Teaching Kids about Wholesome Breads

There is no genetic component that drives kids to eat white bread and mac and cheese. We do acknowledge, however, that all kids seem to favor these foods when they are really little. As soon as their teeth are a little better developed, however, it’s time for parents to introduce healthy, whole grain breads. Once you get them eating flavorful, nutritious breads, they will begin to shun the plain white variety, recognizing that it is not really food.

Whole grains keep our stomachs working properly. The fiber in whole grains cleans out the lining of the digestive organs (small intestine, large intestine-colon, etc.), improving their ability to absorb nutrients. Whole grain bread delivers much more protein because the protein has not been removed or reduced in processing.

Whole grains are mostly carbohydrates, but in its “whole grain” state, the complex carbohydrates are slow-release sugar. Eat a piece of white, sliced bread and you will experience a sugar rush for a very short time. The sugar carbs are absorbed quickly. Oftentimes, your blood sugar then drops precipitously in the absence of more sugar. Whole grains deliver sugar energy for hours as your body breaks down the complex carbohydrates and slowly processes them.

Whole grain breads tend to incorporate other nutritious elements, like nuts, seeds, and olives. It has flavor that white bread will never have.

Tips on Buying Whole Grain Breads

Whole grain bread can be sliced or purchased in whole loaves, but select only “Whole Grain”, not just “whole wheat,” for example. To qualify this statement, if all that is available is “whole wheat,” it is still much better than sliced white bread from which all the nutrition has been removed. You can pretty easily find whole grain or whole wheat bread that is devoid of nuts, seeds, etc. If “mushy” whole wheat bread is all that your kids will eat for now, buy this form rather than resorting to white bread.

If you are buying sliced bread, take a look at the nutrition label. Select the one that has the most protein (the last element in the list) of all the breads on the shelf. We are quite sure that will never end up being the white bread version.

While you’re looking at the label, notice the long list of ingredients in commercial, packaged and sliced bread. Fresh bread from a small bakery (regardless of whether or not you buy it in a supermarket) doesn’t have all those ingredients in the labeling for a good reason. They do not contain all those chemical stabilizers, sweeteners, solidifiers, etc. Fresh bakery bread is normally a better choice.

The exception, however, is supermarket bakeries where they start with white, all-purpose flour that is stripped of all nutrition and end up with white, all-purpose, nutrition-free bread. Go somewhere else to buy bread!


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