Celebrate Whole Grains Month in September
September is whole grains month and every year the Whole Grains Council celebrates with special events and promotions all month. This year we're running an Instagram photo contest throughout the entire month of September.
Our 2015 contest theme will be Share the Goodness of Whole Grains. With this campaign, our goal is to encourage people to share their favorite whole grains with others. You could bake whole grain muffins for your neighbors... bring granola bars to your kid's soccer game... donate whole grain products to a local food pantry... or simply share a photo of your favorite whole grain food on Instagram.
Whatever you do to Share the Goodness of Whole Grains, tell us about it, by posting a photo and a few words about what you shared and with whom, and tag our Instagram account (@whole_grains_council). Everyone who follows us on Instagram and posts an entry (or several!) using our hashtag (#sharewholegrains) will be in the running to win some great prizes: $500 cash and a basket of whole grain goodies for first prize; a $250 gift card for the King Arthur Flour Company store for second prize; and more! Click here for contest rules.
Stay tuned for more details as September comes closer. And even though the contest doesn't start until September, this is a great time to "practice" by posting some great whole grain photos, tagging our Instagram account and following us now!
When we choose our first prize winner, we will also choose a food pantry in the winner's home state, to receive several cases of delicious whole grain foods. A big thank you to the following companies who are donating cases of their products: Freekehlicious, To Your Health Sprouted Flour, and Way Better Snacks.
Download graphics for whole grains Month
Are you celebrating Whole Grains this month or anytime in your company, on your Facebook page, in your school or elsewhere? Here's where you can download graphics to make it official!
Whole Grains Month in Years Past
Life is too short to do the same thing each year, and we enjoy coming up with new and innovative ways to salute whole grains. Check out the details on our past efforts:
2014 - Make the Switch to Whole Grains
In 2014 our theme was "Make the Switch." Throughout the month, we showcased a mouthwatering group of whole grain recipes created by some of our favorite food blogger and dietitians. People across the USA checked out all the recipes and voted for their favorites. The top five recipes, according to votes, went to our final cook-off and judging on October 8. The top recipe creators received cash prizes, as did one of our voters chosen at random.
2013 – Good Grains for a Good Cause
We spotlighted the charitable efforts of WGC member companies, and invited people across the country to nominate their favorite food-related charity to receive cases and cases of whole grain foods donated by food manufacturers. We also launched a new partnership with Healthy Dining Finder to help people find whole grains in restaurants.
2012 – Deal of the Day
Throughout September, we featured a new "Deal of the Day" with special discounts and also partnered with EatingWell magazine on a recipe contest.
2011 – The Whole Grain Stampede Sweepstakes
Whole grain lovers sent us information about their favorite Whole Grain Stamp products for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. We picked two entries at random; the top winner got $5,000 of grocery money and a year's worth of whole grain products (courtesy of Quaker) and the runner-up got an iPad (courtesy of UltraGrain/ConAgra Mills).
What can you do for Whole Grains Month?
Whole Grains Month is a great time for everyone to get on the whole grains bandwagon. Eating better is not an all-or-nothing choice; every little improvement you make in your food helps – in every month.
Post this list of "baby-steps" on your fridge, and try as many as possible this month:
I'll buy three different loaves of whole-grain bread and taste all of them to see which one we like best.
I'll serve bulgur or brown rice instead of potatoes with dinner one night this month.
I'll look for the Whole Grain Stamp every time I shop.
I'll try a new breakfast cereal with at least 16 grams of whole grain per serving.
I'll buy some whole-wheat pasta and try it.
I’ll visit the health food store or a major grocery and look at all the different grains in bins.
I'll make my favorite whole grain recipe for a friend.
On the weekend, I’ll try cooking a pot of steel-cut oatmeal.
I’ll make pizza for the kids with whole wheat pita as the crust.
I’ll make our favorite cookies with whole wheat flour next time instead of white.
I’ll serve hamburgers with whole wheat buns this week.
I'll try all of the WGC's Dozen Easy Family Whole Grain Recipes.
What else does the Whole Grains Council do?
Here are a few more ways the WGC celebrates Whole Grains Month every year:
Support for Health Professionals. Teachers, RDs, doctors, and nurses are helping us spread the word about the health benefits of whole grains. And we're supporting them with educational materials, "Just Ask for Whole Grains" buttons and stickers, and posters, through our "Just Ask for Whole Grains" campaign. If you're an educator, order your free educational materials ahead of time, so you'll be ready for Whole Grains Month.
Sampling and Coupons. Members of the Whole Grains Council offer special consumer promotions, including discount coupons, new product introductions and instore sampling.
The Whole Grains Store Tour. We've designed a great resource for supermarkets – or community health professionals – who want to introduce the public to whole grains. Click here to learn more about this kit, which can be downloaded from the Resources section of this website. It's now available in both English and Spanish. You'll also want to check out the whole grain resources on the website of our sister program, The Oldways Nutrition Exchange.