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Components and Nutrient Contributions – Grains and Breads

Grains and Breads

Meal Components Examples Nutrients

Enriched breads, cereals, pasta

Bagels, cornbread, grits, crackers, pasta, corn muffins, noodles, pita bread, ready-to-eat cereal, white bread, rolls

Source of complex carbohydrate (starch), thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron; some contain added fat

Whole-grain breads, cereal, pasta

Brown rice, corn tortillas, oatmeal, whole-grain rye bread, whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal, whole-wheat pasta, crackers, bread, rolls

Source of complex carbohydrate (starch and dietary fiber), copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin; some contain added fat

Menu Ideas to Increase Variety

  • Use a variety of breads (preferably whole-grain breads) such as pita pockets, pizza crust, focaccia bread, bagels, corn bread, tortillas, and English muffins.
  • Use round crackers, rye crackers, soda crackers, and whole-wheat squares.
  • Substitute unsweetened, whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal for croutons in a salad or in place of crackers with soup.
  • Pastas now come in different colors and flavors: tomato, spinach, and whole wheat. Try different pasta types such as macaroni, twists, spaghetti, or rigatoni in a cold pasta salad.
  • Add smaller pastas such as macaroni, alphabet letters, and small shells in soups.
  • For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.
  • Add whole-grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats.
  • Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soup or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or a stir-fry.