Back to school means lunchbox lunches again. Do you know what foods to include to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong?
Oral health isn’t only about cleaning! While brushing and flossing and trips to the dentist are extremely important, nutrition plays a crucial part in maintaining the health of your smile. Give your kids the best chance at success by including these foods in your child’s lunchbox this year. Read our healthy lunch box ideas for kids today.
Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
MILK, CHEESE AND YOGHURT
Dairy foods contain high levels of calcium which helps in the development of healthy teeth as well as keeping existing teeth strong. Some cheeses also contain enzymes that fight decay-causing bacteria found in the mouth. There are many dairy products available but we would suggest reading the ingredients lists before purchasing. Many include excess sugars that are detrimental to oral health.
Try these instead:
- Adding cheese to your child’s wrap, sandwich or salad is an easy way to add a boost of calcium to their lunch box. Simply cut it off the block and avoid processed cheese squares.
- Avoid flavoured custards and yoghurts and instead include natural yoghurt with no added sugar. Buying a large container and decanting it for lunchtime is both cost-effective and allows you to add natural sweeteners such as honey or chopped up strawberries.
- Cubes of cheese are a great snack for morning tea time serves with crunchy carrot slices, cherry tomatoes or just on their own.
CRUNCHY FRUIT AND VEGGIES
Swap out the unhealthy packet snacks for natures crunchy treats. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed to help the body run at the optimum level. Snacking on crunchy veggies and fruits also help to keep teeth clean throughout the day when your toothbrush isn’t nearby. They have enzymes that fight decay and produce excess saliva which washes away any bacteria and leftover foods.
Try these lunchbox hacks:
- Simple is easy and best. For no fuss and no prep snacks add bite sized fruit and veggies to your child’s lunchbox. Try berries, snow peas or raw green beans.
- If you have a little bit more time cutting up carrot, celery and capsicum teamed with pots of hummus or cream cheese make it a little more interesting
- Fruit kebabs make it easy to include variety in your child’s diet. Push a paddle pop stick through berries, grapes, melon, and pieces of apple or pear for an easy fruit salad. The best thing is you can make up their favourite combinations
LEFTOVERS FROM THE FRIDGE
On those mornings where even cutting up a carrot seems like it is too time-consuming amongst the hectic morning rush we recommend having a look at last night’s dinner in the fridge. Even if you don’t have enough for a full meal, veggies make a good snack to go with a sandwich and leftover meat can accompany a throw together a salad.
If you would like to know more about what foods to encourage and what to avoid to maintain your family’s healthy smiles or if its time for a 6 monthly check-up call the friendly team at Varsity Smiles today.