Packing Healthy Kids Lunches for Healthy Teeth
School is back in session and things once again are getting busy with homework, sports, and other activities. You may think that packing your child’s lunch sounds easy, but making sure your child gets a healthy school lunch and snacks to help maintain good oral health and keep them energized throughout the day takes a little preparation.
Your child’s lunch and snacks should contain a variety of foods from the five food groups. All these foods help produce saliva to wash food particles from teeth, provide vitamins, and calcium for strong teeth. Some foods to incorporate into their lunch are vegetables/ fruits, grains, dairy and protein. Also pack a bottle of water instead of fruit juice or pop. Fruit juice and pop are high in sugar which can lead to tooth decay.
Here are some healthy lunch and snack ideas to pack for your child:
– Fruits such as apples, grapes, pears, and assorted melons
– Vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumbers with a side of ranch dressing or hummus.
– Cheese or yogurt. Cut cheese into fun shapes with some while wheat crackers.
– A sandwich with whole grain bread.
– Left over noodle dishes or pizza which can be eaten cold.
Some foods should be avoided or limited because they can stick to your child’s teeth. Saliva is then unable to wash the sugar away which can lead to tooth decay. Try giving these snacks to your kids once a week or on a special occasion. Some foods to avoid are:
– Granola bars
– Cookies/ Pies
With our lives busy and full of activities we cannot monitor our kids all the time to make sure they are eating healthy foods to promote good oral health and that they are brushing after their meal. Remember to pack a small toothbrush and toothpaste in their lunch box for brushing. If they are unable to brush have your child rinse their mouth out with water. Also remember to schedule your child for their routine dental visits. To schedule your child’s visit give us a call at 509-235-6241 or email us at [email protected].