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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

gazzalw Mon 23-Sep-13 17:57:07

our two have grown up eating nothing but wholemeal and granary sliced bread so we feel as if we should polish our halos! However, because many of their school friends have white bread sandwiches they are always pestering for white bread. We have yet to cave in but it's frustrating! GRRR.

However, we do often have baguettes and French cheese, salad etc...at the weekends for a quick lunch and they love this type of meal!

Yes, finding inspiration for packed lunches is difficult. I always think their lunches tend to be quite bread/carbs heavy and not sure if this is entirely desirable. We do go down the wraps/pitta bread route quite often but still .....

Incidentally, I do still think that white bread is best for a bacon butty and indeed for toast with lashings of butter grin. Can't escape my working-class 1960s/70s roots!

Bubbles85 Mon 23-Sep-13 18:57:19

Have to agree on the above that its hard to get the kids to stick to brown bread when all their friends are having white!

I find google is great for lunchbox inspiration.

Chulita Mon 23-Sep-13 20:04:05

Tester
1) Before reading the research I thought white bread was wholemeal bread's poorer cousin with less nutritional benefit to be gained from eating it compared to wholemeal or granary.
2) The research hasn't changed my opinion mainly because I don't think the report addressed the issue of white bread vs wholemeal nutrition. It seemed to be more focused on bread of any type as opposed to no bread.
3) I was quite surprised that the results showed an adverse effect on meeting the DRVs for total fat and saturated fat. I understand that packaged bread is quite high in salt but I hadn't registered the saturated fat content.
4) I reckon white bread's reputation is deserved. In terms of macronutrients, carbohydrate and vitamin D etc it delivers but that doesn't mean it's great to eat 2 or 3 times a day every day. This report shows the excess fat and sodium that's consumed with a high bread diet (I think it's any bread rather than just white).
5) Bread consumption is bound to increase the intake of carbohydrates, fibre, calcium and iron since grain is full of carbohydrates and bread is fortified with extra bits and bobs. I was aware of the nutritional value of bread.
6) I make packed lunches for my DC and they tend to have bread most days. We have a bread machine so will make a 50/50 loaf with added seeds or I buy either wholemeal or 50/50 packaged bread (most of the time it's bought at the moment since we're moving house and I packed up my bread machine book too soon). I won't be changing the type of bread I buy because I'm happy with what I'm feeding them. To be honest I couldn't see where this report compared the different types of bread against each other, it seemed far more about whether bread was consumed or not. It wasn't even concentrating on how much bread was consumed, just how often and based on average consumption of usual types. I didn't think this report was particularly well focused. I might, of course, have completely mis-read it so I'll wait til a couple of others have responded and see if I'm just having a dense moment.
7) I agree with the comment because children are always changing what they like and what they'll put up with. They also have different energy needs to adults and process food differently. We are also given a lot of information to process and it's hard to sift out the information that's being sponsored by a food producer with an interest in a certain spin on the results released.

I'll pop back in a bit and see if anyone else has answered grin

DoctorGilbertson Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:01

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?

Yes, one will eat sandwiches, the other won't so usually gets crackers instead. Plus fruit and yoghurt. I don't usually vary them so not a lot of difficulty making a decision.

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

Well, I hope so. One of them asked for crisps the other day in his packed lunch. I changed the subject and think he has forgotten. Mostly they eat what they are given. Sometimes leftovers from the night before if I have any and they are packed lunch appropriate.

What about white bread?

I prefer it and it is cheaper so it is what we usually have in the house

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

Yes, even the one who doesn't eat sandwiches, although clearly less than the one who does.

littlemonkeychops Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:20

Non-tester. DD has never had white bread as we only buy wholemeal. She's only 2 so i appreciate peer pressure might make her want to try it when she's older, but i still wouldn't buy it as i don't like it.

Me and DH grew up with pretty rubbish nutritionally packef lunches (think jam or processed meat white bread sandwiches, crisps, choc and maybe a yogurt). I'd like to do better for DD but i'm not sure where i'll get ideas for quick/easy but healthy options from.

DontmindifIdo Mon 23-Sep-13 20:48:02

Non-tester - DS prefers white bread, but generally isn't a big fan of sandwiches at all - toast, fine, bread in sandwich form, not so much. He does rather love wraps and wholemeal pitta bread, so he normally gets those if I have to do a packed lunch for him.

Personally, I do think that regardless of the health concerns, hot white toast with real butter melting on it is one of the best rainy afternoon treats. (white bread and real butter banned in my house growing up)

VivaLeThrustBadger Mon 23-Sep-13 20:57:49

Non tester.

Dd wouldn't eat bread for years which made pack ups and picnics a nightmare.

She will now eat white bread. I'd prefer it if she ate granary but I,m thankful she now eats any bread. She will eat the 50/50 stuff so I get that and hope its better than full white.

I try to balance the carbs of the bread out with some protein....so cheese or ham or chicken sandwich.

