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Warburtons' virtual roundtable feedback thread. Non testers: Share your thoughts on children's packed lunches and white bread for a chance to win a £150 JL voucher NOW CLOSED

(94 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Sep-13 17:15:04

This thread is for the 9 Mumsnetters taking part in the Warburtons virtual roundtable.

Here's what Warburtons say: "We've recently undertaken a piece of university research which looks at the role of packed lunches in children's diets. It's a hot-topic at the moment and we'd really like Mumsnetters with a child of primary school age to let us know your comments and thoughts around this research."

Non testers: Tell us what you think of children's packed lunches, do you find it difficult to know what to put in your DC's lunchbox? Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given? What about white bread? Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this?
Whatever your thoughts on packed lunches and white bread please let us know. Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £150 John Lewis voucher.

Testers: Below are a few feedback questions for you to answer - if you have any more comments, please feel free to add them to your response.

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?
2. Having looked at this research and key findings from Leeds university (based on a study of 2,500 children), have your perceptions changed at all? If so how? If not, why not?
3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?
4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?
5. The research shows "children's bread consumption increases intakes of some nutrients which have been proven to be beneficial for long term health, including carbohydrate, starch, fibre, calcium, iron and selenium" how aware, if at all, of this were you before reading the research?
6. Do you give your DCs packed lunches for school? If so, how often, if at all does the packed lunch include a sandwich and which type of bread do they usually have? Do you think you're likely to change this after reading the research or not? If so why? If not why not?
7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following: "Parents have a tough job when it comes to children's health and nutrition"? Please explain.

Every selected MNer who adds a comment to this thread will receive a £50 John Lewis voucher as a thank you.

Thanks,

MNHQ

ShatnersBassoon Tue 24-Sep-13 11:43:57

1. A less healthy choice than wholemeal breads. I thought it lacked nutritional value and was something that simply filled your tummy.

2. I was surprised to learn that there are some nutritious elements in white bread.

3. I had no idea that bread was so fatty! Not such an issue for growing children, but certainly something I'll think about next time I'm buttering toast for myself.

4. I think white bread does have a bad reputation, sort of the lazy choice, or as a 'treat' for those who'd normally eat wholemeal.

5. I did know about that bread could provide those things, although I thought the minerals and iron were something you'd only find in wholemeal or seeded breads. If the research had shown a comparison to other everyday sources of carbs such as potatoes and rice, the information might have been more revealing.

6. Yes, they have packed lunch at least three times a week. They usually have some form of sandwich, although usually it's made with a wholemeal pitta or a wholemeal roll rather than sliced bread. I never make them sandwiches with white bread; they'll happily eat wholemeal so no need to offer something that may not provide them with as much of the good things. I won't change to white bread after reading the report, as I don't think it's clear enough in showing exactly how nutritious it is compared to other breads, although I might be less sniffy about buying it for weekend breakfasts blush

7. I don't agree that parents have a tough job at all when it comes to health and nutrition. You consider your options, apply common sense and make informed decisions, which is true for all parts of parenting. Getting things right isn't the same as being perfect - I get enough things right to keep the kids and myself happy smile

GlassSlippers Tue 24-Sep-13 11:59:50

Tester

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?

I preciveced white bread to be unhealthy. A filler rather than nutritionally good for you. It still makes an awesome bacon sandwhich, but it bloats me. We rarely eat it.
2. Having looked at this research and key findings from Leeds university (based on a study of 2,500 children), have your perceptions changed at all? If so how? If not, why not?

I don't see bread as "the work of the devil". My kids eat white bread on occasion and its the filling that matters more really. However I thought the research was done over a short period of time. But for an energy food, and the study showed it boosted energy by a fair bit. I found this quite helpful. Nutritionally though, we eat seeded bread, which gives energy and fibre.
3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?

The energy got me. I need thought of bread as an energy food to be honest. My kids do a lot of sport and eat quite a lot as a result. We always try and keep it healthy and don't let them get energy from crisps etc. They snack on homemade flapjacks, fruit etc. Now I know bread is a good alternative, so banana sandwhiches will be good!

4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?

Because it is lower in fibre, has added sugar etc. I understand it gets a bad rep. I still don't think it's the best choice when you get seeded bread that has 4.1g of fibre per slice when white bread has much much less.

5. The research shows "children's bread consumption increases intakes of some nutrients which have been proven to be beneficial for long term health, including carbohydrate, starch, fibre, calcium, iron and selenium" how aware, if at all, of this were you before reading the research?

