Healthy Diet Means Healthy Teeth: How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy This Summer
Posted on 7/25/2019 by Hala Badawi
We all know that a healthy, balanced diet is good for our body, and this includes our teeth. With summer vacation quickly approaching, kids will be out of school and most likely out of their regular daily routine. Snacks can easily be rushed with the hectic summer activities and this means that our usual healthy food may not be so healthy anymore. While there are convenient options available for quick and easy snacks, they sometimes have hidden ingredients and can get pricey. The trick is make-ahead options and fun summer snacks made readily available to kids throughout the day.
Smoothies are always a fun meal alternative, and a great way to sneak in some veggies and yogurt for the pickiest of eaters. Bananas are a great smoothie base and pack a punch of minerals that are good for your teeth and gums. They are naturally sweet, so it eliminates the need to use any processed sugar, and that of course, is music to all dentist’s ears. Watermelon is also a great base because it’s loaded with water (great for hydration) and loaded with Vitamin C, which is good for gums and teeth health. Throw some spinach or kale in the blender with your other ingredients and your kids will be eating their daily dose of greens with big healthy smiles.
Smoothies are fun, but they can be time consuming if you are making more than two per blender. They are also not readily available for your kids to grab-and-go while they are busy enjoying their summer break. What if you could turn your smoothies into a summer favorite that can keep in the freezer for weeks? That’s right, popsicles! Make your big batch of favorite smoothies, pour into popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer. Try freezing fruit in coconut water for a fun, clear popsicle choice. Coconut water is not only great for hydration, but fights bacteria in the mouth that can later cause gum issues. Who said you can’t have popsicles for breakfast?
Make ahead veggie bags keep well in the refrigerator and are easy for little hands to grab-and-go. If you make them for the whole week, use a variety of veggies for snacking, such as carrots, celery and cherry tomatoes. Carrots have been a favorite crunchy snack over the years and is still at the top of the list. The crunching and chewing of a carrot stick can actually help remove plaque from the teeth. Add some cheese slices (no processed options) with the vegetables and your kids will be eating it right up. Cheese is high in phosphate and calcium and makes it top of the list of foods for healthy teeth.
Yogurt has a high amount of calcium, and calcium is great for teeth. Eating a yogurt every day can get pretty boring, and have you seen the amount of sugar that is added to some of the flavored options? Choose your favorite plain yogurt, add some fresh fruit and a little honey (optional), and pop it in the freezer. Instant frozen yogurt without any of the processed sugar! Dip some blueberries in yogurt and freeze for a healthy, pop-able snack for kids and adults.
Summer and snacks go hand-in-hand, especially the frozen delicious kind. If you make food fun, getting your kids to eat healthy this summer should be easy. These are all great preventative snacks to help with the health of gums and teeth, but it is important to continue to visit your dentist as recommended. It is not suggested that you use these ideas as an alternative to visiting your family dentist.