Back to school means recess, new school supplies, and packing snacks for your child. But what kinds of snacks should you be putting into their lunchbox? Here are some of our favorite healthy snacks for kids.
Cheese is a great snack to pack for your child because it contains proteins like casein that act as a buffer against bacteria and acids in the mouth that cause tooth decay. Cheese is also soft on your child’s teeth so you don’t have to worry about them chipping a tooth. Just be careful how much cheese you give your kid as larger quantities of cheese contain a lot of fat. Cheese sticks are a perfect serving that you can throw into your child’s lunchbox.
Almonds are a great snack with which you can send your kids off to school. They’re high in protein and calcium and low in sugar, not to mention they are a healthy snack that will fill your kids up and keep them away from junk food. A handful of almonds is a great serving size.
Another healthy snack, carrots are a great veggie for your kids to munch and crunch on. They are full of vitamin A and fiber and can help increase saliva production in your child’s mouth. This increase in saliva combats the risk of cavities by fighting off bacteria and rinsing away leftover food particles.
Your first thought might be that apples are high in sugar. While apples do contain sugar, they’re also high in water and fiber. The simple act of eating an apple helps produce saliva as the fibrous texture stimulates the gums.
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, and contains probiotics, or good bacteria that protects your child’s gums from bad bacteria. Be sure to choose a yogurt that is low in sugar, though!
So those are the kinds of snacks your kids should be finding in their lunch box, but what kinds of foods you should keep away from your kids?
You might think the problem with carbonated drinks is the sugar, but that’s only part of the problem. Even diet sodas are incredibly acidic, and it’s this acid that weakens your child’s tooth enamel. All of that acid also dries out your child’s mouth and reduces its saliva production. Water is always the best drink to pack for your child!
We all know that kids love candy, but we also know how bad candy is for their teeth. Sounds like a recipe for disaster! The sugar and acid in candy wears away your child’s enamel and can cause cavities. They can also break or crack your child’s teeth and get stuck between them, leading to plaque buildup. If you want to give your child something sweet, try packing a piece of dark chocolate, which has some nutritious qualities and is much softer on your child’s teeth.
Everyone loves potato chips, but it would be wise to think twice before packing them for your kids. Tiny chip particles can get stuck between your child’s teeth and feed the bacteria that causes tooth decay. If your child loves crunchy foods, try swapping their chips for carrots.
At Southwest Smiles Family Dentistry, we’re dedicated to helping you make sure your children have healthy smiles. The best defense is always a clean mouth, so be sure to make an appointment with us for regular cleanings for your child!