Mamafratelli Mon 23-Sep-13 20:59:25

Tester
1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?
I have to admit that I saw white bread as something to avoid. I certainly wouldn't buy white bread on a regular basis, although I wouldn't eat a bacon sandwich on anything other than 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?
My perceptions of bread on the whole have changed drastically. I have always tried to mix up the childrens lunchboxes so that they don't have bread every day but I won't do that anymore.
3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?
I was really surprised to see that the children eating bread twice a day actually met their nutrient targets more successfully than those who didn't eat bread and also received more energy.
4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?
White bread has got a bad reputation. I think it is seen as empty calories with no goodness, like crisps and chips. Wholemeal bread is seen as much better.
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?
To be honest I had always thought of bread as filling rather than nutritious focusing more on ensuring the fillings were healthy.
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?
My DCs take packed lunches to school 4 days out of 5. I have normally tried to give a mix of lunch options with sandwiches two or three days a week. I usually use Warburtons Squarish Wraps, flatbreads and I usually but Best of Both or 50/50 bread.
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 think that people get confusing messages of what is and isn't healthy for children. Mixed messages come from schools, health professionals and peers. I like my children to have a balanced diet with high fat, high energy foods allowed in smaller portions. I don't want to make food a battleground but allow them to try everything and decide what they like on their own.

CarmonEileen Mon 23-Sep-13 21:21:06

Tester..
1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?
A) My perception was always white bread was for normal families and any other type was for better off/well to do blush

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?
A) Absolutely, I don't think I realised how much 'goodness' was in there, also the statistics were surprising!

3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?
A) As Mama says above, the fact that a child eating bread twice a day met nutritional targets was quite a surprise, although the energy somewhat made me think differently.

4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?
A) I didn't think it got a bad reputation, I do now. I think we are all now more aware of the benefits of wholemeal/brown/granary bread but children seem to dislike the textures or flavours that non white bread has.

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?
A) I had no idea of the nutrients, to me it was just bread, My son eats bread and I know it fills him up whereas my daughter won't eat bread at all so she need filling up in other ways. I am now much more aware and shocked at how the stats add up.

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?
A) Both children have a packed lunch, My son has whatever I have bought, mostly Warburtons 50/50 his only dislike is Tiger bread. My daughter doesn't eat any at all, she doesn't like the texture of any bread. I have tried to tempt her with wraps, squares etc but she will not eat it.
We will most definately be buying wholemeal rather than plain white from here on in.

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
A) I agree, its not the easiest job in the world to find a good balance for the childrens health and nutrition, Products are too readily available to take the strain out of cooking/making from scratch these days, I find that my daughter always wants what other children have in their lunch boxes but when I give in she doesn't like or want!

ouryve Mon 23-Sep-13 21:33:35

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

That white bread contains less fibre (not that wheat should be our primary source of fibre) and is lower in particular nutrients than white bread, particularly the B vitamins found primarily in the wheat husk. In my own experience, while some types of white bread might be quite delicious, it's not something I could eat regularly as it doesn't fill me up for long, yet conversely I end up bloated from it. DS1 has ASD and went through a long phase when he would only eat white bread and not even consider brown. The flour I used to make a lot of his bread was fortified with calcium and iron, which set my mind at rest, a little.

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?

Other than the number of children who predominantly eat white bread, i found no information from this study that would change my opinions.

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

None of them are surprising. I was surprised by the earlier research referred to, stating that children who usually had a sandwich in their packed lunch had healthier diets, but that's influence by my own behaviour, which would involve some sort of salad, if a sandwich wasn't included, rather than a sausage roll, or worse, highly processed lunchables, crisps, chocolate etc.

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

White bread does have a reputation for being "empty calories" because the most nutritious part of the grain has been removed.

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 wasn't at all aware that starch was an essential nutrient. It should be a bigger source of carbohydrate than sugars, of course, but it seems odd having a RDI of it. hmm

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?

My boys take a packed lunch every day. This almost always includes a sandwich and they usually have brown or wholemeal bread or rye bread. Since the results of this research seem to be primarily focused on the amount of bread eaten, I'm not going to be changing this, based on what I've read.

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.

On the face of it, it's easy to take the attitude that if you give your children real, fresh food then you can't go far wrong. It's not always that easy, though, since there are so many highly processed foods marketed at kids. Toddlers can be shielded from them, but older children can be more inclined to experiment. I have a particular difficulty, since both of my boys have ASD and food issues stemming from this. DS1 eats fairly well, but we keep having to push him not to narrow the selection of foods he will eat. DS2 won't touch veg or raw fruit, apart from the very odd piece of apple. He even struggles to touch it. This is despite my constant efforts to de-sensitise him - we were playing a tickling game with a lettuce leaf, earlier!

sharond101 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:34:12

My DS isn't at school yet but I will give him brown bread as it's all he has ever known as it's all I buy. I am concerned about the rules surrounding what can and cannot go into a packed lunch. I will always give him fruit but would like him to have a little treat too.

manfalou Mon 23-Sep-13 21:57:54

We have brown bread for two reasons: It is to my belief that it is more nutritionally valuable and it generally does just taste better.

