As 2021 gets started, we know it’s common to set nutrition goals for you and other members of your family. As you know, and we cover often, the food you eat can play a significant role in your oral health. This is true for both adults and kids alike. That’s why we’re talking about some of the best foods you can give your kids to snack on that also are likely to help keep their teeth healthy.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals for your children’s entire bodies. They’re also high in fiber which is great for teeth. As an added bonus, chewing these hard and crunchy (tasty too) foods can give an additional scrub to your kids teeth helping to remove particles of food. Nutritious and good for your teeth! Need some specific suggestions? Apples and celery with peanut butter can be a great choice, or carrots and broccoli with a hummus dip can be another excellent choice.
While citrus fruits can be a great snack time option as well, it’s important to remember that they do contain citric acid which can damage tooth enamel if there is prolonged exposure. Moderation for these types of fruits is key and you’ll want to make sure your kids get in a good brush after enjoying them.
Cheese, Yogurt and Milk
All of these foods are high in calcium and vitamin D which are necessary to help produce strong bones and teeth. If by chance your child has any dairy sensitivities there are a number of great alternatives out there for these types of foods made with soy or nut milks.
Try them hard boiled, scrambled or however your kids like to eat them. Whether for a morning or afternoon snack, eggs are high in protein, phosphates, and Vitamin D which are all minerals that are beneficial to your teeth.
If your children get tired of eggs it’s still a good idea to try and work in other protein options to snack time. One great option here could be lunch meat (turkey, ham, etc.) and cheese rolled up.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are rich in calcium and phosphorus which helps to repair damage done to tooth enamel. However, when selecting nuts for snack time, it’s important to look for no-salt, or low-salt options.
How to Make Healthy Snacks Appealing
If your kids are like most others, then getting them excited about eating healthy snacks might be a bit of a challenge. These foods aren’t nearly as tasty to them as fruit snacks, chips, and sugary beverages, but the benefits for them in the long-run are worth making a change. To help get your kids excited about these types of foods we suggest you try a few tips and tricks.
Let them help you cook or prepare the snacks
Lots of kids can get excited about eating foods that they’ve had a hand in creating. Invite them to help prepare the foods for snack time (meals too) to encourage them to eat these foods.
Start a garden
While not ideal in the winter time, as spring approaches it’s a great time to start thinking about planting a small garden. Find some great snack time fruits and vegetables to plant like strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. If your kids help grow these foods from scratch it could increase their desire to eat them on the regular.
Don’t give up
As you transition to healthier snacking options you might face some resistance, but we encourage you to keep trying. Your kids will adjust to the new flavors and may find some new foods that they truly love.