To develop meal plans using grain-based foods demonstrating how to incorporate wholegrain foods into a balanced diet for weight maintenance for different cuisines. The present study examines the ability of meal plans with ≥4 grain-based servings daily to meet nutrient recommendations using lacto-ovo vegetarian and rice-based cuisines.
Eighteen plans from each cuisine for three age brackets for both genders were developed. Plans aimed for ≥4 servings of grain-based foods daily, with separate plans for all wholegrain, all refined-grain and half wholegrain-half refined-grain foods. Meal plans followed an isoenergetic approach and were designed to meet specific Australian nutrient reference values and serving sizes.
All plans met the Recommended Dietary Intake or Adequate Intake for targeted nutrients except for Fe in the rice-based meal plan for females aged ≥19 years (17 mg). In the plans for 14-18 year and ≥19 year age groups, four servings of grain-based foods could be accommodated. In the plans for 9-13 years, increasing the number of grain-based food servings to four reduced micronutrients levels delivered by the total diet. Specific food choices were made to ensure nutrient targets were met across each category for wholegrain and refined-grain plans. The major difference in nutrients between wholegrain and refined-grain foods was found in the vegetarian cuisine, where the meal plans containing whole grains produced on average 30 % higher fibre (38-53 g) levels than those with refined grains (27-40 g).
With careful food selection, meal plans with ≥4 servings of grain-based foods daily can meet nutrient reference values for lacto-ovo vegetarian and rice-based cuisines.