With the high levels of processed sugars in most pre-packaged kids’ foods, choosing quick snacks for your children can feel like a minefield. While some foods contribute to the growth of bacteria and plaque, others can actually protect dental health. But which treats are the best for teeth? Are there any healthy snacks that are easy to make and serve on the go?
Your dentist in Wilson, North Carolina, is here with some tips.
No Fuss, Tooth-Healthy Snack Ideas from Your Dentist in Wilson, NC
A general rule of thumb for picking healthy foods for yourself or your kids is sticking to whole foods and limiting processed foods. What’s the difference? Whole foods typically consist of just one ingredient. These include fresh fruits and veggies, meats, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products. Processed foods, like cookies, chips, or sodas are often high in sugar or fats.
Usually, whole foods are around the outside of the grocery store, while processed foods are up and down the aisles. Here are a few easy-to-prepare, tooth-healthy whole foods kids will love.
Not all sweet foods are bad for your teeth. Most fresh fruit can provide a sweet taste without risk of tooth decay. The dietary fiber in apples also helps stimulate saliva, which pairs with the fruit’s high water content to rinse off your teeth while you chew.
Yogurt, like most other dairy products, is rich in calcium and protein, which help to make teeth stronger. However, not all yogurts are created equal. Look for yogurts that are low in sugar and fat content. If you want to sweeten the yogurt yourself, you can always add fresh fruit.
Cheese also contains calcium and protein, but it comes with its own unique benefits as well. Cheese has been shown to increase the pH level in your mouth, decreasing the acidity. Lower acidity levels means lower risks of decay.
Cheese sticks and cheese wheels make great on-the-go snacks that require no prep. Cheddar also pairs nicely with sliced red apples.
Whole grains like yogurt, brown rice, and those found in whole-grain bread bring a lot of healthy fiber to your diet. However, whole grains also have the added bonus of fighting gum disease. Oatmeal is a great choice because it’s low-fat, filling, and an easy to prepare. You can also add fruit, like bananas, strawberries, or apples to oatmeal to make it more interesting.
Like yogurt, you need to watch out for sugar-added varieties. Stick to old-fashioned or steel rolled oats.
Celery is a dental superfood. High water levels? Check. Dietary fiber? Tons of it. Sugars? Almost none. Crunchy celery also massages your gums as you chew, improving their health. Other raw vegetables will also provide similar benefits.
Unfortunately, few kids appreciate the taste of raw celery. Just jazz it up with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or cream cheese and your kids won’t be able to get enough.
Want more healthy ideas for your kids? Your Wilson, North Carolina, dentist will be happy to discuss dental-friendly snacks at your child’s next checkup. Schedule your appointment or contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300