Meeting grain requirements for your daily diet

Get creative with your daily diet and find new, fun recipes to meet nutritional daily values.

Bread pudding is a versatile dish that can be made from a variety of breads, even leftover pancakes. Bread is a great way to meet our grain requirement for the day. The amount of grains you need to eat depends on your age, sex and level of physical activity. Most Americans consume enough grains, but very few are whole grains. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), at least half of all grains eaten should be whole grain.

The USDA also states that eating grains, especially whole grains, provides numerous health benefits. Michigan State University Extension says that people who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of developing some chronic diseases. Grains provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies.

This wonderful bread pudding recipe maximizes dessert potential. This dessert will serve approximately nine.

Bread pudding

10 slices of whole grain bread       
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg                                                     
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 egg whites                                         
1 ½ cups skim milk (or alternative milk product)                             
1/8 cup sugar                       
1/8 cup brown sugar

Sugar shaking:
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Lay the slices of bread in the baking dish in two rows, overlapping them like shingles. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the egg, egg whites, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the bread. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and the 2 teaspoons of sugar. Sprinkle the sugar shaking over the bread pudding. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until it has browned on top and is firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These simple tips are meant to provide general recommendations on how to incorporate healthier options into your life. If you would like to learn more about healthy eating and wellness, visit Michigan State University Extension. MSU Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and wellness. 

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