There are a lot of factors to consider when packing your child's lunches and snacks, like convenience and nutrition, but some snack options out there can increase the risk of tooth decay.
During your next trip to the grocery store, try looking for snacks that promote dental health, and avoid foods that are high in sugar.
Tooth-friendly Snacks:String cheese. String cheese is not only easy to carry and eat, but it also is a good source of calcium and protein.
Sliced apples. Apples contain water and fiber, which can naturally clean our teeth, so even with the natural sugar, apples are still a tooth-friendly food. You can also include some lunch meat and sliced cheddar cheese for a more filling snack.
Cream cheese and celery. While "ants on a log” is a popular snack, it may not be the best for your teeth since some peanut butters and dried fruits have added sugars. Cream cheese can be a great option to pair with celery, and the calcium and vitamin D are beneficial for teeth.
Hard-boiled eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are filled with nutrients that help us develop strong, healthy teeth: calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. Also, one hard-boiled egg has six grams of protein, which makes it a filling, nutritious snack between mealtimes.
Foods to Avoid:Dried fruit.While dried fruit has some nutritional benefits, it can be sticky and chewy, becoming easily stuck to your teeth. Also, some dried fruit has added sugar, which contributes to decay.
Fruit snacks. Although the word fruit is in the name, fruit snacks are better as an occasional treat instead of a regular snack. Their sticky consistency and sugar content create an environment for decay-causing bacteria to produce acid.
Starchy, crunchy snacks. Pretzels and crackers are fine in moderation, but starchy snacks can break down into sugars and stick to teeth, increasing your child's risk of tooth decay.
Granola bars. While some granola bars can be healthful options, others seem more like cookies or candy bars, so be conscious of the added sugar when looking at the nutrition labels.
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