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Thursday, 26 September 2013


It is very hard as a parent to feed your child at times. I don’t mean from a financial standpoint but more from a dietary standpoint. 

Just chatting to some of the other mothers in the school yard you hear the stories of picky eaters, packed lunch restrictions and of course severe allergy warnings. 

So with all of the hurdles in the lunch routine, what do you do? I know for most of us we end up making the trusty ‘ol sandwich...

Now, I don’t know about you but I am constantly bombarded by the diet industry telling me that anything “white” isn’t good for you. White rice, white pasta, white bread....Basically anything using refined white flour.
It’s easy to take that information that is being drilled in to you constantly and apply that to your children. 

BUT, is it right??? 

My son will not eat brown / wholemeal bread. I can’t get him to get past it. There is something too different for him to get over. So as a parent, what do you do? Give him the white bread that you’re told is full of sugar and refined flour?? Not an easy decision is it? 

When Mumsnet HQ asked me to take part in this discussion about the Warburton’s study, I jumped at the chance as this is a battle I have on a daily if not weekly basis in my house. 

There was a huge amount of data provided. Graphs and charts on the recommended daily values of nutrients and vitamins in children were provided to illustrate the daily needs versus the actual levels in children who consumed different types of bread. 

My analysis of the information provided lead me to the conclusions that while you should be mindful of what goes in to your sandwiches (fillings etc) both white and brown / wholemeal bread provide children with a high % of the recommended daily values. Here are some highlights from the report that I would like to share: 

The results from this analysis indicate that the most important reason for children to consume bread is that it increases their likelihood of meeting the recommended nutrient intakes for both 6 and 7 year olds for energy and carbohydrate, and selenium in particular. When children who ate bread on 2 or more occasions (estimated to be equivalent to 1.5 slices of bread twice per day), they were also more likely to meet requirements for calcium and starch, and for 6 year olds also more likely to meet requirements for fibre and iron. The downsides of consuming bread were that recommendations for total fat and salt were more likely to be adversely exceeded. 

So in my opinion, I think we should obviously try to feed our children the best that we can. Foods which are free from over-processing and high sugar contents. However, ultimately we shouldn’t stress about the process as all breads provide benefits to your children in some shape or form.

I guess the old adage is true “everything is good, in moderation”.  

I would like to thank MNHQ for the opportunity to be part of this discussion. The opinions expressed above are my own. 


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