What Snacks Are Best for Your Kids’ Smiles?

Want to help your kids stay healthy this year? If so, you may have already taken several steps to better protect their bodies and their smiles. Good dental hygiene is essential for oral health, of course. Yet if your kids are regularly consuming too much sugar, they are still likely to struggle with dental decay. Fortunately, you can help your kids develop healthy habits, and protect those precious pearly whites by giving them healthy foods for meals and snacks. Best of all, many are delicious and both kid and pediatric dentist-approved!

Avoid Sugars and Simple Starches

When it comes to the smile, sugars and simple starches are particularly dangerous, because both allow the bacteria to feed, and then create acidity, which can wear away the teeth’s enamel. To prevent this, it’s important to serve your kids nutrient-rich foods that are also low in sugar.

While obvious sweets, like cupcakes and candy, might be what initially comes to mind when you think about the dangers of sugar, many packaged foods are high in sugar. So, it’s important to read labels, and to find healthier options for your kids than sugar-filled prepackaged goods.

Pack Their Lunches with Nutrient-rich Foods

While fresh vegetables and fruit might not seem as appetizing as chips, crackers, or cookies, most kids like the tastes of many healthy items. Plus, over time, they can develop a palette for more exotic (and healthy) foods.

You can start transitioning them to healthier snacks, or lunch sides, by trying the following:

  • Instead of a sandwich, pack leftovers from the healthy meal you cooked the night before. Have you tried cauliflower fried rice, chocked full of vegetables, for instance? Chances are your kids won’t miss the white rice, or mind the green veggies, when the meal is packed with flavor!
  • Instead of sugary crackers and lunchmeat, try a healthy take on chicken or tuna salad, which can be made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Giving kids celery sticks to scoop and eat the salad, helps add crunch and fun, without resorting to unhealthy carbohydrates.
  • For colorful and healthy sides, look to carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, or even fresh broccoli, cauliflower or snap peas to help replace bags of chips. They are just as crunchy, but also far more healthy! A simply made yogurt-based ranch dip can add the flavor they love, without a bunch of added sugar.
  • Fruit is often a kid favorite, and there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into meals and snacks. Plus, most fruits are subtly sweet, without actually being high in sugar, making them a great alternative to cookies or other treats which could eventually create filling-requiring cavities. Plus, their high water content makes many fruits extremely smile healthy. (Since citrus foods can be acidic, it’s best to save them for breakfast, when kids can brush their teeth shortly afterwards.)
  • Try placing grapes, sliced bananas, melons, strawberries and other favorite fruits, onto straws for fun takes on kabobs. Or, use a cookie cutter to cut melons into fun shapes the kids will love! You could also pack small slices of fruits to add to a plain yogurt.

Need a Great Pediatric Dentist>?

Every child needs routine dental care. If you are in need of a pediatric dentist in the DFW metroplex, contact Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda, at 214-321-4880.

filed under: Good Hygiene, Tips/Advice