Diet and Snacking
What your child eats is just as important for their oral health as proper brushing and flossing, so let’s cover what makes up a healthy diet. Simply put, a healthy diet for your child includes fruits and veggies, grains, meat, legumes, and milk.
Now, we must put a disclaimer on that statement… Some of your child’s favorite snacks that you assume would not hurt their teeth can be the most detrimental.
Take fruit juice for example. It is healthy, so there is no way that it can be bad, right? Wrong! Fruit juice is the number one culprit of cavities. The acid found in the fruit juice can linger on your child’s teeth, eating away at the enamel and weakening the teeth. The same is true for milk.
This does not mean that we are proposing that you never give your child juice or milk. On the contrary, both of these are essential to your child’s development, but it is optimal to limit their intake to mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
Throughout the day, between meals, and at snack time, offer your child water to drink.
What Drinks Should Your Child Stay Away From?
Sodas, even diet choices, can be detrimental to the health of your teeth, so limit the consumption of these beverages. The large amounts of sugar found in these drinks combined with their acidic properties can cling to tooth enamel and slowly start to eat away at the protective tooth covering. If not properly remedied, it can lead to tooth decay and cavity formation.
It is also important to note that if your child plays sports, limit the intake of sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade.
While these drinks are high in electrolytes, they also have a large amount of sugar and acid.
The more that is consumed and the longer it stays on the teeth, especially during a lengthy sporting event, the more damage it can cause to the tooth enamel. Swap these sugary sports drinks for water. Water will always be your child’s best friend!
Let’s Get Snacking: What Are the Best Foods to Consume?
When it comes to snacking, the rule is everything in moderation. A sweet treat here and there is okay, but try to stick with fruits and veggies for snack time. There are a plethora of easy, creative ways to keep your kids begging for more of the healthier treats. Apples, grapes, blueberries, carrots, and broccoli are some great snackable treats that not only taste yummy but also are great for your teeth.
Try to stay away from the sticky and sour candies as these pose the biggest threat to one’s teeth. If your child is craving a sweet treat, let him or her have some chocolate as it will melt off the teeth and not eat away at the enamel like the acidic sour candies.
While they may be delicious, sticky candies can remain stuck in the grooves of the teeth and can deteriorate the tooth enamel. Additionally, if your child has any fillings, it is imperative to stay away from the sticky candies as this will cause fillings to fall out very easily.
We all know that kids can be picky eaters which can make planning healthy snacks a challenge. Creating fun and delicious crowd-pleasers does not have to be difficult.
Our team has compiled a list of the Top 10 Kid-Friendly Snacks with recipes included. While there is not enough room to take you through the step-by-step of each one, click the sign to the right to find the recipes.
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