My children aren't of school age yet but as with the above comment Im also concerned with the rules around packed lunches. I believe that it is my choice what I put in my childs lunch box and as long as its not all rubbish I don't see an issue as I know he'll be getting good cooked meal when he comes home.

aristocat Mon 23-Sep-13 21:59:20

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? 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?

No, mine always have sandwiches in their packed lunches for school. They almost always have white bread (which they prefer) wheras DH will eat brown. DD still likes crusts off hmm
Personally I cannot eat brown bread toasted, so we only ever toast white here. Our consumption ratio is probably white 75:25 brown.

Awkwardsis Mon 23-Sep-13 22:00:34

Tester
1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?
I think I've always thought of it as being about as nutritionally beneficial as cardboard really. I still buy it, ostensibly for the children, though I do sneak the odd slice every now and then. But it's something I'm aware is thought of as being almost the 'lesser' option.

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?
My little internal alarm went off a bit when one of the first things on th e paper was 'further analysis was commissioned by warburtons.' It made me question just how neutral and unbiased this research could be. The fact that the data was collected over 24 hours also made me a bit wary, it's not very exhaustive. I think war buttons have probably cherry picked the good points and slightly brushed over the bad. But, what company doesn't? It's not really changed my perceptions hugely.

3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?
The reason I signed up to possibly be picked was because my 5 year old son has just changed from school meals to packed lunches. We're not huge consumers of bread really, I buy a half size warburtons loaf that generally does me and 3 small dc for the school week. But this change has meant an extra loaf a week and I wanted to have an idea of what that might mean. I'm not thrilled about the impact on his salt and fat levels, fat in particular surprises me. But I know that reasonably he has a good balanced diet, and completely anecdotally, does seem to have more energy at the end of the day than when he was eating hot lunches. Wether this is just down to him not being in such a rush to get out and play after having queued for a hot meal and thus leaving half of it, or merely the fact he's more settled in school is anyone's guess.

4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?
Yes I do think it has a bad reputation. It almost feels like empty pointless calories, when whole meal or seeded offers so much more nutritionally. But I know of very few people, children in particular, who prefer those options.

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 knew of this, though the research doesn't specify which kind of bread has actually been eaten at all! Eating most forms of carbohydrate would offer similar results I would think.

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, as stated my 5 year old son had a packed lunch, and it includes a sandwich using white warburtons small loaf every day. I don't think that'll change as I like that the bread is a manageable size for him and he's quite set on his ways. My 9yo daughter would be more willing to branch out should she choose a packed lunch, perhaps with some cold pasta or a salad.

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.
Parents have a tough job full stop. I think most weeks there's something we're meant to feel guilty about and especially nowadays we're meant to be experts in everything - nutrition, education, you name it, there's the feeling that you should always strive to be that little bit better. With changing guidelines and fussy children it was be difficult to know what's best really. I think in a way my children have almost benefitted from my long since recovered eating disorder. I'm so careful not to try not to I still food issues that hopefully they have a pretty easygoing attitude to food. Everything in moderation is a lesson hard learned for me, but one that seems to be working for my family. I see other parents trying to micro manage every aspect of their children's lives, and to an extent that's great. But I think the best thing is to support them in making halt hu choices, rather than force them. Ime that tends to push children to see certain foods as every desirable. So in short, I'm not going to lose any sleep over an extra loaf a week.
Thanks for the opportunity, I did find it very interesting.

Hopezibah Mon 23-Sep-13 22:06:40

Non tester: My son tends to have the same things over and over just because it is easier. I would love to vary it a bit for him but it is hard for me to get the motivation to do that too and as he doesn't seem to mind, we just stick to the same sandwiches and snacks everyday.

All my kids (and hubby too!) prefer white bread. I personally prefer brown but because I am outnumbered we usually buy white bread.

I don't feel it is as healthy as wholemeal - but it is better they eat it than to buy wholemeal and find it is wasted.

I'm always on the look out for EASY lunchbox ideas as that would help give more variety to packed lunches.

BornToFolk Mon 23-Sep-13 22:12:04

Non tester.

DS takes packed lunches to school and mostly has sandwiches, usually on wholemeal bread. I buy/make wholemeal as I prefer the taste and I think it's healthier (higher in fibre and iron that white bread). I do sometimes buy 50/50 for a change, or crusty white bread or rolls or wraps but mostly, we eat wholemeal.

A typical packed lunch for DS is a sandwich, some vegetables, some fruit and a something else! (yoghurt, cheese string, dried fruit, packet of crisps etc) He's usually happy with what he's given. I do sometimes sneak something in that I know he doesn't really like, like egg in his sandwich cos I know he gets so hungry at lunchtime that he'll eat it!

