The Kids Table
Looking for wheat buns that won't get tossed
Kids test four brands of whole wheat hot dog buns
We threw a hot dog party for a group of 6- to 8-year-olds, all five of whom were eager, able to go on record for the sake of research. The kids ranked the brands on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 is the best). (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Which doesn't mean the entire event has to be nutritionally bankrupt. A steamed veggie side and a whole wheat bun make for a respectable meal. Store shelves are chock full of them, most bursting with alluring boasts: "Good source of fiber." "19g whole grain per bun." "Heart healthy."
What to believe?
We've learned by now that "whole wheat" is the operative ingredient when determining a bread's nutritional heft. ("'Whole' means you're getting the inside of the grain as well as the outside of the grain, so you're getting the bran and the fiber and all the nutrients," Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo once told us.)
We've also learned by now that kids don't necessarily want to taste a grain's insides or outsides, let alone its attendant bran and fiber. And since the fiber count doesn't matter a whit if most of the bun winds up in your garbage can, you might as well consider how the thing tastes.
Which is where we come in. We threw a hot dog party for a group of 6- to 8-year-olds, all five of whom were eager and able to go on the record for the sake of bun research — including the boy who doesn't like hot dogs and preferred to test a series of bun-and-butters. The kids ranked the brands on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 is the best).
1st place: Brownberry Select Wheat Hot Dog Rolls
(5 points. 8 pack. $2.79; 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar)
"It tastes a little more like white bread than the rest." "It's sweet!"
2nd place: Wonder 100 percent Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
(4 points. 8 pack. $3.99; 2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar)
"You can chew it more and it lasts." "It's really super soft."
3rd place: Healthy Life Wheat Hot Dog Buns
(3.2 points. 8 pack. $2.99; 4 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar)
"Too much crust taste." "Dry."
4th place: Aunt Millie's Hearth Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns
(2 points. 8 pack. $3.49; 2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar)
"It breaks into too many pieces." "Too, like, seedy."