With all of the back to school shopping going on, there is often not enough time to think about how your child’s lunch choices can affect their dental hygiene. While you are picking up your little scholar’s new backpack, be sure to pack them a healthy mix of these teeth-friendly snacks:
Crunchy vegetables have plenty of health benefits, especially for your teeth. Their high water content helps to hydrate our bodies and wash away food particles while we eat. Here are a few crunchy choices:
- Green peppers
Pair your veggies with a dip like hummus, salsa, or even cream cheese, to spice up your child’s meal.
Cheese increases the saliva in your mouth, which acts as your body’s natural defense against gum disease and cavities. Additionally, cheese is great for your child’s overall health because it is full of calcium and phosphorus. With this snack, your kid will have strong bones and strong enamel!
To incorporate this popular dairy product into your child’s lunchbox, try cutting cheese into bite-sized cubes for an easy snack option. If you’re packing your child a cheese sandwich, remember to use bread made from whole grains instead of white, because these have a higher vitamin content.
Nuts and Seeds
One of the healthiest protein sources your child could snack on is nuts and seeds. They are not only an excellent source of healthy fats, but also full of vitamin D, calcium, fiber, and folic acid. Folic acid plays a vital role in preventing periodontal disease and preserving your child’s gums.
Fruits that are high in fiber act as a natural toothbrush for your child, and will keep their teeth shining just as much as their grades. Biting and chewing on these fruits is a great way to add nutrients to any diet, and act as a substitute for dessert:
Just like cookie cutters, you can make your child’s fruit snacks fun by cutting them into shapes and characters. Fruit ‘flavored’ foods and beverages contain high amounts of artificial sugars — so steer clear of these.
Packing The Lunchbox
With a ton of options on your plate, it may seem like packing your child’s school lunch just got more expensive. Ditch the school lunch (which usually features instant mashed potatoes) and opt for a healthier, cost-effective spread. Shop around for healthy options that are easy on your wallet and your young student’s dental health. You can find nutritious and tasty food options for approximately $2-3 per lunch daily.
Getting your child to eat healthy at school while their peers are maybe snacking on cookies, chips, and candy is a hard task. Remember to set a good example at home with your eating habits, introduce new foods slowly, and invite your kids to prepare their meals with you.
While you’re thinking of your child’s dental health, don’t forget to schedule their back to school cleaning! At Pediatric Dentistry, we attempt to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Contact us today to set up your child’s fall dental cleaning!