Great parents know that packing school lunches is both an art form and an exercise in patience. After all, most kids are pretty picky eaters, who may request dozens of special alterations to their sandwiches and snacks. To help make lunch packing a bit more successful and a lot less stressful, you can actually take advice from your preventive dentist, based on providing your kids with healthy foods they will actually eat. Plus, these are foods that can help promote good oral health, and what parent doesn’t want that?
What Do Kids Need for Good Dental Health?
Just as the human body needs plenty of nutrients, and water, to function properly, the smile is also dependent on vitamins to remain strong and healthy, as well as cavity-free. With picky kids, though, it can be difficult finding ways to fill their diets with foods that are good for their dental health, and their bodies. Here are some helpful tips for doing so, by packing their lunch boxes with nutrient-rich ingredients that will do both their smiles and their bodies good.
- Vegetables are one of the most important parts of any diet. Fortunately, many have the same kind of crunch potato chip loving kids have likely come to love. So this year, instead of relying on chips and crackers as sides for lunches, why not try a variety of fresh vegetables instead? Celery sticks, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower and snap peas travel well, and can be packed with dips like ranch, peanut butter, hummus for extra fun flavor.
- Fruit is another healthy food option, and many fruits have high water content, which is particularly good for smiles. For dental benefits, stick to varieties with low sugar content and low acidity, which can be harmful for teeth’s enamel, especially with prolonged exposure. Since most kids can’t brush after lunch, you may want to save most citrus fruits for after school, and instead pack items like apple slices, grapes, melons.
- Diary products offer calcium and other nutrients that can help promote strong teeth. Just make sure to look for items with low added sugar, since sugar can contribute to cavity developments. Yogurt drinks are popular with most kids, as are yogurt dips (perfect for pairing with fresh fruit!). Cheese is another good option, as well as milk, of course. Just avoid varieties with sweetened flavoring.