Kids eating lunch at elementary school

Packing a Healthy Smile: Lunchbox Ideas for Dental Health

August 18, 2023 8:00 am
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This school year, don’t forget the importance of your child having tooth-friendly lunches and snacks. Eating a nutritious diet will help keep their smile healthy and reduce their risk of needing an unexpected emergency dental visit.

Crunchy Veggies

Baby carrots, celery sticks, jicama, bell pepper, cucumber slices, and broccoli florets are excellent lunchbox options when it comes to dental health. Not only are they packed with vitamins, but they also help stimulate saliva production to keep your child’s mouth fresh and clean. Pair with hummus, tzatziki, or other yummy dip.

Fruit

Beneficial nutrients can be found in a variety of fruits, such as apples, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, grapes, mangoes, mandarin oranges, pears, melon, and pineapple. Limit dried fruit since it has a higher concentration of sugar due to the reduced water content. If fresh fruit is hard to pack, try including diced fruit cups in 100% juice.

Protein

The protein in foods like nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and deli meat help repair and support the body’s tissues, including your gums. They also keep you fuller longer, which means your child is less likely to reach for an unhealthy afternoon snack.

Cheese

Cheese is not only delicious, but it also has high levels of calcium and phosphorus that help to remineralize tooth enamel. Whole-milk string cheese will help your child feel fuller longer. Avoid processed cheese that includes unnecessary added ingredients.

Avoid Sugar Bombs

Limit sweets like cookies, candy, and soda. These are high in sugar that can increase acid levels in the mouth and lead to cavities. For a sweet treat, include yogurt, a small piece of dark chocolate, or a homemade baked good instead.

Pediatric Dentistry in San Antonio, TX

A well-balanced diet is just one component of your child’s oral health. For more tips on how to encourage good dental habits or to schedule your child’s next routine cleaning, please contact Safari Children’s Dentistry and Braces today!

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