School is back in session! Whether your child is attending school virtually or going back to the classroom this year, what they eat for lunch influences their oral health. It may be faster to hand your child some lunch money on their way out the door or call in a pizza delivery but using the food in your fridge to prepare lunch is better for your wallet—and their health. Carefully crafted lunches can even promote healthier teeth and gums. Tired of the same-old peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Fuel your child’s day and protect their oral health with these lunch ideas.
- Quesadilla roll-ups: Dairy products, including cheese, contain calcium and phosphates to help re-mineralize the teeth. Then, whole-wheat tortillas give your child the energy they need to learn and play all day.
- Whole-grain cereal and a thermos of milk: If your child loves cereal, let them take a serving for lunch sometimes. Cereal is often fortified with vitamin D, which pairs well with the calcium in milk to promote strong teeth and bones.
- Pita bread sandwich: The firmer texture of pita is less likely to get stuck in your child’s teeth than regular bread. Plus, you can include the pita pocket full of sliced turkey, ham, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce for a high-protein, low-fat main dish in your child’s lunch.
Fruit or Veggie
- Celery or carrot sticks: These raw veggies are great at scraping away food particles trapped between the teeth. They are also high in fiber and vitamins A and C for healthier gums.
- Apple slices: Apples might be sweet, but unlike candy, they’re high in fiber. Plus, the texture of apples makes them good at scrubbing the teeth and stimulating the gums.
- Salad: Depending on what you put in it, a salad can be the main course! Leafy greens are great for oral health because they’re high in calcium and folic acid. Toss some almonds in there for some healthy fat, and don’t forget to keep the dressing separate so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy.
- Yogurt: As with other dairy products, yogurt is high in protein and calcium. Plus, it contains probiotics, which crowd out the bad bacteria that can cause cavities. The trick is to eat plain yogurt with no added sugar, so toss in some fruit for a naturally sweet, healthy dessert.
- Chocolate peanut butter fudge: Most chocolaty desserts contain unhealthy ingredients, but not this chocolate peanut butter fudge recipe! Surprise your child with a smooth, rich dessert in tomorrow’s lunch. They’ll never suspect it’s made with honey instead of sugar.
- Banana nut muffin: Prepackaged baked goods aren’t the healthiest, but this banana nut muffin recipe is low in sugar and packed with energy-boosting nuts and fruit your child will love.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good oral health. It’s equally important to schedule regular visits to the dentist. Feel free to bring in the whole family for preventative cleanings and restorative services. To get started, please contact one of our dental offices, or request an appointment online.