You Are What ‘Chew” Eat
Along with the general but VERY important daily flossing and at least twice daily brushing of teeth, you and your children can eat foods that promote oral health. It’s easy. Send your child to school this year with lunches and snacks that aren’t just good for their health, but good for their oral health too! Picture this: summer break has come to a close, and your child is gearing up for a great school year. Next to buying school supplies and getting physicals and check ups in before class start, it is equally as important to get those dental check ups!
Some parents find it hard to pack lunches let alone climb out of bed at the crack of dawn. Even for those who don’t like to cook or struggle to pull together quick fix snacks, we have solutions for every parent and child. Forget staring into the pantry longingly or scoffing at the fridge when your child is in a picky phase or just plain stubborn about trying new foods. We’ve all heard, “Mom! There’s nothing to eat” while your child pokes a hand through each and every fridge shelf. Bust out those teeth friendly foods.
We don’t have to tell you that chips and snack cakes are not the way to go when it comes to your kid’s lunch. Yes, it may be the easy way out, but we have some easy tips and tricks to help avoid those last minute calls. Like a healthy diet, there are teeth friendly food categories to focus on such as calcium, vitamins A, C & D, as well as protein. Let us teach you how teeth friendly school lunches can be yummy and oh-so-healthy for your and your child’s mouth!
- Aged cheese such as cheddar cubes or Swiss string cheese
- Regular hummus or sweet potato hummus with carrots and celery
- Hard boiled eggs
- Small handful of almonds
- Low-sodium veggie (broth based) soup in a thermos
- Tuna salad sandwich (easy on the mayo)
- Little clementines or tangerines (avoid eating too many acidic foods)
- Yogurt-based dip with cucumbers, broccoli, and bell peppers
- Roasted chickpeas
- Lettuce wrap with grilled chicken and avocado
- Low sodium turkey or chicken from the deli or home cooked
- Kettle popcorn (no butter necessary)
- Avocado on whole wheat toast
- Baked fruit chips like bananas or apples
- Baked veggie chips like kale, zucchini, or sweet potatoes
- Berry smoothie (skip those ice cream loaded milkshakes)
- Melon (use a fun shaped cookie cutter or melon baller)
- Nut butter on celery
- Homemade applesauce (a cinch to make in the crock pot)
Fun fact: chewing can loosen plaque around teeth, making it useful to cleanse your mouth. Grab a handful of carrots and apples as a fun snack for your hungry helper to chew on at lunch or after school. Saliva washes away bacteria and helps to balance the pH (acidity) in your mouth, so calcium rich cheese is a great snack to induce saliva.
You’ve heard people say, “everything in moderation,” so be careful not to turn a cookie monster into a sugary fruit monster. Just to be safe, skip the sticky stuff. It isn’t the good kind of chewy that we are looking for in teeth friendly foods. Raisins may seem like a healthy treat, but dried fruit are extremely high in sugar, just like most fruit juices from concentrate. Yikes! Wash away the gunk, and get your child in a good habit of drinking water. It may be too boring for some, so add citrus, berries, mint, or even cucumber! Even adults want to enjoy eating and drinking healthily.
Chew Your Way to Healthy Dental Check Ups
Yes, there will definitely be the occasional cupcake or pizza party at school. No stress needed there. All the healthy lunches and snacks that you make along with your child’s superb oral hygiene habits will offset those YOLO meals. That’s why it is so important to visit our pediatric dentists bi-annually to keep that sweet little grin in working order. In fact, sports and extra-curricular activities are a huge part of many families’ school years, so come in to discuss getting a custom-fit mouth guard. Keep those pearly whites on lock!
- Buy fresh fruit and veggies
- Avoid processed snacks
- Chew, chew, chew
- Drink lots of water
- Brush and floss
- Visit the dentist twice a year
Haven’t made a pediatric dentistry appointment in awhile? We have you covered – request an appointment online. It’s that easy.