While your child is at school, they need to make all sorts of choices throughout the day. This includes what they are going to be eating for lunch. From the school cafeteria line to prepared lunches from home, you know that it is crucial for your child to get all of the essential vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. However, have you ever thought about how their lunch is affecting their smile? Read on to learn about some of the great and not-so-great food items for your child to enjoy at lunchtime.
Harmful Foods Your Child Should Avoid
They may taste delicious, but the following good items often do more harm than good:
- Chocolate Milk: This is a common option for children at school. While it is a good source of calcium and vitamin D that contributes to strong teeth, it also contains a lot of added sugar. This isn’t the worst option available, but it is best saved for occasions.
- Juice Boxes: Sugar is the main reason why this drink isn’t a tooth-friendly option. Sugar clings to the teeth for hours and increases your child’s likelihood of developing cavities. Ultimately, it would be better for your child to drink water with their lunch with juice as an intermittent treat.
- Canned Fruit: The worst part about many canned fruits is that they contain added sugar in addition to the natural sugar and acids that are already present. It is always best for your child to consume fresh fruit over canned fruit whenever it’s a possibility.
How to Make a Tooth-Friendly Lunch for Your Child
When you prepare your child’s lunch at home, you can help them to avoid many cavity-causing foods. Here are some tips to help:
- Include plenty of fruit, veggies, grains, and calcium-fortified dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and milk.
- Avoid sticky foods that aren’t easily washed away by saliva.
- Pick out nutritious beverages that are low in sugar. Milk and water are both good options.
- Include a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your kid’s lunchbox. By brushing after their meals, they can reduce their risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
When it comes to your child’s smile, you don’t want to take any risks. By using the tips listed above, you can help your child keep up a healthy, happy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Layne Benzley earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Iowa and his pediatric dental specialty certificate from the Eastman Dental Center at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Dr. Benzley has successfully completed all the requirements to be certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is a father himself to four young children. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child at his office in Castle Rock, visit his website or call (303) 660-5373.