General Mills developed “Fast Lane for Whole Grain,” an online educational game. Consumers can navigate virtual grocery store aisles and identify products that have whole grain as the first ingredient, with the option to enter a sweepstakes to win one of each of the 50 cereals with the “white check.”
To get you started on the pathway to a diet rich with whole grains as a first ingredient, I’m pleased to be able to offer a General Mills Prize Pack consisting of five full-sized boxes of General Mills most popular whole grain cereals. To enter, you can do any or all of the following, but please leave a comment for each as it will count as your entry:
- Tell me what your favorite cereal is!
- Follow me on Twitter
- Follow me on Google Friend Connect
- Enter another current giveaway on this site –or– leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. Let me know what you did in your comment.
- Share this giveaway on Facebook using the “Facebook” link below
- Tweet this giveaway (once daily is allowed) – you can simply copy and past the following if you would like, or use the twitter button below: The first ingredient in General Mills cereals is #WholeGrain! Enter to win a GM Cereal Prize Pack at http://www.amomlessordinary.com/?p=3783 #MyBlogSpark #Giveaway
This giveaway will close on the evening of February 8th and a winner will be chosen at random using “And The Winner Is…” plug-in for WP. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm or a new winner will be chosen. Open to U.S. residents only.