With the kids home for summer, it’s time to think about the snacks they might grab while you’re not looking. Now, every parent tries to feed their children healthy, nourishing food. But there are the inevitable grocery store trips where the pleading for sugary treats just becomes too much to bear.
You can have a smile-healthy pantry that will help your children avoid early dental problems. Here are some tips to accomplish that.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the best-tasting foods around, and there’s no better place to get the freshest produce than your local Farmer’s Market.
Carrots, pea pods, celery, and strawberries are just a few examples of healthy summertime snacks for the whole family. Not only do they taste great but they’re also low-calorie and low sugar compared to commercially-prepared snacks. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of dental problems in both children and adults, so offering these natural snacks is a great way to help avoid those problems.
Keep Healthy Snacks Available
Much as we might wish otherwise, kids don’t live by fruits and vegetables alone. In this day and age, it’s very difficult to not have some commercial snacks in the house. To choose the healthiest snacks, you’ll need to compare the nutritional information on the labels. Watch for the grams of sugar, total calories, and fat content. Keep those relatively low and your kids will benefit.
Avoid Sugary/Starchy Snacks
Let’s face it – carbohydrates are cheap, and tasty. That’s why so many commercial snacks are really heavy on carbs – starches and sugars. But carbohydrates aren’t particularly filling which is why it’s all too easy to binge-eat an entire bag of potato chips.
Look for snacks that have a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. Those are the building blocks of healthy nutrition.
Get the Kids Involved in Selection
No one likes having choices forced on them. You’ll get better buy-in from your children if they’re part of the decision-making process on buying snacks. That may come down to a process that parents are all too familiar with:, “No, you can’t have that, but you can choose between X and Y.”
Drink Plenty of Water
When you’re thinking about snacks, think about beverages too. Studies show that sugary drinks are responsible for a lot childhood obesity. Beyond weight gain, the sugar in those drinks is a major fuel source for disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. And, the acid content of those drinks can cause demineralization (loss of enamel) in your children’s teeth.
Whenever possible, encourage your kids to drink water. Plain water – tap or bottled – is best, but there are some flavorings you can add to make water more palatable.
Don’t Forget Regular Cleanings And Examinations
Serving healthy snacks will go a long way toward avoid dental problems in your children. The remainder is regular brushing and flossing – something that most children aren’t all that good at. That’s why dental cleanings and examinations are so important to your children’s smiles.
All of us at Gregory Allen Kerbel, DDS look forward to helping your children have a great summer and a great smile. Call our East Dallas, TX dental office today at 972-360-9944 or fill out our online form to request an appointment.