Getting back to your routine means a return to regular schedules, the challenge of putting together lunches, the bedtime routine and so forth. Making the right food and dental choices for our children can be a big challenge. Did you know that, according to recent studies, children with poor dental health are more likely to miss school or have problems with concentration, discomfort, or even pain? That’s right: their dental health affects their academic performance.
Keep these tips in mind when serving snacks or preparing lunch boxes to make the best choices for your little ones:
- Store healthier snacks at the bottom of the pantry or fridge, within reach of small children. These include carrots, cucumber and celery sticks, cheese cubes, small packages of nuts, mini-boxes of raisins, pouches of unsweetened fruit puree, whole grain crackers, plain yogurt, etc.
- Even unsweetened fruit juice contains natural sugar. Children who drink juice between meals are more at risk for cavities, since their teeth are continuously coated with sugar. Serve them water: it’s better for them.
- Many processed foods contain hidden sugars. Read the list of ingredients on the labels and beware of corn syrup and everything that ends in “ose,” such as dextrose, glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.
- Syrup medications and chewable vitamins contain sugar and are considered sticky foods. Administer them during a meal or snack to reduce the intake of sugar between meals.