Parents want their children to grow up to be happy and healthy adults. Part of enjoying good physical health and having a healthy level of self-confidence involves maintaining a good oral health routine. Parents must teach their children how to take care of their teeth properly.
There are many ways that parents can their children have a healthy smile. One of the ways that they can do this is by packing a lunch that provides the nutrition that is needed for children to have strong and healthy teeth. The following tips can help parents pack a lunch that is good for a child’s oral health.
Avoid Granola and Other Sugary Snacks
When a parent thinks of trail mix, granola, or dried fruit, they likely think about these things as being healthier food options. The unfortunate truth is that these snacks are often packed with sugar and extra ingredients that are unhealthy for anyone. In fact, when a child consumes dried fruit snacks, the fruit and sugar will stick to their teeth. This provides the fuel that bacteria need in order to cause cavities.
Granola cereal is often packed with a ton of sugar and fat. When purchasing healthy cereal or granola, stay way from options that include chocolate pieces, marshmallows, and even candy. Focus on granola and healthy cereals that contains natural ingredients, like rolled oats and nuts. Look at the fiber content and go for a granola option that has high fiber.
Include A Bottle of Water
Water helps to clean the teeth. It helps to keep the saliva flowing naturally in the mouth and gets rid of acids that damage the teeth and food debris. Water should be included in all lunches packed for children. It is the absolute healthiest beverage for a healthy and bright smile.
Some parents opt for nutritional or enhanced water. Don’t fall for this thinking that it will provide a better flavor for your children. These enhanced forms of water often carry a large amount of sugar.
Avoid Drinks Packed with Sugar
When children are allowed to sip on drinks that are filled with sugar, this can erode the enamel on their teeth. In order for parents to improve the chances of their children enjoying good oral health, they should limit the amount of soda, sports drinks, and high sugar juices that their children consume.
It is common for drinks that are full of sugar to be disguised as healthy drinks, like sports drinks or nutritional water. One of the leading sources of sugar in the diets of children is sugar that is consumed through beverages.
Focus on a Whole Foods
Instead of adding packaged foods to a child’s lunch, it is healthier to add natural and whole fruits and vegetables whenever it is possible. Instead of packing starchy chips or imitation fruit snacks, include strawberries, baby carrots, apples, or pieces of celery. These fibrous snacks will help keep a child’s teeth clean and will help them avoid unnecessary sugar.
Include Nuts Instead of Chips
An easy snack to pop into a child’s lunch bag is potato chips or other starchy foods, like crackers. Unfortunately, these types of foods can get stuck on the teeth very easily. If a child eats nuts instead, the fiber and healthy protein will help keep their smile healthy and their teeth clean.
The food that a child eats will influence their overall health, including the health of their teeth. If you are interested in learning more about how to help your child have a healthy diet and how the food they eat can impact their teeth, contact us today.