I’m always trying to get my kids to eat more whole-grain products, as in whole-grain bread instead of white bread for their school-lunch peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My reasoning: Whole grains are higher in fiber and other nutrients than refined grains (think white flour). But my girls aren’t buying it because whole-grain breads are traditionally brown. (Yuck!) Brown foods can be a turn-off in my home.
So some manufacturers, like Pepperidge Farm, are now using an albino variety of whole-wheat flour that’s softer in texture and, yes—white in color. Because white whole wheat isn’t refined, it’s technically a whole grain. (Specifically, that means it contains the entire edible part of a grain--a.k.a. “seed,” which includes the germ--the sprout of a new plant, the endosperm, which is the energy storehouse of the seed, and the nutrient-rich bran, the seed’s outer layer.) Refined grains, on the other hand, are stripped of their bran and germ layers during processing.
To spot white whole wheat products, check the label on “white” breads and other products for the operative words “whole grain” as the first or second ingredient. Pepperidge Farm’s Farmhouse Soft Whole Grain White has “whole grain” right on the front label, so it’s easy to spot. Put it on your radar when you’re heading down the bread aisle. And check out what Consumer Reports had to say last year about healthy breads (ratings are available to subscribers). I will tell you that Nature's Pride topped our list for nutrition!