I do sometimes find it a bit challenging to keep things varied as we're vegetarian so sandwich fillings can be a bit limited. DS mostly has peanut butter or cheese and chutney. TBH, he'd be happy having peanut butter every day but I like to at least aim for more variety.

kateandme Mon 23-Sep-13 22:44:44

it was always cooler to have white bread.i have no idea why. but for the most part as weve all grown older the kids have joined us on brown bread.but white is a treat to have still.we never minded either way.
i think white has a bad reputaion.we now have our own bread maker whihch makes fantastic of both colours.but again white home made is the treat becasue its soooo goood.
we have also learnt that white isnt as bad as people say and often store bought wholemeal is nothing but coloured give or take.

packed lunches can be difficult.peer pressure over the smallest things can be tough expeically for sensitve kids who just want to fit in or are being targeted by bullying tactics.
we try to ge tthem to pick a fruit and a treat but dont make chocolate or fruit exlcusive to bad and good catorgories as kids awlays want the naughty option.get them excited by meals.i think a fun lunch box can be more inspiring foe the parent too!!
colourful works.faces.
making a fruite medly pot is great becasue you can say right you have ten seconds to pick three fruits you want chopping up today.they get very excited.
dont be pushy this sends them the other way but also be firm.start as you mean to go on with what is a good lunch box.

Cherrygrape Mon 23-Sep-13 23:15:59

Non tester here. I try put new things in a packed lunch and they just don't get eaten. So we have the same old things.
We generally have brown bread as we prefer the taste, but if white is all the local shop has, then we happily eat white. Dd likes white and brown bread smile

hjmiller Tue 24-Sep-13 07:36:19

I don't think there is any harm in a bit of white bread but I prefer 50/50 and like to use different wraps and rolls for variety. I find the free supermarket magazines are often good for lunchtime inspiration!

Belo Tue 24-Sep-13 08:59:42

Non Tester..... My children have packed lunches. It drives me mad. Most days, it comes back only half eaten. They eat the sandwich (filled with either cheese or chorizo which is all they'll have) and leave the veg and fruit. If they are good and eat all of their lunches, then the following day they'll get a treat included. One of the main reasons they give for not eating their fruit / veg / salad is lack or time, or getting teased by other children who don't have to eat anything other than a sandwich or a packet of crisps.

I only give them granary bread. I think white bread is not filling and isn't as good for them. If they're missing out on a nutritionally balanced school dinner, I want to make the packed lunches as healthy as possible.

Non tester-

Ds still a baby so not yet at an age for packed lunches but I am concerned about how I'm going to convince him that he should have brown bread sandwiches etc when I enjoy white bread wink
I plan on making a variety as I get bored of sandwiches daily so hope that a mix of bread, rolls, wraps etc will work here.

MadMonkeys Tue 24-Sep-13 10:44:47

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?

Not at all. DD1 is 3.8. She has either sandwiches/pasta salad/cous cous
and small amounts of several things - cucumber, tomatoes, smokied cheese, dried apricots, homemade jam tart, blueberries, strawberries etc

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

Yes, but I never put anything in there that she doesn't like

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

Yes, sometimes white, seeded or sometimes wholemeal, normally homemade

Ramblings Tue 24-Sep-13 11:13:55

Tester

Blog post http://www.realsuburbanmummy.com/2013/09/24/packed-lunches-bread-research-by-warburtons/

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread? I know that brown bread etc is healthier but not worried that white bread is too unhealthy
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 was pleased to see that all bread has nutritional value in a balanced diet
3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why? I was pleased to learn that bread has it's place in childrens diets because my children aren't ready to give up toast or sandwiches and I think 'everything in moderation' is a good way to think of food.
4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is? I think that because it's billed as the least healthy bread we focus on that rather than the fact that it can play a good part in our diets
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 wasn't aware of that but think it's good to know.
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? My son started on school dinners this week and will have sandwiches made with white bread 3 days a week or more, this research has confirmed to me that this is appropriate.
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 don't think we have a tough job, we have to view it as part of parenting. It's important to think about what we all put into our bodies and the overall health benefits and detriments of all food. I think it's just all about balance.

dahville Tue 24-Sep-13 11:42:27

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?

I think it is more about what will they actually eat! I can put in lots of healthy and interesting things but will it actually be consumed is a different question entriely.

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

Total fuss pot! But I'm working on it.

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

I'm fine with white bread and I will continue to offer both. It's not my stule to come down hard and say he can only eat X - I prefer to offer both and he'll come around eventually.

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.

katiewalters Thu 26-Sep-13 20:23:44

My son has whole meal bread, that's what the whole family eats as it's healthier than white.
My son eats what's in his lunchbox as it's always things he likes: sandwich, yoghurt, fruits, cheese dippers

givemeaboost Thu 26-Sep-13 21:18:57

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 they have packed lunches (usually school meals) they are very vocal about what they want in them, as they don't have them often its more of a novelty for them. They enjoy pasta, veg sticks, houmous, olives as well as the not so healthy pepperamis/chicken bites/crisps etc

are your DCs happy to eat what they're given?
No they like to have a say I it and I think they should have a say in it as they are the one who has to eat it.

