Kids’ lunches have come a long way (bentos, wraps) but sometimes only an old-fashioned sandwich will do. However, picking bread just isn’t as easy as it used to be—the racks at grocery stores are stacked high with options. But does choosing between white, whole-wheat and whole-grain bread make that much of a difference? Absolutely, says Toronto-based registered dietitian Jodi Robinson. “Canada’s Food Guide recommends at least half of all grain choices each day are whole grain. Whole grains can help kids have a steady energy level and maintain a healthy weight.”
This was the bread of choice for generations of kids. Spongy and yeasty, white bread is made from refined wheat flour in which the bran and germ of the whole grain, along with many of the nutrients, have been removed, leaving only the starch-rich endosperm. Canadian manufacturers are required to enrich white flour, adding back the lost vitamins and minerals such as riboflavin and iron, along with folic acid. (Whole-wheat and whole-grain flour are not enriched with folic acid in Canada.) Robinson says it’s fine to indulge in white bread products occassionally.