I honestly wasn't aware of this at all. And was surprised. My kids eat a healthy and varied diet, so added things to bread are not a huge deal to us as they get vitamins etc elsewhere, but I can see the benefits.

6. Do you give your DCs packed lunches for school? If so, how often, if at all does the packed lunch include a sandwich and which type of bread do they usually have? Do you think you're likely to change this after reading the research or not? If so why? If not why not?

Yes they eat packed lunches every day. Sandwhiches , pitta, wraps all take place daily in different orders. It won't change after reading this. They eat bread most days, it's just soya linseed bread mostly. Other days they take soup, pasta etc.

7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following: "Parents have a tough job when it comes to children's health and nutrition"? Please explain.

I disagree and agree. I think it's reasonable to budget and eat healthy most days. However time wise it can be hard. Working parents don't always have the time to think ahead and plan meals. My kids eat bento style lunches so it includes a bit of everything and after years at doing it, we have it down to a fine art. Also I haven't got fussy eaters, they eat everything. I can't imagine how hard it must be for kids that are fussy. I agree with above too, we have a healthy attitude to food. Everything in moderation. We don't see no to a lot and limit treats. Parents do have a tough job, when the market is filled with unhealthy lunch box choices. Sometimes quick and easy is the only option.

Tyranasaurus Tue 24-Sep-13 17:35:48

My kid's too little to know that white bread exists [evil grin] I'm quite anti white bread it always gives me stomache ache if I eat too much, so I'll be avoiding it til peer pressure wins out...

LindySfarne Tue 24-Sep-13 17:36:03

We have a bread machine and fortunately dd likes a half brown half white mixed loaf, although she still won't eat the crusts.

We often bung in seeds and extra flavours. I like that we can minimise the sugar and salt content and obviously it's additive free. I'm keen for us to eat a lower GI diet to improve energy levels.

Tell us what you think of children's packed lunches, do you find it difficult to know what to put in your DC's lunchbox?

When dc1 went to Playgroup for two days a week I prepared a packed lunch and yes I found it hard to know what to put in, mainly because he is such a fussy eater it was hard to try and tempt him to eat lunch at all. I also found it expensive to have to buy lots of small amounts of tempting but healthy choices.

Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given?

Dc1 no, absolutely not
Dc2 yes absolutely

What about white bread? Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this?

Yes they both eat white bread. I used to always buy brown as the perceived healthier choice but I've come to the conclusion that actually if I make a sandwich with white and it gets eaten then thats better than throwing a brown bread sandwich away. Also I think most 'packed lunch' sandwiches taste nicer in white bread!

Thankfully I no longer have to make (uneaten) packed lunches as dc1 has now moved to (not eating) school meals!

skyeskyeskye Tue 24-Sep-13 19:08:36

Non testers: Tell us what you think of children's packed lunches, do you find it difficult to know what to put in your DC's lunchbox? Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given?

DD will eat either white or brown bread, but not if it "has bits in". I do actually buy Warburtons wholemeal bread, as it is light and nice tasting and DD likes it. She has either a jam or cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off, with a yoghurt, cheese string, strawberries, cereal bar and banana. She is very fussy with her food, which is why I have just started her onto school dinners, so that she gets a greater variety of food. She will not eat any salad items at all.

What about white bread? Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this?

DD will eat white bread, she will eat either bread. She prefers white, but will eat some brown.

themummyonthebus Tue 24-Sep-13 20:03:36

Non-tester.

DC1 loves bread, in fact would probably happily eat nothing else! We try to buy breads with seeds or fruit in. I used to make our bread myself but haven't had time recently.

I do struggle with lunches and snacks. DC generally has school meals but I find at home the default is a sandwich. I'm finding pinterest good for inspiration.

ladygoingGaga Tue 24-Sep-13 20:17:03

do you find it difficult to know what to put in your DC's lunchbox?

Oh yes, my son gets bored eating the same, so I have to use pitta and tortillas too, but have to keep them in the freezer as otherwise they go off.

Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given? What about white bread? Do your DC's eat white bread?

My son will only eat white bread, he refuses to eat any 'bits'

bluebump Tue 24-Sep-13 20:36:46

Non tester.

I detest making packed lunches as my 5 year old always wants the same thing every day, it is like groundhog day making it every night. I'd rather pick and choose new things to put in every day but it would come home uneaten and at least this way it comes home empty and it is all healthy even if it seems dull to me.

