5 healthy ways to eat bread
Looking for alternatives to white bread with your meals? Here are some tasty ways to feed your family creative bread recipes.
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Everyone loves bread, or so it seems. That is why so many restaurants make a point of serving bread with their meals. Hoping to fill customers with this delicious mainstay, they will then be able to serve smaller portions of the entrees.

From breakfast biscuits to dinnertime rolls, bread is a staple that can accompany any meal and many snacks. If you're looking for substitutes for the traditional white loaf from the grocery store, here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Vary your breakfast breads. Try cornbread with oatmeal for an interesting change. Or make oatmeal date bars as a cereal substitute with a grain base. Make toast in the broiler instead of in the toaster for a crunchy treat. Use anything but white bread--honey wheat, tomato basil, parmesan, poppy seed, cinnamon. Use these experimental flavors for French toast, too. Add creative toppings like gooseberry jam, honey flavored peanut butter, apple butter, peach preserves, and other non-traditional flavorings to perk up your family's start to the day. Buy or bake natural recipes without preservatives to keep your family eating healthy.

2. Try a lunchtime switch. Instead of square bread slices for lunch, use a cookie cutter to make circular, oval, or animal shapes for sandwiches. You'll do your kids the favor of removing the typically unwanted crusts, and you'll save them a few calories by trimming the edges. Save your parings to make home-made croutons for soup and salad, a filling addition for meal-type entrees that may reduce their dependence on the traditional bread slices.

3. Experiment with dinner breads. Use a low-calorie dough recipe to make garlic dinner rolls or spinach-ham muffins. Sprinkle oregano or bacon bits on old fashioned dinner rolls. Cut out slender shapes in the form of bread sticks or another form as a departure from the norm. Present your creative bread styles with reduced fat butter or low fat toppings.

4. Offer fresh-baked bread as a snack substitute for chips or candy. Even sugar-hardened kids won't be able to resist the scent of warm bread coming from the oven. Make bread a treat instead of an afterthought, and kids may enjoy it as much as, if not more than, their usual cookies and pastries. Weave the bread dough into interesting or fun shapes, much as some folks do with balloons, and decorate with poppy seed, cinnamon, or other colorful toppings before serving.

5. Warm soft pretzels, crescents wrapped around hot dogs, and fresh home-baked nut roll make additional delicious treats based on bread recipes. Lighter varieties are puffed with air instead of grease to make these a preferable version of a dough-like snack that can take the place of doughnuts or Danish rolls. Let kids use store-bought crescent rolls in a can to fill with their favorite fillings like canned fruit, pepperoni slices, or cream cheese. In moderation, these make a satisfying between-meal sensation.

It's hard to live without bread for long. Try adjustable versions like these to get your kids' attention off sweets and junk food.