It is that time again- time for all the kiddos to go back to school for another year of learning, growing, and… eating! What you pack in your child’s lunchbox is important for their overall health, and the health of their teeth and mouth! What kinds of food and drinks are the best for your kids? What healthy foods are easily packed in their lunchbox?
Choose a Main Dish
Children need foods from all the major food groups to maintain a healthy diet. For their oral health, it is important to choose foods that will not cause tooth decay, such as too many carbohydrates/sugars and starches. How long these foods remain on the teeth is the main culprit in causing tooth decay. What kinds of foods are good for your kids’ teeth and will help them feel satisfied through the school day?
Select a protein rich food, such as tuna salad, hard-boiled egg, grilled chicken strips or lunchmeat & cheese, and pair it with a whole grain, such as wheat crackers, whole grain bread, or brown rice. Cheese helps to increase the flow of saliva, which helps wash away food particles from the teeth- so throw in some cheese too! Proteins and whole grains will help your child feel full and help them to concentrate on learning- not being hungry!
Select Some Fruits and Veggies
Pick some healthy fruits and veggies as a side in your child’s lunch. Carrots and celery make a great side dish, and are easy to send in a lunchbox. For your child’s oral health, choose fruits and veggies that are high in water content, such as apples, pears, melon, celery, and cucumbers. Avoid the sugary or sticky fruits during lunchtime, when your child can’t brush their teeth right after eating them.
Making a salad for your child, with all the parts separated into different bags, makes lunch fun for your child. Let them “make” their lunch by putting all the elements together. Cut their fruits and veggies in different ways, making it a surprise to see how they are cut each day. It takes a little creativity, but will make it more likely for your child to eat healthy foods if they are “fun” for them.
Add a Dessert
Experts say that it is better for your teeth to eat a sugary food with a meal, than to have it as a snack at a separate time. During a meal your body produces extra saliva. This increase in saliva will help protect your teeth from the sugary foods, and help wash the food particles away. While we try to limit the amount of sugar consumed in total, a small amount is okay especially when eaten with a healthy meal. Feel free to throw in a cookie or brownie for dessert for your child! It can be a reward for eating a healthy lunch.
Drinks Make a Difference
Juices, sodas, sports drinks, and even milk all contain sugar. The best choice for a beverage is good, clean water! Water helps to wash food out of your mouth after eating, and helps to aid your body in its digestion. Water does not cause harm to your teeth and mouth, but is actually a benefit. Water is best when choosing what drink to put in your child’s lunch box!
Healthy Lunch- Healthy Mouth
We all want our children to be healthy. We want them to learn a lot in school, and find success and happiness. And, we all want our kids to have healthy bodies, teeth, and mouths. One way to aid in all of this is to pack them healthy lunches each day.
If you have questions about how to keep your kids’ teeth strong and healthy, or to make an appointment to see us, please call:
Aesthetic Plus Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Plano, Texas at (972) 473-8880 or contact us here.