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Whole Grain Foods

Whole Grain Foods

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.

Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, whole grains and refined grains.

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include: whole wheat bread, pitas or pasta, or cereals, brown rice, oatmeal and popcorn.

Refined grains have been specifically processed to offer a finer texture by removing the bran and germ. This helps to improve shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Some examples of refined grain products are: white bread and pasta and white rice.

Grain products are important for carbohydrates (a top source of energy) and certain B vitamins. Some whole grain foods also supply dietary fiber. Read the chart below for ways to add whole grain foods to your day.

Food  1 oz Equivalent Tips
Whole Grain Foods 1 serving (Check the package label for the serving size.) Make sure at least half of your grain choices each day are whole grain foods such as whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta or brown rice.
Bagel 1/2 of a 2-oz bagel One serving is about half of a small (2 ounce) bagel. Try spreading with fat free or light soft cream cheese.
Pasta 1/2 cup Half a cup of cooked pasta makes a 1-ounce grain serving. It's okay to eat a couple of ounces as an entrée at one meal, but remember to count these as part of your daily total
Stuffing ½ cup Look for lower sodium stuffing mixes. Be creative with prepared stuffing and stir in dried fruit such as raisins or chopped apricots.
Tortilla 1 (6 inch) A small tortilla is one Grain Group serving; Large, burrito-size tortillas may count as two or even three grain group servings.
Crackers 3-4 medium Whole grain crackers are a terrific snack to pair with cheese (Dairy Group) or peanut butter (Protein Group).

The typical recommended number of servings of grains is 4-10 oz/day (for 1200-3200 calorie range). Remember to make half your grains whole grains. – Go to to see how many calories per day are right for you.