When it comes to your kid's oral health, not all lunch foods are created equal. Here are 5 ideas for packing your child's school lunch that, along with regular brushing and flossing, will help promote oral health!
Finding tasty, healthy, and exciting food for your child's lunch can be a challenge.
A balanced and healthy diet is, when combined with regular flossing and brushing, a factor in good oral health. And inversely, foods that are high in sugar or are acidic like hard candy or soda are common contributors to dental problems.
It is worth the time to find new foods and spruce up tried-and-true healthy favourites when it comes to your kid's daily lunches.
Here are 5 foods to consider including in your child's school lunch to promote their oral health:
A way to satisfy to your child's sweet-tooth, fruit's natural sugars are healthier than other snacks which include processed sugars.
Canned fruits (when canned in their own juices and not high-sugar syrup), fruit with low-sugar yogurt, or fruit with sugarless peanut butter as a dip are all excellent ways to let your kid enjoy a sweet treat while promoting their oral health.
Some fruit, like apples and kiwis, are even naturally abrasive: giving your child's teeth a cleanliness boost partway through the day!
Cheese contains nutrients like calcium, which both contribute to strengthening your child's tooth enamel, and balances their mouth's pH level.
Cheese also encourages saliva production, which is key to washing away plaque and bacteria from your child's teeth throughout the day!
Whether paired with whole grain crackers and sliced apples or just on its own, cheese is delicious and filling too.
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts come in all shapes and sizes (which is part of the fun!). Excellent sources of protein, fibre, and healthy, unsaturated fats, nuts and seeds are an excellent addition to any school lunch.
Almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts are particularly beneficial for your child's oral health: promoting saliva production and fighting bacteria which cause tooth decay.
If you are feeling creative, nuts can even be combined with sugar-free seasonings for extra flavour.
Vegetables are not only very nutrient-dense, the ones that have a crunch to them offer many extra oral health benefits.
Vegetables like carrots and celery clean the mouth as they are eaten. Carrots, when combined with saliva, help to wash away staining bacteria. And celery is as close as you can get to nature's dental floss.
Both of those vegetable options can be packed with sugarless peanut butter or hummus as an added treat for your child's next school lunch.
Okay, you caught us, water isn't really a food.
But, while very little water in British Columbia is fluoridated, drinking plain water with fluoride is one of the easiest ways to fight cavity formation. Not to mention, water naturally cleans out your child's mouth as they drink it.
Not only is plain water a much healthier drink option for your child's oral health than soda, there are many ways to spruce up a bottle of water accompanying your child's lunch.
Cucumber, herbs like mint and basil, or berries added to a bottle of water can introduce flavour and excitement to your kid's hydration.