Whole Grain Taste Test Ideas
In your whole grains taste tests, be sure to feature whole grain foods and foods made with whole grains. Many grain-based foods are made with refined grains rather than whole grains. For more information on the differences between whole grain foods and refined grain foods, see “What Is a Whole Grain?”.
Some taste test ideas include:
- pizza made with whole grain crust and low-fat cheese
- whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese
- whole grain cereals (either as a dry snack or with low-fat or fat-free milk)
- oatmeal with fruit toppings (such as raisins, banana slices or apple compote)
- whole wheat bread bowl with chicken-noodle soup
- low-fat cheese soup in whole wheat bread bowl
- low-fat cheese quesadilla on whole wheat or corn tortilla
- whole grain pasta served with olive oil and Parmesan cheese
- low-fat oatmeal cookies
- whole wheat pita bread filled with fresh salad greens and turkey or cheese
- whole grain rolls with turkey
- brown rice pilaf
- brown rice with chicken-and-veggie stir-fry
- whole grain sandwich with low-fat melted cheese
- low-fat popcorn seasoned with Parmesan cheese
- whole wheat waffles served with low-fat yogurt and berries
- whole wheat macaroni and low-fat cheese
- graham crackers with peanut butter
- whole grain, low-sugar granola or granola bars
- brown rice cake
Extending the Experience: Other Things You Can Do
Other activities related to whole grain foods can be held as stand-alone events, can accompany taste test events or can be included as part of a school carnival or health fair.
Bread Around the World Party
An especially fun approach to the whole grains taste test is a themed taste test — and bread from around the world is a theme students and adults will enjoy. People all over the world have made grains a basic part of their diets for thousands of years. Many cultures have developed unique ways of preparing foods with whole grains. To ensure that you have lots of breads to try, ask a local grocery store to donate different types of whole grain breads for tasting. Breads from around the world (choose whole grain varieties) include:
- scones: sweet biscuits first made in Britain
- chapatis: an Indian or East African flat bread
- pita bread: also called pocket bread, it’s a flat, double-layered bread
- lavash: a paper-thin bread used for wrapping food in Russia
- matzoh: a flat bread that resembles a cracker
- corn bread: any bread made from cornmeal
- tortillas: a flat bread used for wrapping food in Mexico, Central America and the United States
Make an evaluation form so that participants can taste the different breads and rate them.
As a fun accompanying activity, host a family recipe drive. Invite students and their families to submit their family’s favorite bread recipes. Use the recipes to create an “Around the World Whole Grain Bread Cookbook.”
Seeing Whole Grains
Most of us have seen foods made with whole grains, but we’re often not familiar with the look and feel of whole grains in their natural form. In addition to distributing flyers and hanging posters that show the parts of a whole grain, you might consider doing the following:
- Display samples of whole grains in their natural form (such as popcorn, oatmeal, barley, bulgur and wheat).
- Play “Match the Grain Game.” Give students descriptions of several whole grains and then ask them to identify the grains in separate, clear containers.
These activities make great accompaniments to whole grains taste tests — but you could also host activities and displays in the cafeteria (or even in your school’s hallways) on other days to generate student interest. If you have a healthy foods carnival, you might want to incorporate these activities and displays as booths.
Categories: Meals & Nutrition