Healthy Snack Ideas for Back to School
Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy waistline, but have you considered the effects food can have on your smile? As your kids prepare to go back to school, make sure their lunch boxes include tasty, mouth-healthy snacks. Here’s a look at what foods can help fight tooth decay and prevent cavities for healthy smiles during the coming school year.
If you’re used to including gelatin or pudding cups in your child’s lunchbox, switch to something similar but much healthier. Yogurt is a dairy product with tooth-strengthening calcium and potassium. This and other types of dairy, including milk and cheese, are known to neutralize the acids in your mouth to help prevent enamel erosion. Yogurt also contains probiotics that promote healthy gums and help mouth sores heal faster.
Pita Chips and Dip
Instead of greasy potato chips, encourage your kids to eat pita chips, a healthier alternative for your teeth and body. This snack tastes delicious when served with hummus, guacamole, or yogurt-based chip dip.
It’s quick and easy to grab fruit snacks off the pantry shelf, but fresh fruit is significantly healthier. It contains vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients, and it doesn’t stick to your child’s teeth. The concentrated sugar in fruit snacks attracts bacteria and promotes cavities, while crunchy fruit such as apples and Asian pears serve as natural toothbrushes. While any fruit can make a healthy snack, consider avoiding citrusy oranges and grapefruit because of their high acid content.
Similar to some fresh fruits, fresh veggies such as carrots and bell peppers scrub your teeth as you chew them. They’re also packed with nutrients. Dark leafy greens including spinach and kale also contain calcium for strong teeth, plus folic acid that may help treat gum disease. Include these in salads for your kids to take to school, or blend them into smoothies for after-school snacks.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds and sunflower seeds are easy to include in your kids’ school lunches. They are a good source of calcium and protein while also being low in sugar. Plus, unlike starchy pretzels or crackers, they are less likely to linger in the grooves of your teeth.
Hardboiled eggs, tuna fish, and all-natural chicken or turkey lunch meat are healthy additions to your children’s school lunches. These lean sources of protein are also high in phosphorus, which is good for strong teeth.
If your child is accustomed to drinking juice or soda at lunch, break that habit this school year. Sugary drinks eat away at tooth enamel and fill you up with empty calories. Plain water is ideal, but naturally flavored, sugar-free water is the next best thing.
Eating a healthy diet is an effective way to help prevent cavities. For other preventative dental care, such as tooth cleanings and oral exams, please contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 264-4477 today. Our dentist in Hazlet can help your family achieve a lifetime of healthy smiles!