"Le" and "Les" sound nothing alike. If you can't tell the difference, it will come in time. Also, if it was a singular child, it would be "L'enfant", not "Le enfant", making the audio that much easier to understand. Other than that, there is no audible difference in the sentence (enfant(s) mange(nt) du pain).
Hope that helps!
Check out the conjugation of manger (to eat): http://french.about.com/od/verb_conjugations/a/manger.htm
The basic conjugation is as follows:
Je mange (I eat)
Tu manges (You eat) (Singular informal tense, e.g. when talking to a friend)
Il/Elle Mange (he/she eats)
Nous mangeons (We eat)
Vous mangez (You eat) (Singular formal or plural, e.g. when speaking to a stranger/superior or to multiple people)
Ils/Elles Mangent (They eat) (Note, if the group consists of men and women, use Ils)
In general, when you have a conjugator in the form ending in -er (xxxx-er) the conjugations are as follows:
Je xxxx-e, Tu xxxx-es, il/elle xxxx-e, Nous xxxx-ons (note that for manger, the e remains to keep the same pronunciation), Vous xxxx-ez, and ils/elles xxxx-ent.
Verbs that don't end in -er (like etre: to be) don't follow this rule, and even within -er verbs there are exceptions, so keep that in mind. Hope this helps!
This helped incredibly! I'm still a bit stumped, why french works this way. In spanish, they have 3 types of verbs -ar, -er, -ir, with of course irregulars. Italian same thing, -are, -ere, -ire but they all follow a streamlined conjugation. I don't understand how they all derived from the same language and french, has totally different rules.
I'm not terribly familiar with the history or origin of language, but in French there are also three main types of verbs: -er, -ir, and -re. I'd imagine they correspond to Spanish and Italian in that way. There are, of course, irregular verbs in French just as there are in English and Spanish, which require specific memorization.