It is simple to find food that is healthy and safe for our kids’ teeth. However, finding food that they will enjoy is difficult. This is especially true if your child’s peers have lunches full of unhealthy options.
However, there are ways to ensure that your child enjoys the healthy lunch ideas you pack for them. Unfortunately, some of these suggestions might this time enrage your child’s peers. So here are some recommendations:
#1 Reduce Sugar Intake.
Sometimes you can find the best answers right in front of you. The best method to ensure your child’s diet is healthy for their teeth is to reduce sugar as much as possible because it feeds the dangerous germs on your teeth. You don’t have to give up sugar entirely; remember that some sources are more reliable than others. For instance, eating fruit has less sugar than downing a jar of gummy worms. Additionally, your child will receive all the other nutrients they give if they get their sugar from whole food sources like apples and almonds.
#2 Get Creative With Fruits And Veggies.
Avoid bland fruit slices and veggie sticks for a healthy lunch. Making fruit or vegetable “kabobs” or cutting them with a crinkle-cut knife can make these foods more enjoyable. In addition, yogurt dip for fruit or peanut butter for vegetables can motivate your child to eat healthy foods necessary for their pearly whites.
A more transformable approach is sometimes preferable to simply adding healthy foods. For example, adding spinach or other vegetables to pasta salad, hummus to a wrap or sandwich, or even nuts or fresh berries to yogurt can help to “hide” healthy foods and make them more enjoyable.
Of course, a vegetable soup or casserole can prove to your child that vegetables can be tasty; they have to find what works for them and their taste buds.
#3 Use Cookie Cutters to Make Healthy Food Fun.
Even adults appreciate aesthetically pleasing yet entertaining foods in amusing shapes. For example, stars, hearts, flowers, and other shapes can make sandwiches, fruits, pita bread, and other easily-cuttable foods more appealing and thus more edible to children.
After all, presentation is virtually equally essential to flavor in the culinary industry. Keep this in mind when packing your child’s lunch.
#4 Add Several Options.
A sandwich and a salad will not suffice. Picky eaters need to have various options in their lunch boxes.
An alternate meal might consist of a nutritious wrap, fresh grapes, a cup of pasta salad, and a selection of cheeses for a snack. Tuna salad, crackers, a fruit salad with various fruits, and mixed nuts are some additional delectable examples.
The concept is that there are not only diverse meal alternatives but that some of the food selections are varied and combined with various flavors or ingredients to ensure their lunch is not monotonous.
#5 Go Bento Box Style.
The presentation is everything, which brings us to our final healthy lunch suggestion. Making your child’s lunch in a bento box is a terrific way to give them more alternatives and to make it look more appealing. In addition, you can get plastic bento boxes that are reusable for your convenience.
Bento boxes neatly display food and encourage food in different shapes, orientations, and sizes. Additionally, they help keep foods organized, separated, and fresh.
Make your child’s sandwich into a panda bear with cucumber ears if you want to have some fun while packing a bento box lunch for them.
Moderation And Choosing Food Wisely
Another thing you can do is control what your child eats overall, in addition to reducing the amount of sugar they ingest. This rule applies to how frequently they eat and what they eat. Here are a few examples:
- Eat saliva-friendly food. Since saliva is an effective weapon against excess sugars, the more saliva-friendly foods you consume, the less sugar you leave on your teeth. Good news for cheese lovers: some cheeses can make you salivate.
- No snacks. The more snacks you consume, the less time your saliva has to wash away the food particles, so eating more snacks is more important than how much you eat every bite. Try to limit your snacking to no more than twice each day.
- Get more calcium. Search for vitamins and minerals that feed teeth as a final step in ensuring your child’s dental-friendly diet. In addition, you should feel free to include foods high in calcium in your child’s lunches because calcium helps protect teeth from bacterial infections.
Tips For Eating Sweets
Select the type of sweets you eat.
The good news is that not all sweets damage your teeth similarly. Some sweets may severely damage your child’s teeth if you’re not watchful. But there are others that you can safely enjoy on a reasonable basis. These treats typically share the following attributes:
- Wash off the teeth quickly. Your mouth bacteria have a free-for-all when sugars or other sweet things remain on your teeth for an extended period. They transform these sugars into acid, which has the potential to damage tooth enamel over time. Compared to other candy, chocolate and other sugary treats wash off easily.
- Triggers saliva flow. Saliva is crucial for maintaining oral health, as previously mentioned. The good news is that there are foods that are saliva-friendly. A good illustration of this is chewing gum. Because chewing stimulates salivation, salivation increases with gum chewing. In turn, the saliva helps in the removal of any stray sugars.
- Contains less sugar. Sugar consumption reduces the energy that oral bacteria have to attack you. So then, treats like dark chocolate and sugar-free gum simultaneously accomplish two goals. Aside from having less sugar, these foods are also better for your saliva, which helps wash away any sugar and prevents it from clinging to your teeth.
- Contains ingredients that help the teeth. Some gums contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that prevents tooth decay. OOne reason is that xylitol prevents oral bacteria from consuming glucose. Another benefit of xylitol is that it can strengthen teeth by assisting with calcium absorption. Consider sweets with xylitol or other teeth-friendly ingredients if your child has a sweet craving.
Some sweets damage the teeth. Ensure that none of your suggestions for a healthy lunch contain any sweets that:
- Sticks to the teeth. Harmful oral bacteria typically have a field day when carbohydrates stick to teeth. Like eating toffee, eating sugary, sticky candies raises your child’s risk of developing tooth decay.
- Can break the teeth. While our teeth are pretty strong, there is a limit to how much pressure they can withstand. So if your child enjoys sweets such as jawbreakers or hard candies, you should limit their intake, so they do not harm their teeth.
- Contains acid. Typically, acid attacks are what lead to tooth damage and enamel erosion. The likelihood of your child developing these issues may increase if they consume an excessive amount of sour candy.
Last Healthy Lunch Ideas: Foods And Drinks You Should Avoid
Chewy, sticky foods and candies
You can probably understand how easily chewy or sticky things like candies and caramels might become stuck between teeth if they are particularly sticky. However, these provide a tasty meal for the oral bacteria in your mouth since they include sugar.
It also doesn’t help much if these stick to your teeth due to their stickiness. Extra flossing and brushing are necessary after consuming chewy, sticky foods.
You probably already guessed that citrus is quite acidic. Most know acids harm teeth since they can wear down the enamel layer. As a result, it is advisable to consume citrus in moderation. Furthermore, letting citrus sit directly on the teeth is not a good idea.
Wait 30 to 60 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming anything acidic. Otherwise, the toothbrush will rub the acid harder into the teeth, causing more harm.
Crunchy foods such as chips
Because they can easily get stuck inside the teeth, crunchy foods are also bad for your dental health. In addition, these are challenging to remove from between the teeth as they sit, especially while eating starchy foods like potato chips—these demand extra flossing after eating.
Contrary to popular belief, many sports drinks aren’t dangerous despite having extra sugar. Instead, if consumed frequently, the acidic elements of the drink can easily damage dental enamel.
After consuming acidic drinks like sports drinks, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before brushing your teeth. Alternatively, discover other ways to replace your lost electrolytes or look for sports drinks with minimal to no added sugar to help with the issue.
Soda and Juice
Juice and soda both contain sugar. Due to soda’s sugary and acidic nature, the enamel can erode over time. Try looking for a sugar-free variation of the beverage since juice, in particular, almost always has extra sugars.