When we created our “every meal of the day” tagline, we wanted to tap into both the heart of our mission of proliferating whole grains and the USDA’s recommendations that Americans consume three 16 gram servings of whole grains per day. Our logic was simple: three meals a day, one serving per meal. With 300+ products in several categories from cereals to entreés, we were sure that folks would take it as a subtle reminder.
Yesterday I got a midday call from my mother. She was on her lunch break and wanted to talk about the upcoming family reunion. As the conversation shifted into what’s new at work, I told her about some of our current projects like our new Hemp products, our cyclocross bike races, and the 2009 Mail Order Catalog. “I was looking at your catalog,” she said, “and it has this phrase, ‘whole grain cereal for every meal.’ Are people supposed to eat that much cereal?” Eyes rolling, I reminded her that it’s whole grain foods for every meal of the day, not just cereal. “Oh, so would wheat bread for dinner be okay too, because I just can’t eat that much cereal.”
After the call, I started wondering whether our tagline comes off a bit too didactic and with too much assumption about the public’s knowledge of the variety of ways to get whole grains into the diet. Has our favorite phrase been placed on the dusty shelf behind Floss Your Teeth, Buckle Up for Safety, and Do Unto Others? If my mother, who I have been inculcating with whole grain zeal for the past seven years, didn’t quite get it, what about you? As a nerdy marketer and connoisseur of whole grains, I forget that they probably don’t mean as much to “Joe Plumber” as they do to me.
I think we can all check breakfast off as the simplest place to get whole grains. Choosing whole wheat bread for your lunchtime sandwiches is fairly easy to pull off, too. But supper is where whole grains are most often forgotten in lieu of the perennial mountain of mashed potatoes. Aside from more whole wheat bread, here is a simple, tasty way get whole grains into your evening meal. My wife and I love to make Amaranth this way, but you can use any whole kernel grain you like, such as brown rice or quinoa.
Brown small bits of onion, mushroom, and garlic in a bit of vegetable oil in a saucepan. You can use olive oil, but it tends to set off my smoke alarms. Add the grain and cook briefly, coating it in oil. Then add some vegetable broth in the exact amount called for on the package and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Super easy.