My Pyramid: Grains

Families, Food and Fitness October 28, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Make Half Your Grains Whole

Formerly called the Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group, this group contains any food made from a grain product. Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.

USDA's MyPyramid

Eat at least three servings of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, pasta, or brown rice every day. Eat about 6 ounces (six servings) of grain products every day. Make half of those servings whole grain.

A serving of grain is --

  • 1 slice of bread (1 oz.)
  • 1 small muffin (1 oz)
  • 1 oz. dry pasta or rice
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal flakes
  • 6-inch flour tortilla (1 oz.)
  • 1 small muffin (1 oz.)

Whole-grain foods are good sources of fiber. For example, a half-cup serving of ready-to-eat bran cereal has 8 grams of fiber. A healthy adult should have about 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories eaten each day.

Identify whole-grain products by reading the ingredients listing on the food label. You cannot identify whole grains by the color of the food. The whole grain should be listed first in the ingredients listing. If you eat only whole grains, some of those choices should be folate-fortified, such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.

Add flavor to grains without adding fat. Cook grains (such as brown rice, barley, bulgur) in broth or tomato juice.Add garlic, onions, celery, carrots, or mushrooms to rice or pasta. Season grains with herbs and spices such as curry powder, cumin, thyme or mace.

Lesson Contents
I. Introduction
II. My Pyramid: Basics
III. My Pyramid: Inside the Pyramid

a. My Pyramid: Make Half Your Grains Whole
b. My Pyramid: Vary Your Veggies
c. My Pyramid: Focus on Fruits
d. My Pyramid: Get Your Calcium Rich Foods
e. My Pyramid: Go Lean with Protein!
f. My Pyramid: Know the Limits on Fats, Salt, and Sugars
g. My Pyramid: Discretionary Calories

IV. Healthy Weight and Physical Activity


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.