It’s back-to-school time, which means children are away from home for lunch. Packing a nutritious meal to get them through the school day is essential and plays an important role in your child’s energy at school, and could make a big difference in their ability to focus on learning. Your child’s body is a complex machine. The foods you choose to provide for them can affect their general health and the health of their teeth and gums too.
Packing a Teeth-Friendly Healthy School Lunch
One of the main keys for packing a nutritious lunch is to plan ahead and buy the groceries you know your child will eat. Following are a few healthy food ideas to get your child through the school day:
Sandwiches are a staple of the lunch box. Carbohydrates are vital for giving your child energy which provides the power to focus, learn and fuel up for the afternoon, but be sure to use whole grain bread instead of white bread. Whole grain bread contains more natural vitamins, minerals and fiber and less added sugars. You can eliminate the use of bread altogether and use whole grain tortillas, pita bread or bagels, which keeps lunch interesting. Peanut butter or lean meat will provide protein that is vital for growth and development in kids, and it also keeps muscles strong and healthy.
Crunchy vegetables—like carrots, cucumbers, celery, green peppers, and broccoli are probably the best veggies for your child’s teeth, and they pack well in your child’s lunchbox. Vegetables rehydrate our bodies, dilute natural sugars and wash away food particles while we eat. Include some hummus, cream cheese or salsa to use for dipping if they need the extra incentive for eating their veggies.
Fruits high in fiber act almost like a natural toothbrush while you bite and chew. Apples, bananas and strawberries are all a healthy substitution for dessert in addition to being relatively inexpensive, easy to prepare, and very fulfilling. Fruits in a healthy yogurt or cut into fun shapes might guarantee they get eaten.
Bite-sized cubes of cheese or cheese sticks are easy to eat and provide good nutrients. Cheese is high in calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that help keep tooth enamel strong. Cheese also increases saliva in your mouth, which acts as a natural defense against cavities and gum disease.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein. They’re also an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin D, calcium, fiber and folic acid. Folic acid plays a major role in preserving gum tissues and preventing periodontal disease. Although almonds are good for you, the texture and shape can be damaging to teeth. If your child loves almonds, buy slivered almonds to avoid a fractured or chipped tooth.
Water is the best drink for everyone, hands down. It energizes and rehydrates your child’s organs and muscles, and also helps create more saliva in their mouth. More saliva means less tooth decay and stronger tooth enamel.
Call for More Healthy School Lunch (for Oral Health) Ideas!
If you live in Parker, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock or Lone Tree call Dr. Angela S. Evanson, DDS at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online to make an appointment for your child’s 6-month dental checkup.
Dr. Evanson will do a full examination, assess how your child’s teeth look and check to see if they are brushing correctly.
It’s easy to provide a school lunch with natural, good foods that are hearty, nutritious and good for your child’s teeth. Best of luck in the new school year, and we hope to see you soon!Leave a reply →