Six smile-friendly foods to include in your child’s lunchbox this fall.
You’ve probably taught your child basic dental hygiene: brush twice a day and floss once a day. But did you know that the foods you put into their lunchboxes can have a huge effect on the health of their teeth? Here are six smile-friendly snacks you should send your kiddo to school with!
- Fruits & Veggies – crunchy, high fiber fruits and veggies like apples, celery and carrots are a delicious and effective way to scrub away plaque from their teeth. Snack ideas: Apple + peanut butter, baby carrots, celery + peanut butter
- Dairy – milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium, phosphates, and vitamin D. All of these strengthen & protect teeth. Snack ideas: slices of cheese + lunch meat, icelandic yogurt, carton of milk
- Egg – eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin D, and phosphates which are all important minerals for oral health. Snack ideas: hard boiled egg, hard boiled egg in a salad
- Green vegetables – such as broccoli, snap peas, spinach, and kale are packed full of vitamins and minerals that help keep tooth enamel healthy. They also involve a lot of chewing so they are also great at scrubbing away plaque! Snack ideas: raw broccoli + ranch dressing, slightly salty snap peas, spinach & kale salad + yummy dressing
- Nuts & Seeds – did you know these tasty and convenient snacks actually help repair and replenish the minerals to the tooth enamel that acidic food removes? Snack ideas: homemade trail mix (almonds, cashews, raisins, sunflower seeds).
- Water – is an excellent way of cleansing the teeth and washing away acids. It also contains fluoride, a mineral that protects against tooth erosion. Snack ideas: fancy water (add cucumber, or strawberries to a bottle of water).
This article wouldn’t be complete without a shortlist of things to avoid putting in your child’s lunchbox this school year:
Avoid sugary drinks such as juices, sports drinks, and sodas. Although these contain great sources of vitamins, it’s best to avoid acidic fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemon, which can erode tooth enamel over time. Leave the candy (especially chewy candy) at home. It is full of sugar and can get stuck in small crevices between teeth. Even seemingly harmless chips, breads and pastas contain starch, which breaks down into sugar and can lead to tooth decay – so try to supply these snacks sparingly.
So the next time you make your kid’s lunch – choose a few of the healthy foods outlined above and your child will get an A+ at their next dental exam.