My kids are always hungry and asking for snacks when they are home during school breaks. Finding nutritious snacks that your kids will love, that are also dentist approved can be quite the challenge. One way I keep the kids from reaching for pre-packaged snacks is by having snacks prepped in the fridge so there are healthy options always accessible to them. If your kids are reluctant to choose the healthier alternatives, sometimes, just changing the presentation of the foods can be enough to entice children to try them. For example, you can buy cookie-cutters in fun shapes to cut out cheese or watermelon, and make snacking more fun.
Here are some ideas that are a win-win for both kids and their dentist. Always ensure that these snacks are cut into age appropriate sizes, and can be safely consumed by your child.
- Yogurt with chopped fruit or berries
- Watermelon Slices
- Cheese Cubes or Cut into Fun Shapes
- Carrot Sticks
- Celery Sticks
- Sunflower Seeds
- Chickpea Hummus and Veggies
- Whole Grain Pita Bread and Hummus
Between snacking, try to encourage children to drink water, not juice. The germs in your child’s mouth combined with sugar form acid, that can attack teeth enamel and cause cavities. Minimizing foods with high sugar content, or encouraging your child to rinse their mouth after consuming them will help maintain positive oral health.
The nature of the sugar, whether natural sugar or refined, is also important. Milk contains natural sugars and therefore it is recommended that children do not fall asleep with a bottle, since these sugars can slowly cause cavities as the milk stays in the child’s mouth for an extended period of time. Rinsing your child’s mouth, and brushing them 30 minutes to an hour after consuming sugar is also recommended.
If your children can reach into the fridge, much like how Akshaya and Udayan often do, consider pre-cutting the snacks. Have snacks in easily accessible portions and where they can reach for them such as towards the bottom of the fridge or in cupboards they can safely reach. The foods that you want them to have less access to, or consume only as an occasional treat, should be kept out of sight, or in hard to reach places.
To maintain good oral health, make sure to see your dentist every six months. Click here to read my review on our family dental clinic: Dr. Vidya Varathan Dental Care. To access an abundance of great articles with tips for family oral health click here.