Eating more wholegrain foods

This page can help you if you want to eat more wholegrain foods

Your best chance of making a change is choosing something that's important to you. It helps to work on small manageable goals to start with and not to try to change too many things at once.

If you need help getting motivated to change, have a look at our page linked below on why making healthy changes to what you eat is a good idea. it might also be useful to think about whether making healthy changes could save you money, time or help protect the environment.

Getting Motivated

Find out more about the benefits of making healthy changes to what you eat

Why should I eat a healthier diet?
The rest of the page has case studies and tips on how you can make real life changes to eat more wholegrain foods, whether you need help to take action, or prompts to keep making the change.

Taking action

  • Set a clear goal for what you want to achieve. Make specific plans about what wholegrain foods you are going to eat and when
  • Think about what might make it difficult to eat more wholegrain foods and work out things you could do that would help  
  • Record your progress. Keep track of the wholegrain foods you are eating, it’s one of the best ways to stay on track

Alex wants to eat more wholegrain foods

Alex would like to eat more wholegrain foods but sticks mainly to white bread, pasta, rice and potatoes without skin, because that’s what others in their family prefer.

Following the 3 tips above, Alex could;

  • Set a goal to eat more wholegrain foods and make a plan that they will add a wholegrain ingredient to at least one meal every week.
  • Think about how others in their family don’t like wholemeal bread or pasta so try to pick wholegrain foods that the others will eat like 50:50 bread or a mix of white and wholemeal pasta
  • Keeps track of all the wholegrains that everyone enjoyed

Prompts to keep making the change

  • Put wholegrain options at the front of the cupboard so you see them and are prompted to eat them. Put other foods you might eat instead out of sight or buy less of them so it’s easier to resist temptation.
  • Leave yourself reminders about eating more wholegrain foods (e.g. a note on the cooker reminding yourself to add a wholegrain food to each meal, or a sticker on your purse reminding you to buy these items when you shop etc). Noticing them in the moment will remind you to act.
  • Try to eat wholegrain foods regularly to build new habits. You might have to do it 20 or 30 times before it starts to feel ‘normal’.

Lesley wants to eat more wholegrain foods

Lesley grew up eating potatoes or frozen potato products like chips and waffles with most meals and would like to eat a wider variety of wholegrain foods.

Following the 3 tips above, Leslie could;

  • Buy a few wholegrain foods (e.g. a packet of wholemeal pasta or wholegrain rice) and put them at the front of the cupboard so that they are are the first thing to hand. Swap frozen potato products like waffles or chips for wholegrain foods at the shop, to make it easier to avoid falling back into familiar habits.
  • Leave a note on their shopping list to remind themselves to buy different wholegrain foods when they shop for food.
  • Settle on having wholemeal pasta one day a week, and wholegrain rice one day a week every week so it becomes routine.