Taste Test: Seattle Kids Try White Wheat

To see if kids would actually eat a new kind of white wheat bread, four Seattle kids, aged 8 to 11, volunteer to touch and sniff and taste to get a sense of whether they prefer it to regular white bread.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

We wondered if kids would actually eat this white wheat, so we conducted a little taste test. Our in-depth coverage continues with NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

WENDY KAUFMAN reporting:

Four Seattle kids, ages eight to 11, have volunteered to touch and sniff and taste. They take their places at a dining room table and don blindfolds.

Unidentified Man: So just keep your eyes closed underneath it, OK?

KAUFMAN: We hand out small pieces of white, wheat and the new white wheat. The kids don't know if they are all eating the same thing.

MOLLY REARDON(ph): Mmm, I love it.

NICK DANIELSON(ph): Do you have any more?

REARDON: Mmm, that's good.

KAUFMAN: Eight-year-old Molly Reardon was the first to pass judgment.

REARDON: It tastes very good, and I like it and it feels like a sponge.

KAUFMAN: Next up, Nick Danielson.

DANIELSON: It tastes pretty good, and I think it's white bread.

KAUFMAN: Actually, it wasn't. Both Molly and Nick were tasting the white whole wheat. But their approval of the new whole grain would pale in comparison to how they felt about their next taste, carbo-laden, nearly fiberless white bread.

REARDON: I like it more than the other one, and it feels very soft.

DANIELSON: I like that one a little better, and it feels light and soft.

KAUFMAN: Nick, who loves karate, friends and French toast, readily admits white bread is his favorite.

DANIELSON: The reason why I don't like the whole wheat bread is it has, like, the seeds in it, and the white whole wheat, that one actually tasted pretty good, but I still like this one more.

KAUFMAN: While adults typically think about taste first and foremost, the kids in our decidedly unscientific survey had definite ideas about what bread should feel like. Soft and squishy were highly regarded qualities. Nash Baker(ph), another tester, liked the third sample that he tried.

NASH BAKER: It was kind of more sweeter than the other two.

KAUFMAN: Nash told us that he, too, was a white bread kind of guy, but when he took off his blindfold and handed it to parent Michael Danielson(ph), he saw that he had picked the white wheat as his top choice.

BAKER: I did?

Mr. MICHAEL DANIELSON: You did, yeah.

BAKER: I thought I would pick the white bread, but I actually didn't, so I was really surprised.

KAUFMAN: Breadmakers and nutritionists are probably hoping that kids everywhere will do the same. Wendy Kaufman, NPR News, Seattle.

INSKEEP: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE (Host): And I'm Renee Montagne.

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