Today we are going to talk about the names of grains in English. Grains are a less talked about food group, so we have decided to round it out with some useful drink vocabulary as well.
If you missed it, we have already done lessons on fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products. Each of these lessons include free flashcards for you to download and some ideas for exercises you can do with your child.
Finally, if you have any questions for us that aren’t answered here, feel free to message us. Just click here or on the image below and you can ask us to help you out with a question or sentence that you are working on.
What is a Grain?
Grains are the seeds that come from certain kinds of plants like rice, wheat, or barley. These plants are collectively known as cereal grains. Grains often are used as the “filling” part of peoples’ diets. Most grains are processed and turned into something else that we like to eat like bread or noodles.
Although they are less interesting than say meat or fruit, grains are probably the most consistent part of peoples diets. For this reason, it is important that your child can describe these foods in English. Below, we have a list of grains with pictures to help you teach and review the names of foods in the grains category with your child.
Names of Grains in English
For the most part, a lot of individual grains are non-countable nouns. Where appropriate, we have included the quantifier to help you. If you do not see a quantifier, it is safe to assume that it is a countable noun.
Rice / a bowl of rice / a grain of rice
Flour / a bag of flour
Bread / a loaf of bread / a slice of bread
Bagel / two bagels
Muffin / two muffins
Oatmeal / a bowl of oatmeal
Popcorn / a kernel of popcorn
Cereal / a bowl of cereal / a box of cereal
Names of Drinks in English
Liquids are uncountable nouns, so we usually use the quantifiers glass or cup to describe them. If it is something hot, we will often say cup or mug. For example, you can say a cup of tea or a cup of coffee.
If it is cold, we usually describe it as a glass. For example, you can say a glass of water or a glass of juice. However, these words are ultimately decided by the container themselves.
I find there are few items more versatile than a flashcard for learning. It is crucial that you think carefully when you are deciding how to use them, but with creativity, the options are endless. I would suggest that you try not to just use them for rote memorization, or else your child may start to associate English with work and lose interest in the subject altogether.
We have left our flashcards black and white so that your child can color them. This is not just so that they can enjoy the flashcards, but it can also help them with learning the material. Preferably, your child will draw these items themselves, but we understand that not all grains or drinks are particularly easy to draw.
How Many Food Groups Are There?
We generally say that there are five food groups: meat, grains, vegetables, fruit, and dairy. Some people will include oils and sweets as a sixth category.
What is a Whole Grain?
Whole grains are grains that have not had at least one of their three significant parts removed in processing. Grains consist of three parts: the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. Each portion has its own nutrients, and so keeping them “whole” makes for a more nutritious and filling grain.
The Difference Between Cups and Glasses
There is some debate in the English community as to what constitutes a glass and what constitutes a cup. Some people believe it has to do with the material used, and some believe that it has to do with the shape of the object.
The difference between these two boils down to a little bit of both. Generally, a glass will be made of glass or sometimes plastic. On the other hand, a cup is usually made of clay or some kind of earthenware.
As far as shape, glasses are usually taller and narrower. Cups are wider and stouter. Cups will also come with handles, though not always.
I find it is easier to classify cups and glasses by the liquids that you will use them for. If it is hot, you will want a cup. A glass made of glass or plastic won’t work well with hot liquids as the glass itself will heat up. On the other hand, we typically will put cold liquids in glasses.
If you are not sure which to use, I would suggest you use “cups” which I find to be a far more general term than glasses.
The Difference Between Cups and Mugs
A mug is a cup with a handle. Generally, a mug has a circular opening and is fairly wide. We typically use mugs for tea or coffee. However, “cup” can be used in place of “mug” if you want. So you can call it a coffee cup or a coffee mug. In short, all mugs are cups, but not all cups are mugs.
Discover Different Kinds of Unprocessed Grains
In today’s world, we are often ignorant of where our food comes from. Many children know what flour is, but not what the grain it comes from looks like. The same can be said for other grains that we consume daily, but rarely see how they look in their natural forms.
A great way to teach your child about grains is to explore them in their natural forms. This can be a science lesson where you look at the different parts of a whole grain. Or, it could be cooking lessons where you use these grains and see them turn into something familiar and tasty like oatmeal or bread.
Bread Taste Test
Bread can often be made with different kinds of grains. Take advantage of this and do a taste test of different kinds of breads from different kinds of grains. You can have your child rank them by taste or guess which bread comes from which grain.
International Taste Test
Every child has tried juice or soda. But, maybe they are less familiar with the brands and flavors that are popular around the world. When I moved to China, I tried lots of crazy (to me) flavors of drink and had a great time doing it.
Try finding an international grocery store that stocks popular drinks from around the world. This can be an opportunity to learn about the English names of these drinks and flavors. And who knows? Maybe they might find their next favorite thing to drink as well.
Make Your Own Drink
Take your child’s favorite drink, and learn how to make it on your own. This can allow you to teach them the name of common ingredients and see how their favorite drink is made. Some easy ones you could start with are lemonade, iced tea, or certain fruit juices.
Vocabulary games are always a great way to practice food vocabulary. To help you out we have made a whole post on different vocabulary games you can play with your child.
This post includes two games that you can download and play with your child. As well, we give you ideas on how to use your new grains and drinks flashcards in fun and useful ways to teach your child about food in English.
More Food Vocabulary
If you are looking for more food vocabulary and food flashcards, take a look at our food in English home page. We have lessons on all 5 food groups and common drinks. You can get there by clicking on the image below.
When we think about learning about food vocabulary, we often first go to vegetables, fruit, and meat. These kinds of food are fun to look at and even more fun to eat. However, there is a huge amount your child can learn by becoming familiar with the names of grains and drinks. Oftentimes, the grains food group makes up the largest and most consistent part of our meals, so it is useful for your children to know how to describe these foods in English.