We all know that childhood and healthy teeth are not necessarily conducive. With all of the sugary sweets and soda that are constantly barraging today’s youth, it’s a wonder they are all not walking cavities by now. As a parent, it is only natural to want your child to have a healthy smile. Fortunately, doing so is relatively easy provided the right habits are instilled over time. While this may take a fair amount of conditioning in different areas, one of the easiest means of doing so is by showing them how to eat healthy.
If you are thinking this is easier said than done, consider who packs their lunch every day. Did you know there are foods you can include that will make all the difference between your child and a mouth full of decay? If you are having trouble figuring out exactly what to include, here are a few tips.
Nix The Sugary Drinks
Children who drink a lot of soda are much more prone to cavities and oral problems than children who do not drink it at all. This is because consuming sugary drinks over a prolonged period of time increases your child’s exposure to sugar, which promotes oral acids that erode enamel. The fact that soda is absolutely everywhere does not help the matter. Fortunately, you can combat these unfortunate circumstances by limiting the amount of sodas and fruit juices in their diet. Both of these beverages are one of the main sources of sugar for children, with many often sold under the guise of a health product.
Use Water Instead
Rather than soda or juices, try packing water instead. In addition to washing away food debris, water is also great for removing acids. Additionally, water keeps saliva flowing, which is a natural mouth cleanser in its own right. All things considered, water is the healthiest beverage available for teeth, which means you should be packing it in your child’s lunch as frequently as possible. However, take care not to fall under the spell of nutritional waters. These insidious beverages typically contain as much sugar as any juice.
Purchase Sugar-Free Granola
Granola-based cereal and various trail mix concoctions are an expedient and healthy option. More often than not, they make packing a lunch on a time crunch (not to mention a budget) that much easier. However, many of these options are actually caked with sugar. Additionally, many granola products contain dried fruit, which sticks to teeth and subsequently attracts bacteria, which in turn results in cavities. Some granola even contains tiny bits of chocolate and/or marshmallows, so be sure to steer clear of those as well. When shopping, you want to look for granola with a high fiber content that is comprised of oats and nuts. Speaking of which…
Nuts Are Healthy And Sugar Free
Instead of sending your kids off to school with a bag full of potato chips or crackers, which can easily get stuck in small spaces across the teeth, pack some nuts instead. Where potato chips and crackers are very starchy and supply bacteria with sugar that can lead to cavities, nuts are rich in fiber and protein, giving your child an added layer of nutrition while simultaneously preserving their smile.
Whole Foods, Anyone?
How many times have you been packing your child’s lunch only to find that you do not know what else to add? In these situations, toss in some whole vegetables and fruits in lieu of chips and crackers. If you want to get creative, try including some carrots or celery with a sugar-free dip. For dessert, instead of packing those sugar-coated “fruit” snacks, pack some strawberries or apples instead. Even though fruits contain a fair amount of natural sugar, it is nowhere near the quantity contained in artificial fruit snacks. Even better, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which removes food particles stuck on the teeth.
Leave No Egg Behind
Eggs are a great source of vitamin D, which helps fight cavities. Additionally, they contain plenty of protein and absolutely no sugar. Even better, they can be prepared in a variety of ways, though hardboiled or sliced up on a sandwich are likely the most convenient approaches for a school lunch.
Cheese contains calcium and vitamin D, both of which are great for growing children. As your child’s adult teeth are just developing, you will want them to remain as healthy as possible. Giving them a solid source of calcium and vitamin D throughout the day will do just that. Where calcium fortifies tooth enamel, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.
If your kids are in need of a dental checkup, give San Diego Children’s Dentistry a call today. Their exemplary staff is ready to help your children with all of their oral hygiene-related needs. On top of that, their years of experience means you can ask them about a wide range of nutritional issues, including what you can do to help you child eat better at school.