A nutritious meal at lunchtime and snacks throughout the school day isn’t just important to give your child an energy boost to help them to survive and thrive during their school day – it can make a significant difference in their overall wellbeing and oral health.
If you’re concerned about cost or time, packing a healthy lunch box doesn’t have to be costly or take too much time to prepare. Here are a few ideas to help fill your child’s lunchbox with teeth friendly snacks that won’t break the bank.
Selecting the Right Teeth Friendly Snacks
Choose bacteria fighters. Crunchy vegetables like celery, cucumber or carrots require more chewing which produces increased saliva to attack bacteria in your child’s mouth.
Fibrous fruits—or fruits high in fibre—act almost like a natural toothbrush while you bite and chew. Apples, bananas and strawberries are all a healthy substitution for dessert in addition to being relatively cheap, easy to prepare, and very fulfilling.
Make Teeth Friendly Snacks Fun
If your kids aren’t too keen on fruits yet, make fruits more enjoyable with a healthy yogurt fruit dip or try cutting apples into fun shapes.
Pick and Mix Your Lunchbox to Include Teeth Friendly Snacks
The Department of Health and Human Services recommend the “Pick and Mix” approach, choose one tasty option from each of the food groups to create a healthy lunchbox every day:
- Vegetables, legumes and beans
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts* and seeds, and legumes/beans
- Grain (cereal) foods
- Plain water
The downloadable Department of Health and Human Services Pick & Mix poster provides a range of ideas and practical tips to inspire families to create healthy school lunchboxes.
Include Vitamin C
Adequate Vitamin C intake is important for a healthy immune system and optimal overall health and it also plays a part in keeping gums healthy. Try adding orange quarters or strawberries for a healthy, high in Vitamin C snack.
Be juice free
Instead of packing a juice popper in your child’s lunch, choose a small water bottle or milk instead. Water is great for rinsing away debris as well as keeping your child hydrated, while milk is packed full of calcium which is essential for healthy bones. Encourage your children to drink the recommended amount of water daily. Depending on their age, they should be having 5-10 glasses of water each day.
Including cheese in your child’s lunch box is another fantastic way to get calcium into your child’s diet—chop a block into cubes for fun, bite-sized snacks.
Smart lunch orders
If your child purchases their lunch at school, speak to them about making healthy choices for their teeth and overall wellness, and don’t forget to schedule their next appointment with their dentist!
Good luck! And if you have any questions about teeth-healthy foods or lunchbox ideas, let us know when you’re back for your child’s 6-month dental check-up. Happy eating!Leave a reply →