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Oral Health Buzz

Meal Planning Tips for Healthier Teeth

Mary Munier

The foods you eat can make or break your smile. Why not choose healthier foods so that everyone in your house can enjoy whiter, brighter teeth? Use these simple meal planning tips to improve the dental health of your family.

How to Choose a Healthy Plate

Have you and your kids checked out the USDA's website? The American Dental Association recommends the program as a way to stay healthy. Visit the site with your family and learn how to use the site's plate icon to guide your food choices at meal time. Print out a My Plate coloring sheet for each meal. Then create colorful meal plans to post in the kitchen as reminders of what healthy plates looks like.

Avoid the Vending Machine with This Tip

Do your kids hit the vending machine during the day? How often do you or your husband grab goodies from the office lunch room? These sweet treats are bad for your waistline and worse for your teeth. Added sugars in baked goods and candy take their toll on your smile.

To avoid indulging in these sugary foods, plan ahead and pack healthy satisfying snacks for your family so that no one is tempted to grab those smile-busting junk foods. One day each week, prepare veggie sticks and sliced fruit into single-serve containers so you can grab in the morning.

Plan Healthier Drink Choices

A major source of tooth decay is sweetened sodas and sugary drinks. Sometimes, these can be the easiest and most convenient way to provide drinks on the go. But if you plan ahead, you can provide healthier options that both you and the kids will enjoy.

Let each child pick out a colorful reusable water bottle. Pack the bottle with ice and a few pieces of fresh fruit (orange slices, watermelon or berries work well). Then fill with water and chill until you are ready to go. You'll end up with flavored water that satisfies without too much added sugar or needless calories.

With a bit of careful meal planning you can provide the nutritious foods, drinks and snacks that will build healthy bodies and beautiful smiles.

Learn more about nutrition and dental health in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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