Whole-grain intake among children and adolescents is below national recommendations, prompting efforts to increase intake in schools. The purpose of this study was to compare the acceptance of whole-grain pancakes and tortillas to refined grain counterparts when served as part of the school meal. Data were collected at 10 schools in Minnesota and seven schools in Texas during the Spring and Fall semesters of 2009. Three pancake and two tortilla products of varying red or white whole-wheat flour content were each served an average of four times per school. Aggregate plate waste was collected and percent consumption used to assess acceptance. Students rated each product on overall liking, taste, color, and softness on 5-point (elementary schools) or 9-point hedonic scales (middle and high schools). Analysis of covariance was used to compare intake and rating scores of all products. For all children, intake of whole-grain products was substantial (percent consumption ranging from 67% to 75%). No differences were noted in consumption of whole-wheat pancakes compared to refined wheat pancakes, while consumption of whole-wheat tortillas was lower than refined products. In elementary schools, overall liking scores of pancakes made with red whole-wheat and both types of whole-wheat tortillas were lower than refined products. However, in middle and high schools, overall liking scores of 100% red whole-wheat pancakes and 66% white whole-wheat tortillas were similar to refined products. Substituting refined grain with whole-grain options represents a viable approach to increasing consumption of whole-grain products in schools.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
FUNDING/SUPPORT: This project was funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Food and Consumer Service.