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

Yes they all eat white bread, they are not keen on wholemeal/granary despite it being what I eat, but I am finding as they get older they are more open to having it occasionally.

Helenatwhosays Fri 27-Sep-13 09:42:39

Tester:
post: www.andwhosaysyoucant.com/2013/09/is-white-not-right.html

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?
I had always thought it was "okay" but not all that healthy. More like a cheap alternative as you should go for wholemeal etc.

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 think the research shows that while obviously the levels are higher for some of the more undesirable fats / sugars in white breads, they also contain a great selection of the levels needed for children too.

3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?
I liked that the research highlighted that the contents of the sandwich must be taken in to consideration too. Spreads, high fat meats etc obviously directly impact the healthy factor of the lunch.

4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?
I think with the health and wellbring industry's constant reminders that we should all be eating wholefoods, avoiding processed foods etc etc it is very easy to think that all white breads, pastas and rices are bad.

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 think I knew that bread wasn't "bad" all around but didn't realise there were as many benefits as the research highlighted.

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?

Last year, I gave my DC a packed lunch which was 90% of the time, a sandwich. This year, as I thought it might start getting harder to have him eat the right things within packed lunches as he will only eat white breads. I am more inclined now to include some packed lunches in his routine.

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 totally agree. As much as parents want to do what is best for their children, we have to remember that they have their own likes and dislikes as well. As much as we want them to eat what WE want, they can cause us much more stress by not agreeing to our choices.
I think the best thing we can do as parents is to make the best choices based on what their little likes and dislikes are and constantly try in small measures to introduce new and healthy additions. Slowly, they will start eating better if these are the options given.

ILoveAFullFridge Fri 27-Sep-13 10:05:15

What Chulita said.

(I know that sounds lazy, but she has basically said everything I was going to say! Even down to the bread maker and the 50/50 loaves with seeds.)

I haven't changed my opinion that white bread should be a small part of a varied diet, and not the main carbohydrate.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 27-Sep-13 10:56:02

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?

No, I don't find it difficult to put things in my DC's lunchbox. We have more food choices today than ever in the history of human existence, so it really shouldn't be difficult!!!!! Most days, my DCs choose for themselves from whatever selection we have at home.

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

Sometimes the DCs love what they have, sometimes they are a bit bored if we repeat the same thing for too long. Sometimes they don't like what I've bought or they've chosen, so we don't repeat that again.

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

I'm not a huge fan of bread, regardless of whether it is white or brown. Yes, the DCs eat bread (white & brown) but I try not to feed them too much of the stuff. Humans weren't designed to consume the vast quantities of wheat we shove down our gullets these days, so we try not to eat too much of it. For what its worth, I don't think it makes much difference if you eat brown or wholegrain - it isn't really "healthier", it is just less well absorbed by the body.

WowOoo Fri 27-Sep-13 11:59:08

Non tester

I find packed lunches quite easy, but it's hard to get variety and to get them to try new things. As long as we have a variety of evening meals and try new things at home it's OK with me.

We eat a mixture of white, brown and seeded bread. I vary it.
I prefer freshly baked bread, but will buy pre packaged bread for the freezer.

I think for certain things white bread is nicer - a bacon sarnie for example. I'd also avoid a wholegrain French stick. But for an egg or prawn I prefer seeded.

MaddAddam Fri 27-Sep-13 12:28:22

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?

2 of my 3 are quite easy, they like wholemeal sliced bread sandwiches, fruit etc. The third is harder as she doesn't really like sandwiches as a basis for a meal, so when she does have packed lunches we experiment with wraps (white), pittas (white or wholemeal) etc for variety, but mostly she sticks to school lunches.

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

They like to have input and choices. Rather than just be given meals.

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

They like it but we usually have wholemeal, as a general thing, and occasional white bread as a concession to their tastes.

ILoveAFullFridge Fri 27-Sep-13 12:28:50

1. Before reading the research what was your perception of white bread?
I thought it was a way of making air and water stand up. But was nice for toast ‘n’ Marmite. That is to say, standard sliced white. Other whites, artisan/ethnic etc are nice for a change or with specific dishes, but man cannot live on white bread alone.
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?
No, not at all. I would have liked to know the difference between the nutritional content of the various breads assessed, and whether that was significant in the children’s overall diets.
3. Which, if any, of the key research findings really resonate with you and why?
Surprised by the saturated fat, and also that nearly 10% of children do not eat bread. Were coeliac children excluded?
4. Do you think white bread gets a bad reputation or not? Why do you think this is?
Yes, and it’s deserved. I wonder whether those who eat/serve white bread also tend to choose less healthy fillings. Or am I just being snobbish? So much has been taken out to make it white, that nutrients have to be added back in to make it ‘healthy’. It’s a bit like saying that Dairy Milk is a source of calcium.
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?
Err, durr – sandwiches have stuff put in them.
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?
Packed lunches always contain a carb. Bread is the most convenient. We generally have either home-made 50/50 bread with added seeds, or wholegrain/50-50/added seeds wraps (because they are convenient and easy for the dc to cope with). I won’t be making any changes to the type of bread I buy. The only thing this report seemed to be saying was that children’s overall diets seemed to be related to the type of bread they ate.
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.
No tougher than any other parenting job. The goalposts move all the time, and it’s up to us to do our best.
I’m not really sure what the point of this study was. Reading it made me feel a teeny bit as I would imagine feeling reading a study comparing formula milks and children’s diets, published by a formula company.