He has wholemeal bread in his lunch for his sandwiches and I don't think he has ever said that he wishes he had white bread instead. Maybe all of his friends have brown/wholemeal bread too?

I know my son likes white bread and I know he eats it at his dads house I just prefer to eat brown/wholemeal so tend to only buy that.

tanfastic Tue 24-Sep-13 20:38:45

We all eat white bread I'm our house including ds in his packed lunch. Sometimes when he gets bored of sandwiches I cut up a small pork pie, a couple of mini sausages and cherry tomatoes in a bowl and he has them instead.

Non tester.

I have a fussy eater and unlike popular opinion found it got worse with school lunches. I stopped when i found out in reception that he had free choice and I was paying £10 per week for a jacket potato and cheese daily and he was eating only the cheese.

He does have the same things daily. A ham sandwich, cheese cubes, fruit, cucumber and carrot, yoghurt and a biscuit but I am happy with that.

He will only eat white bread. But as I only eat brown under duress I think I'm in no position to moan.

stephgr Wed 25-Sep-13 02:03:35

I'm not a tester. I try to vary the lunchboxes as much as I can and always put some fruit and veg in. It's not hard but it can get expensive. Everyone in my family eats white bread although I usually buy the half and half loaves. The children will sometimes eat wholemeal but they refuse to eat toast if it's brown bread.

passedgo Wed 25-Sep-13 02:24:21

Non tester, but I was pleased to find out a few years ago that white bread is not too different from brown.

I generally choose white for sweet stuff, brown for savoury.

Dcs like wraps, bread had always made the oldest bloated, wraps have more yeast.

Recently found out about the high protein content of bread, so am a bit more of a fan.

Would like to see more different kinds, the square baps are good but too thin. Sturdier bread like the Scottish one would be nice, and something similar to Polish rye would also good. It's a waste of good shelf space having so much sameness.

passedgo Wed 25-Sep-13 02:25:15

*less yeast

CheeryCherry Wed 25-Sep-13 03:29:15

Although my Dcs were brought up on brown bread, 2 out of the 3 of them would choose white every time. In a packed lunch I would feel uncomfortable giving them white bread though, so prefer 50/50 or wraps or bread buns. For some reason I don't think a white bread bun has the same 'unhealthy' stigma as sliced white.
My children are pretty good eaters so I don't have much problem with packed lunches, they usyally aje their own nowadays.
I do buy white toastie bread for special treats though! Hot with butter on...mmmmm!

JS06 Wed 25-Sep-13 08:55:40

Non-Tester

I have one child who has school meals & one who has packed lunch. The pack up is always the same with a ham sandwich, it nearly has me asleep with boredom as I prepare it but the request is always for the same. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to appear at school with something 'fancy' like a wrap! The bread is whatever is to hand, most often white bread as that is what most of us prefer for toast. We do use brown bread though as there is nothing nicer than that with macaroni cheese or with some smoked salmon for a treat.

NON TESTER

Tell us what you think of children's packed lunches, do you find it difficult to know what to put in your DC's lunchbox?

DD is very oredictable and doesnt really like change so she tends to get pretty much the same things. Usualy a cream cheese sandwich, biltong, yogurt and fruit.

Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given? What about white bread?

In terms of bread, she doesnt mind if its white or brown as long as there are no crusts!

Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this?

We almost always buy brown bread so this is what the kids are also given.

RubySparks Wed 25-Sep-13 12:51:00

Non Tester - kids eat all kinds of bread. For packed lunches they are more likely to have rolls or wraps. At home we have tiger bread with soup and sliced bread for toast - usuallynwholemeal or 50/50 type product. No one very keen on just white bread. Just to add I use Warburton Bakehouse gluten free and think the brown bread is very good for sandwiches for my packed lunch!

AndHarry Wed 25-Sep-13 14:19:51

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?

My perception of white bread was that it is a poor-quality source of simple carbohydrates and that the mass-produced stuff contains all sorts of additives, fats and enzymes that wouldn’t be found in homemade bread and I wouldn’t really want to consume on a regular basis.

2. Having looked at this research and key findings from Leeds university (based on a study of 2,500 children), have your perceptions changed at all? If so how? If not, why not?

Not really. While the study showed that white bread does have a higher nutritional value than I had supposed, it also showed that high bread intake was linked with high intake of fat and salt. I think that the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals found in white bread can be better accessed through foods higher in complex carbohydrates and lower fat and salt contents.

