5 Day Packet-Free Challenge – Day 5: Breads & Spreads

Packet Free Lunchbox Challenge
The Packet Free Challenge: Day 5
Today we’re talking: BREADS & SPREADS

OK so today is the big one: Bread! Indeed the topic is so massive that we can only really touch on it here.

Clearly bread is a very controversial subject these days with experts on either side of the debate vehemently defending their position. A critical issue as I see it is that often what’s being debated is not the same thing. So for example there is a world of difference between an organic spelt loaf prepared according to traditional methods and a loaf of mass produced supermarket bread.

How is the bread of today different from before?

“Bread” is not what it used to be. Modern wheat varieties have been bred to be easier and faster to grow. They’re heavily sprayed and we’ve largely stopped using traditional grain preparation methods. These factors significantly reduce the amount of nutrients we can obtain from grains and flours and potentially increasing the amount of anti-nutrients we consume. On top of this, eating more grains means eating less of other more nutritious foods.

The problem with grains isn’t as clear-cut as it sometimes seems. It’s not just about the gluten, or the processing, or the modern cultivation but complex combination of many factors.

Should we consume modern grains?

There’s no clear-cut answer to this question. Tolerance seems to vary from individual to individual based on gut health, the type of grain, and how it was prepared.

For many people, completely avoiding grains is neither desirable or practical, and it certainly may not be necessary for everyone.

My personal opinion at this time is that we should do our utmost to avoid processed modern grains that have been refined, modified, and highly sprayed as they offer no nutritional value and may have a severe health impact over time.

Come over to the FB Group to join the discussion find out what I do about bread day to day!

Are you a label detective?

Become a label detective: Yes sorry but you really can’t rely on front of pack labelling as it can be so misleading – especially if you’re in NZ or Australia with the ridiculous Health Star Rating system.



Wheat flour, water, vegetable oil [with antioxidant (319)], garden spinach blend (2%) [garlic, basil, spinach, parsley], rice flour, salt, emulsifier (471), raising agents (500,450,341), preservatives (282,200), acidity regulator (297), dextrose, stabilisers (460,415), enzymes, colours (133,129,110,102).

Wheat Flour – See above on problems with wheat generally.

Vegetable Oil – Highly processed oil and often genetically modified source. Unlike olive oil, it isn’t cold-pressed. To refine it, a solvent is used to extract the oil from rapeseed which is later evaporated off. That’s followed by neutralisation, bleaching, winterisation and de-odourisation steps, as with other industrial seed oils.

Preservatives – 282 & 200: Preservatives that have been linked to behavioural and learning issues, hyperactivity, headaches, skin irritations (eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash etc), migraines, restlessness and sleep disturbances. Prohibited in foods for infants.

Colours – I was quite shocked to see all these here in this wrap! 133 (brilliant blue) 129 (dark red), 110 (yellow) and 102 (lemon/orange). In the EU 129 and 110 containing products must carry a health warning – apparently not in NZ. Linked with so many ailments too many to list here. But all the usual suspects: Allergic reactions, asthma, hay fever, hyperactivity, skin irritation (eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives, rash etc.) and stomach upset etc etc.


In this email just a short note on Nutella. But it’s not just sweet spreads that are being called into question but also spreads like Marmite and Vegemite. Come over to the FB Group to see what that’s all about!



Resolve to stop (or significantly reduce) buying breads and wraps filled with flavour enhancers, preservatives, colours, vegetable oils or other unnecessary fillers. Buy local if you can.


Start making your own bread or wraps and share your pics with us.See recipes below. Remember to share your pics with us on social media. Use the hashtags: #packetfreefebruary #domskitchen so we can find them.

There are a few companies are making products that avoid many or all of the most problematical ingredients. My personal recommendation is Vernerdi Bread and Thoroughbred Bread or good quality organic sourdough if you’re buying bread, using spelt organic flour. Check out the FB group today for more recommendations. These are not blanket endorsements you need to check the backs of all packets as even from one company you can get very different products and companies vary their ingredients often.


Make your own coconut wraps with this recipe from our blog: Best Paleo Coconut Wraps or try making bread which is loads of fun (but more of bread for at home with the toaster!).

Another fun one to try for low carb is “cloud bread” – this one from my friend Irena at Eat Drink Paleo blog.

Rice paper roll recipefrom the amazing Vanessa Baxter at The Fearless Kitchen – watch out for her cookbook later this year!

Pete Evans delicious “sushi” recipe.

And for some new ideas on spreads:

Here is our amazing Nutella recipe. And here is a recipe for jam.


These are more in the category of to “geek out on” but worth a read when you get a moment:

How was your day four? Got a question? Head over to the Dom’s Kitchen Challenge Chat Facebook group and add it today’s post or add your question at the comment section of this post. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have as well!

Don’t forget! Share your recipe creations or lunch boxes in the FB group here. Remember we have cool spot prizes.

Claire Deeks

Real Food Advocate For Families