pootlebug Fri 27-Sep-13 12:35:24

do you find it difficult to know what to put in your DC's lunchbox?
- No

Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given?
- Pretty much. They sometimes leave some of it but usually eat sufficient to keep them going through the day.

What about white bread? Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this?
- They do, but not every day. My husband and I eat mainly low carb so there isn't always white bread (or even any bread) in the house. Kids do eat some bread but tend to prefer wraps, pitta etc to sliced bread. When/if they do eat bread it tends to be white - they get enough fibre from eating plenty of fruit so don't really need extra in bread.

Rooble Fri 27-Sep-13 13:06:52

Non-tester: my DS has packed lunch twice a week - generally a sandwich, some chopped veg or soup (depending on the weather), a yoghurt and a fruit. Bread is always homemade wholemeal.
He does (we do) eat white bread - eg brioche for Sunday breakfast, or ciabatta with soup - but virtually never sliced white factory-made loaves because I think it's revolting and it's me that does the shopping! I think sliced white bread has a deservedly bad reputation. It bears no relation to what I'd call "proper" bread.
DS never asks for white bread in his sandwiches, but if we go to a cafe and get a sandwich he'll generally ask for it on white.
Hope this helps!

asuwere Fri 27-Sep-13 13:31:00

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

No, not really. It's pretty much the same most days.

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

Yes, they seem to be, never had any complaints. I take the same lunch to my work as they get in their lunch box and I find it ok too smile

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

Yes they do eat it. I much prefer granary/seeded/wholemeal bread but DH will only eat white so we usually have 50/50 or best of both in the house. Given the choice, the older kids would have white but the youngest would have same as me!

poachedeggs Fri 27-Sep-13 13:37:26

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?

I think it's easy to make a healthy lunch for them but it takes planning and effort to keep it varied. I tend to give a sandwich (cheese, tuna, egg, rarely ham), natural yogurt with fruit in a little clip lock box, and a carrot, some red peppers or some cheese. Occasionally there's some home baking, crisps or a sweet. Pasta or couscous is usually popular but only occasionally because it takes more planning.

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

Not without complaint but I don't take it personally!

What about white bread? Do your DCs eat white bread? If not, why is this?

They have white bread around half the time. They are happy to eat wholemeal, I've never had any complaints about it and they are as likely to choose brown if offered. I don't allow toast every morning - mostly they have porridge. I think it's really easy to eat far too much wheat so I'm a bit mean about it.

magentastardust Fri 27-Sep-13 16:08:50

Non Tester

I always struggle with packed lunches, try to come up with something a bit different and not put the same things in all the time. Both my children like quite different foods too which doesn't help!

My children to do tend to eat what they are given though so that makes it easier.
As a rule I normally use half and half type breads for packed lunches. My children do eat White bread now and again but mainly for toast.

BeCool Fri 27-Sep-13 16:34:25

Non-tester

DD is in year 1 - she is becoming increasingly fussy re food.
She will usually have a cream cheese and cucumber or an egg mayo sandwich. Though today she told me she no longer likes eggs <<weeps>>

We use 50/50 bread. I'd prefer wholegrain bread but she won't eat "anything with bits in".

I very rarely buy white bread - if I do it will be a baguette or bloomer or other fresh bread (non-sliced) product. I can't recall the last time I brought a slice white loaf.

I've very close to abandoning packed lunches entirely and putting her back on school dinners. But she'd probably just eat the bread .........

Thank goodness she eats fruit.

Babycarmen Fri 27-Sep-13 16:44:31

My kids (5 and 1) are happier to eat white bread over brown, but will eat either so long as I take the crusts off! Which I do.. to keep the peace.
They will pretty much eat anything, they are not too fussy, but can be when it comes to trying new things. I would love to give them cold pasta salads etc instead of sandwiches/wraps but I don't think they would get eaten!

DoubleMum Fri 27-Sep-13 16:48:42

When my children have packed lunches, I try to put some kind of bread/wrap/crackers, some protein (ham/cheese), some veg (cucumber/tomatoes), some fruit and a little cake.
My two aren't TOO fussy. DD prefers granary bread. DS prefers white but rarely gets it as he'll eat most kinds and nobody else wants white sliced. Both love a crusty French stick.

3rdnparty Fri 27-Sep-13 17:32:48

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?
A bit we are quite onto food but a lot of what we would normally eat is not lunchbox friendly - I may add new things but will generally test out of school first.
Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given? DS normally does but packed lunches generally all stuff i know he likes...