3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?

The recommendations for adding nutrients to bread (zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D and fibre for white bread) resonated with me. To me, it indicates that (1) it's difficult to give children a diet that naturally meets all of their nutritional needs, and (2) white bread could be better if only it was more like… wholemeal bread. I know 50/50 bread has been brought in to try to give more nutrients to children who prefer white bread but it’s surely better to give them wholemeal bread in the first place.

4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?

It probably does have a bad reputation but that doesn’t seem to stop it being the most popular type of bought bread. I think the popularity of low/no-carb diets and higher consumer awareness of the Chorleywood process, glycaemic index values and what constitutes a healthy diet and more interest about what actually goes into processed food mean that white bread is regarded with some suspicion.

5. The research shows "children's bread consumption increases intakes of some nutrients which have been proven to be beneficial for long term health, including carbohydrate, starch, fibre, calcium, iron and selenium" how aware, if at all, of this were you before reading the research?

I was aware that bread contained useful nutrients, although I did regard white bread as empty calories apart from the nutrients that are added in e.g. vitamin B and calcium.

6. Do you give your DCs packed lunches for school? If so, how often, if at all does the packed lunch include a sandwich and which type of bread do they usually have? Do you think you're likely to change this after reading the research or not? If so why? If not why not?

Yes, my 3 year-old son takes a packed lunch to nursery. He doesn’t like sandwiches so he has pasta instead. At home, he has a mix of white seeded bread and wholegrain seeded bread as toast. After reading the research, I am going to stop giving him white bread. I was giving it to him because other mums told me that wholegrains shouldn’t be given to toddlers because they fill up on them at the expense of other foods on their plate, but having read the study and done further research, I’m convinced that the nutritional value of white bread is comparatively low compared to other foods and far outweighed by the high salt and fat content. In the discussion part of the study, it said that ‘fibre intake was lower than recommended for many children even if they did consume bread’, which indicates to me that wholegrains are necessary to achieve a recommended level of fibre intake. Looking at comparison tables of the nutrients mentioned above (fibre, calcium, iron and selenium), wholegrain bread contains much higher levels of each of these nutrients except calcium. My son is happy to eat wholegrain bread and I’m now confident to encourage that as part of a balanced diet.

7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following: "Parents have a tough job when it comes to children's health and nutrition"? Please explain.

I definitely do agree. There are so many conflicting messages about what constitutes a healthy diet for adults that it is a struggle to know what is a good diet for a child, especially children of pre-school age like my son and daughter. Their nutritional needs, especially in terms of fat intake, are so different from what is marketed as a healthy diet that it’s hard to strike a balance between giving them foods that contain the right levels of vitamins and minerals and making sure that those foods are high enough in energy content. Industry-driven ‘recommendations’ really don’t help. Five portions of different fruit and vegetable a day, three portions of dairy, three servings of wholegrain, two portions of fish a week, one portion of oily fish… how do you fit it all in?

At the same time, foods that are of low comparative nutritional value are relentlessly marketed at children. I take my children food shopping with me and this week I was picking up porridge oats while my 3 year-old was asking for the ‘happy face’ sugar puffs. Yesterday in a café I ordered a glass of milk for him while he was staring at a brightly-coloured bottle of squash shaped like an animal. While my children are tiny it’s easy to say no and to control their diet but marketing works and they won’t be tiny forever.

Add in toddler fussiness and it’s amazing they eat anything I give them at all really!

AndHarry Wed 25-Sep-13 14:36:55

Wow, that was a huge post. In addition to that, I would have found the study more useful if it had compared different types of bread as well as the amount eaten each day.

Thanks for choosing me to take part. It definitely forced some rusty brain cogs into action!

Chulita Wed 25-Sep-13 19:18:34

AndHarry I thought the same re different types of bread, I thought I was missing something in the report but it seemed far more focused on trying to prove the benefits of any kind of bread whereas I would be interested in learning a bit more about the different kinds.

I'd like to know, in the report, what the children who didn't eat bread and therefore didn't meet certain nutritional guidelines had for their food. I'm sure there are alternatives to bread that provide similar nutritional benefits.

I try to give my children more wholemeal than white but my 18 month old gets stomach ache if all he has is wholemeal pasta and bread so I have to balance it out. The older two can eat it but far prefer the 50/50.

outragednotme Wed 25-Sep-13 21:36:49

Tester here!

