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List of Whole Grains

Students in grades 3-5 should be getting 3 servings of whole grains every day. Serving sizes varies depending on the food product. [See Serving Size for Whole Grains Products (161 K PDF) for examples.]

Getting the recommended servings of whole grains is easier than you think! In order for a grain product to be considered “whole grain” it needs to list whole grain as the first ingredient on the nutrition label. If you see the word “whole,” you know that the food product contains all three parts of the whole grain kernel. This means you will get all of the benefits that whole grain has to offer!

Not sure different types of whole grains that are available? Here are some of the options:

Grain Who eats it? Facts
Amaranth Cultivated in Central America as long as 7,000 years ago. Commonly eaten in Mexico and the Himalayas. Amaranth is not really a grain, but a member of the pigweed family. Amaranth has the highest protein of any grain.
Barley Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains. Barley is eaten around the world. Egyptians buried mummies with necklaces of barley. England standardized the inch as equal to three barley seeds.
Buckwheat Buckwheat is used to make soba noodles in Japan, crepes in France, kasha in Russia and Eastern Europe, and pancakes in the United States. Botanically, buckwheat is a cousin of rhubarb — technically not a grain or wheat.
Bulgur Bulgur is common in Middle Eastern foods and is eaten around the world. It is famous for use in tabbouleh. Bulgur is made from wheat. Wheat kernels are boiled, dried, and cracked to make bulgur.
Corn (also called "maize") Corn is a traditional food of Latin America. It is now eaten around the world now. Much of the world's corn is grown in the Midwest of the United States.
Kamut Kamut, which meant "wheat" in ancient Egypt, is still eaten in modern Egypt. Kamut is an example of an heirloom grain and a type of wheat. It is sweeter, lighter in color and higher in protein than red wheat.
Millet Millet is the leading staple grain of India, and is commonly eaten in China, South America, Russia and the Himalayas. There is evidence of millet cultivation as early as 9,000 years ago in China, where it was a sacred grain. It is used as a bird seed in the United States.
Oats Oats were traditionally eaten in northern European countries, including Scotland and Ireland. Oats is now eaten around the world by people and animals. Oats are found in hot breakfast cereal, cold cereal, granola bars and many more. Most of the oats grown in the United States is used for animal feed.
Sorghum Sorghum is a cereal grain that originated in Africa. Sorghum grows well even in dry climates or through drought periods when it becomes partially dormant. It can be eaten like popcorn, cooked into cereal or ground into flour for baked goods.
Spelt Spelt was widely cultivated before industrialization, when it was replaced by modern wheat varieties. It is still grown in Central Europe and Spain. Spelt is higher in protein than most wheat. It can be used in place of common wheat in most recipes.
Teff Teff is primarily used in the countries of Ethiopia, India, and Australia. Teff provides over two-thirds of the human nutrition in Ethiopia. Teff is a cereal grass of North Africa. It is the smallest known grain, with a pleasant, light flavor. Teff is the main ingredient in injera, the Ethiopian flatbread.
Triticale Triticale is mostly grown in Europe, with some production in the northwest region of the United States. Triticale berries are a unique hybrid of wheat and rye. Add cooked berries to yeast bread for a full-bodied texture and light rye flavor.
Wheat Wheat is widely eaten around the world in the form of baked goods and pasta. Wheat is the major grain eaten in the United States. Most wheat is planted in temperate climates, with a large portion grown in the Great Plains region of the United States — an area also known as the "breadbasket of the world."
Wild Rice Wild rice grows naturally in the Great Lakes region of the United States with most of the crop harvested in Minnesota. Wild rice is also grown as a paddy crop in Minnesota and California. Wild rice is not technically rice, but the seed of an aquatic grass.

Learn more about Go Wild with Whole Grains!:

Sources (1999-2012). Grains. Website.

Whole Grains Council. (2003-2011). Whole Grains A-Z. Website.

More Go Wild Resources

Other Recommended Resources

Serving Size for Whole Grains (161 K PDF) — Examples of serving sizes for different whole grain foods.

The Recipe Box — Quick, simple recipes using easy-to-find ingredients that work in even the tightest budget.

Food Preparation — How to use kitchen equipment, prepare produce, cook legumes, and more.

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