What about white bread? Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this?
we have always eaten wholemeal in the main- I always have and don't like package white bread....don't mind fresh crusty white/bagette
have tried 50/50 but it's too pappy..

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.

heymammy Fri 27-Sep-13 17:39:06

Non-tester...packed lunches are a pita IMO and I would rather the DDs would just have school dinners!

Unless we've planned ahead then they basically get a variation of the same packed lunch for the whole week I.e. brown bread/wrap/bagel with mix of ham/cheese/soft cheese or tuna, yoghurty item, drink and fruit or veg item with a biscuit or treat occasionally.

I pretty much never use white bread, it's seen as a huge treat in this house, there's just not enough fibre in it.

I do wish I was more creative with their packed lunches but I don't see the point in making beautiful lunches just to have most of it come back home <yes dd2, I am looking at you>

LentilAsAnything Fri 27-Sep-13 18:33:40

My child is not at school, but we have packed lunches when we go out for the day. I never buy 'bread bread'. We occasionally have wraps, or bagels, but try to limit our wheat intake. I don't think we should eat as much bready stuff as we do.
My child is nearly three, and so far, mostly happy to eat what we offer him. Varies according to mood and hunger. smile I don't find it difficult to make a packed lunch. It's just food.

SmokedMackerel Fri 27-Sep-13 18:45:25

Non tester.

My daughter prefers German style rye bread and has that most days with cheese or salami or chicken.

My younger one doesn't like the rye bread, but we tend to have rolls (brown and white) when we eat bread at home. I do use white bread for toast.

I only have to make a packed lunch three days a week, don't find it too hard to think of things to put into it, though it probably could be a bit more varied. But I'd rather she eats a predictable lunch than leaves an exotic one. I try to vary the fruit each day, or at least each week, and rotate some combination of cucumber, carrot, celery and tomatoes each day. Usually the carrot just comes back home again, but for some reason I am persevering with it.

GoingGoingGoth Fri 27-Sep-13 19:41:04

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 can be fussy over sandwich fillings, so I have a selection which I rotate through the week.
There is always a dairy product; cheese or yoghurt, and at least one piece of fruit or veg, apple, orange, grapes, melon, kiwi, carrot, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms or olives.
Something crunchy: breadsticks, crackers.
As I bake regularly, there is usually a little cake or flapjack.

Or are your DCs happy to eat what they're given? What about white bread?
Dd usually eats what she's given, she let me know if there's something she doesn't like. She prefers white bread when sliced, so we compromise on 50/50. I can get away with brown if buns, pitta bread, but wraps have to be white.

Do your DC's eat white bread? If not, why is this? As above DD's bread is mixed between white, brown & 50/50. I prefer her having higher fibre.

Theincidental Fri 27-Sep-13 19:54:24

Whit ir whole meal bread is most lunch boxes for Ds. He seems to find whole meal harder to digest, but I prefer it. Granary or seeded bread is banned at nursery.

He invariably has sandwich with soup or veggies, fruit and some cheese.

Varying lunches is hard when he's at nursery everyday and he has dinner there too.

I don't think there's anything wrong with bread every lunch per se, but variety is nice, but there's always a bread based item (wrap, crumpets etc.)

Littlecherublegs Fri 27-Sep-13 22:18:40

Non tester

We only buy brown / wholemeal / granary bread as it tastes better and is healthier.
As a child I had packed lunches full of jam sandwiches on white bread, a packet of crisps and a kitkat! Im determined to give my children healthier alternatives.
At present DS is only 1 but eats pretty much anything and everything we offer him so if he keeps it up and does ever have packed lunches I'll aim to keep them healthy and varied, no white bread, lots of fruit,.yogurt, carrot sticks, cheese, etc. Though understand peer pressure may come into play at some point!

Non tester here.

At the moment white bread is our lunchbox saviour. DS eats white bread ham sandwiches without fail. Anything else in the lunchbox has a question mark over it.

I have no problem with white bread. Years ago I studied the nutrition panels (quiet day in the supermarket) and concluded Warburtons has the lowest sugar. So that is actually what we buy!

BadMissM Sat 28-Sep-13 22:22:55

Non-tester. It's quite easy to find what to put in children's packed lunches. I try and put anything I can think of a way to make portable in a packed lunch. Little salads in small boxes, with dressing in little jars. Feta chesse, finger-sized bits of pepper....Houmous, with crudites of carrot, cucumber, and little toasted pitta bread fingers....I try to make it interesting to eat.

My DCs are generally happy to eat what is given, and sometimes they ask to vary it- wraps rather than sandwiches, pretzels not crisps...