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?

Bread contains carbohydrates and so is essential in diet. My perception of white bread is that it is made from wheat that has been cleaned and bleached reducing the vitamins so is deemed less healthy than wholemeal bread but both are a source of carbohydrates. White bread just has less nutritional value.

2. Having looked at this research and key findings from Leeds university (based on a study of 2,500 children), have your perceptions changed at all? If so how? If not, why not?

The report did not advise whether there is any further nutritional value in the wholemeal bread v white bread debate as it just mentioned children eating bread without saying which kind. The report states that eating bread of any type increases energy and other positive nutrients are contained within bread. Therefore my perceptions have not changed as I do tend to agree with what the report says. However my perception of white bread remains the same - it contains less nutrients than wholemeal bread.

3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?

I do think that bread contains nutritional value and this research agreed with my way of thinking. I prefer to give my children toast and jam as a snack rather than a bag of crisps, biscuits or sweets.

4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?

Yes white bread does get a bad reputation in my opinion. This is because of the perception that it is more refined than wholemeal bread. However, I would still rather my DC's eat toast made with white bread as a snack rather than crisps or sugary cakes.

5. The research shows "children's bread consumption increases intakes of some nutrients which have been proven to be beneficial for long term health, including carbohydrate, starch, fibre, calcium, iron and selenium" how aware, if at all, of this were you before reading the research?

I always have maintained that bread is healthy as it contains natural products like wheat and not huge amounts of sugar like cakes or sweets. I understand that bread contains carbohydrates, starch and fibre (although fibre more so in wholemeal rather than white bread). As for calcium I would have thought this would not be found in bread (unless butter is used) and again iron and selenium it would depend on the topping rather than the bread.

6. Do you give your DCs packed lunches for school? If so, how often, if at all does the packed lunch include a sandwich and which type of bread do they usually have? Do you think you're likely to change this after reading the research or not? If so why? If not why not?

Yes, my DCs have packed lunches for school often every day. It always includes a sandwich and I usually use wholemeal bread. This is unlikely to change because the report agrees that eating bread daily is beneficial. The report does not differentiate between different types of bread so if there are no wholemeal loaves in the supermarket, only white, I will not go to another supermarket searching for wholemeal.

7. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following: "Parents have a tough job when it comes to children's health and nutrition"? Please explain.

Peer pressure is something that’s difficult to avoid unless you live alone and are unsociable. Even then advertising is hard to ignore as it’s on the television, radio and posters, and supermarkets actively promote all sorts of products especially unhealthy ones. Often sweets and icecream and sugary food is promoted as a treat and is in abundance at children’s parties and play areas. Therefore I do agree with the statement “parents have a tough job when it comes to children’s health and nutrition”.

Apologies, that was quite long! However, thank you for letting me take part!

MrsAJB Thu 26-Sep-13 11:33:15

Non tester
My little boy eats any type of bread. He takes a white Warburton roll everyday (pre sliced) in his packed lunch. School policy is that they eat their sandwich first & must raise their hand before being given the go ahead from staff to eat the rest of their packed lunch. If I had to give him a wholemeal roll, he would eat that without issue. His diet is so varied (with very little that he won't eat) that I really don't worry too much.

missorinoco Thu 26-Sep-13 20:05:35

Non tester:

White bread or 50:50 goes in the packed lunch box. The issue is more with fillings. I don't allow them to have jam/honey for packed lunch, which they think is evil of me.
Are they fussy? I think so, but probably that is because I am unrealistic as to how many six year olds actually eat the healthy carrot and hummus sandwiches suggested as packed lunch variation.

I don't have an issue with white bread, or sandwiches. It is as part of a balanced diet. Bread/filling (usually cheese)/fruit/yoghurt+/-flapjack or treat if school trip.

Generally my children don't like seeded bread, although my two year old will eat it if it is mine.

Countdowntess Thu 26-Sep-13 20:16:13

I have found packed lunches easier to make over the years. If I put sandwiches in then they are made with 50/50 bread. I don't buy White bread and they still won't eat brown bread.
I avoid sandwiches too often and bake savoury muffins, pizza or decent sausagesetc. Varying what is in their lunchbox really helps. This is then balanced with fresh fruit, fresh fruit juice and a healthy snack. I bake with 50/50 White and brown flour for healthy snacks.
Friday is treat day if they have eaten their lunches during the week when I will also add something extra.

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