School is back in session, which means we can’t always control what goes into our kids mouths! Those pesky vending machines and less-than-healthy school lunches can sideswipe all your hard work in teaching your kids proper eating habits, real quick!
I wanted to lend a few ideas that will help kids make a healthier choice when it comes to choosing foods that are not only healthy for their bodies, but for their dental health as well.
Just because It Looks Good Doesn’t Mean It Is Good for You!
Let’s get started!
Try a blueberry greek yogurt smoothie instead of ice cream or a milkshake:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon honey to sweeten
Try homemade granola instead of sugary cereals:
- 2–3 tablespoons real maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (or other healthy cooking oil)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large pinch of fine sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon; I use Real Salt)
- 2 cups whole rolled oats (aka old fashion oats), preferably organic
- ½ cup raw nuts, chopped (or slivered almonds, you don’t need to chop them)
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional; I like unsweetened dried cranberries)
Try replacing chips and other processed snacks with apples, celery, and carrots. Apples and carrots scrub away plaque and freshen breath, and clery is full of water, which is good for oral health because it stimulates the flow of saliva. But try to stay away from acidic foods such as oranges, because those can cause enamel erosion if eaten in excess.
Cheese is low in sugar and acid and high in calcium. It also contains casein, a protein also found in milk that is useful for fortifying the tooth’s surface.
If You Eat Better, You’ll Feel Better
You are what you eat. It’s a phrase that has been used for decades, but it’s as true a statement as they come. When we make healthier choices, our bodies not only feel better but those healthier choices also protect our teeth and help us keep them throughout our entire adult lives.
One day, dentures may be the thing of the past!
~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth