As summer comes to an end, it’s time for kids to head back to school. You may have already spent time shopping for school supplies and new clothes to get your children ready. However, have you thought about snacks? Packing delicious, satisfying – and teeth-friendly – snacks will help your child power through long school days. Plus, it keeps their smile healthy all year long. Follow these tips for packing nutritious snacks that also protect your kids’ smiles.
- Think Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables are nutrition powerhouses. They provide a satisfying crunch and are more satisfactory to enjoy. Slice apples, carrots, celery, and bell peppers are excellent on-the-go options that are great for their teeth. Include peanut or almond butter that they can spread on their celery or apple slices. Hummus is also a great protein to add that goes well with carrots, celery, and other raw veggies.
- Load Up on Calcium
Calcium is excellent for your child’s teeth and strengthens the tooth enamel. Plus, it increases saliva production to help wash away bacteria. Cheese sticks, greek yogurt pouches, and low-sugar chocolate milk all are great for lunch boxes. Just be sure to avoid added sugar content whenever possible. For children who can’t have dairy, consider dairy milk alternatives that are fortified with calcium such as soy or oat milk. You may consider adding leafy greens such as spinach or kale to a morning smoothie your child enjoys.
- Choose Whole Grains
Whole grain breads and crackers allow kids to munch while providing essential nutrients. Check labels and avoid options loaded with added sugars, which feed the bacteria that promote cavities. Make sure the ingredients are easy to read and simple. Pair with lean proteins like turkey and sliced cheese for an easy mini-meal.
- Cut Back on Sugary Treats
While it’s tempting to load up on cookies, candy, and sugary cereal bars, these offer little nutrition and can quickly damage tooth enamel and cause cavities. Reserve sweets for special occasions. If you include the occasional sweet treat, make sure your child knows to rinse their mouth out after. Consider giving them a small tube of toothpaste and a travel toothbrush to brush their teeth at school.
- Send a Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is crucial for health, focus, and oral health. Allowing sips throughout the day prevents a dry mouth where bacteria thrive. Invest in a reusable bottle your child loves – add stickers or charms for motivation. Avoid sugary juices. Water is the ideal choice. Add fresh lemon, lime, mint, or cucumber slices to infuse flavor.
With some advanced planning, you can ensure your back-to-schoolers have snacks that satisfy their cravings while also delivering valuable nutrition and protecting their precious smiles. Want more personalized tips for teeth-friendly snacks for going back to school? Call Charlotte Dentistry at 704-285-0846 to schedule your appointment in Charlotte, NC. You can also online.