My DCs mainly eat brown or granary bread, but it depends what they are eating it with....white bread for toast and Dairylea, or bacon sandwiches. Baguettes for a plughman's type cheese roll, ciabatta with mozzarella...

non tester- usually find it easy to think of different things to put in lunches to keep things from being dull. dc like white bread and brown bread so i can switch between the two and include things like wraps and pittas. all 3 have very different tastes so i usually end up making different things which can be a pain! recently we have been having problems getting 11yo to eat packed lunches which she has requested she comes home with a different reason every week usually didnt like margerine/meat/bread and has an awful habit of ripping up the sandwich to make it look like she has eaten them so i would welcome some new ideas for her packed lunch as currently she has stopped having them because of the amount of waste.

mummyofcutetwo Sun 29-Sep-13 23:33:01

I'm a non-tester

DS1 has school dinners most days but on the occasions he has packed lunch for school or a picnic lunch on family days I don't find it particularly difficult to give him things he'll like and eat happily. He likes white, brown and 50/50 bread, but doesn't like seeded. I tend to buy what's on special offer, but sometimes I head straight for the white (if I know we're having bacon or fish finger sandwiches as I think they both taste wrong on brown!) or for the brown (if I'm planning on having tuna or cheese sandwiches).
The things I tend to worry about are more to do with the other bits of the packed lunch - crisps, biscuits etc. I tend not to put crisps/biscuits/chocolate in and instead put raisins, fresh fruit, cucumber and carrot sticks and yogurt in with the sandwich but other mums have told me I'm a meanie! He's always come back with an empty lunchbox, or has just kept one thing back to eat on the way home.

Non-tester:

Our two boys have school dinners but I know that they would much prefer to have a pack-up. I tend to run out of ideas with packed lunches to keep them varied and healthy but tasty and exciting. Recently as a family we decided to switch from white bread to wholemeal as it is healthier but its not going down too well with the kids at the moment!

nicholab85 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:21:51

Non tester..

I'm incredibly lucky with my LG and she will eat anything i give her! My only problem is silly school rules of they cant have this and that! I tend to pack her a regular sandwich every day with a filling of her choice and then add various other things...fruit, biscuits, cake bars, yoghurts, veg sticks and houmous, pasta salad etc (obviously not all at the same time!)...and she eats what she can until she's full.

My LG likes both white and brown bread but given the choice she chooses white, I have no problem with this at all.

MrsPnut Mon 30-Sep-13 13:28:46

non tester

My youngest child is incredibly fussy despite having been raised in exactly the same way as her non fussy sister.
She will eat brown rolls only, otherwise it needs to be white bread or a white wrap. She will also only eat ham, cheese or cheese spread sandwiches or crackers and cheese for lunch.
I also provide a yoghurt, chocolate biscuit or piece of cake, cheese if she hasn't got a cheese sandwich, fruit strings and a little treat.

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 01-Oct-13 14:29:28

Thanks for all your comments. The winner of the prize draw is MakeTeaNotWar smile Congratulations, I'll PM you for your details.

Thank you so much! And today is DS's 1st birthday too so a great day all round! grin

CarmonEileen Sun 13-Oct-13 21:56:15

Have any of the other panelists heard fron Warburtons yet?

ouryve Mon 14-Oct-13 10:35:14

I had an email from Angelie asking me to confirm my details for the voucher, but I've not received anything yet. I want to go shopping!!!

CarmonEileen Mon 14-Oct-13 10:53:47

Ah same as you then Our, might email Angelie and see grin

Mamafratelli Sun 27-Oct-13 20:34:50

Has anyone received their voucher yet?

ouryve Mon 28-Oct-13 12:33:37

No, mama. I emailed Katie, last week and she said they should arrive at the end of this week.

Mamafratelli Tue 29-Oct-13 22:48:35

Thanks ouryve

BusyCee Tue 29-Oct-13 22:59:01

We have a bread machine so almost never buy processed bread (I don't like the texture and it takes approximately 5mins to put ingredients in the machine before bed, ensuring delicious fresh baked bread in the morning).

DS is a human dustbin and will eat anything. I try not to give him sandwiches every single day, partly to stop it being boring and partly because otherwise, before I know it, he's on a 90% bread diet, once you've taken into account breakfast and the inevitable X on toast tea (at least twice a week on our house). So salmon and pea baked eggs; couscous salad; quiche; pasties etc. I batch cook and then freeze, so just take out of the freezer the night before.

He LOVES a cheese and pickle sandwich. Hands down his fave by far. But won't turn his nose up at any sarnie. Good lad.

BusyCee Tue 29-Oct-13 23:07:59

Oh bum. I'm very, very late to the party...

Ah well. At least you can all now revel in the fascinating details of DS1s lunching habits. Enjoy...

CarmonEileen Fri 01-Nov-13 15:02:27

Nothing here yet Ouryve, anything with you yet?

ShatnersBassoon Fri 01-Nov-13 15:05:34

I emailed this morning. The vouchers have been delayed, but MNHQ are on it. Should be soon.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 01-Nov-13 15:47:09

Hi all - so sorry for the delay with the vouchers. They are on their way <promise> and will be with you asap thanks

CarmonEileen Sat 02-Nov-13 16:22:27

Ladies I have received my vouchers this morning smile .

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