BOSTON — The Whole Grains Council has set the parameters for its 2012 Whole Grains Challenge, which encourages any U.S. school (public or non-profit private) participating in the National School Lunch Program to submit their success stories for promoting whole grain consumption. The challenge will begin Oct. 1 and entries will be accepted until Nov. 1.

For the first time, schools will be able to choose to compete in one of two categories. According to the W.G.C., “veteran” schools are considered those that jumped into the whole grain game long before the new N.S.L.P. rules came out and are trailblazers in the cafeteria, while “rookies” are schools that are ramping up quickly to meet the July 1 requirements, are motivated to learn but could use some help finding the best ways to cook and serve whole grains.

“Schools are scrambling to quickly translate the new school lunch regulations into healthy dishes kids will want to eat,”” said Cynthia Harriman, director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for the Whole Grains Council and Oldways. “Our 2012 Whole Grains Challenge will encourage veterans and rookies alike to share their tips, stories and recipes to help guide hungry kids toward delicious whole grain choices from pizza and pilaf to sandwiches and salads.”

Entries will be judged according to their potential for helping improve understanding of how to bring more whole grains to schools. Five winners will be chosen from both of the categories.

For more information about the Whole Grains Challenge, visit: