If you’ve been cooped up in a house with your kids all Winter, you’re no doubt welcoming warmer weather — and all those outdoor activities that keep your kids busy — with open arms!
When your little ones are on the go, it’s so important to make sure they’re eating healthy snacks — not just for their brains and bodies, but for their teeth, too! Aquafresh Kids will make your life a little easier in the healthy teeth department, but consider some of these healthy snack ideas to complement your child’s regular brushing routine. (And remember, it’s always important to talk to your dentist about the appropriate time to start children on a fluoride toothpaste!)
Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids
What does healthy eating for teeth look like? The American Dental Association emphasizes variety. Proper nutrition doesn’t just come from one particular food group, but from a balance throughout these healthy categories. Think: wholesome whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
But what does that mean for snacking — particularly with picky kids? Here are some ideas.
1. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Apples, pears, carrots, celery, and anything with a crisp crunch can potentially help keep teeth clean during the day (though they’re certainly not a substitute for brushing). What’s even better: chewing crisp fruits and veggies helps stimulate saliva production, which washes cavity-causing bacteria away from teeth.
Much like crunchy vegetables, chewing nuts can help stimulate saliva production, which helps reduce the risk for tooth decay. And because most nuts are low in carbs (and carbs activate acid-producing bacteria), they won’t increase the risk of cavities. As long as your child doesn’t have a sensitivity to nuts, mix up a few different kinds in a baggie for a quick, mess-free snack that will keep them satisfied.
3. Hard Boiled Eggs
Because they help strengthen teeth, phosphorus-rich foods are a big win for oral health, and while some foods rich in phosphorus aren’t exactly what you would consider “snack foods” (lean meats and fish), there is one food on the list that’s great for on-the-go snacking: eggs. Boil up a dozen eggs to use throughout the week, peel one or two at a time, and shake them around in a baggie with some salt and pepper. Voila — a quick, protein-packed, phosphorus-rich snack!
4. String Cheese
Not only does dairy contain phosphorus (just like eggs), but it’s rich in calcium, which helps keep teeth strong, and protein, which helps little tummies feel fuller than they would after refined-carb snacks like pretzels or chips.
5. Whole-Grain Bread With Nut Butter or Smashed Avocado
Whole grains are a healthy choice for both oral health and overall health. For a quick and nutritious snack, combine a slice of whole-grain bread with half of a vitamin-rich avocado or protein-rich nut butter.
When it comes to snacking in general, it’s important to remember that a lot of small meals throughout the day may actually do more harm than good, since more saliva is released during bigger meals, allowing your mouth to clean itself better. Decide on one nutritious, protein-rich snack before the busy day starts to help everyone feel satisfied and energized for the activities ahead.