Your kids no doubt love candy, as most kids do. While the occasional sugary snack is probably no big deal, treats that are high in sugar are not good for teeth and may cause dental problems for your child. Keeping your child's teeth healthy involves proper nutrition, which ensures adequate intake of nutrients that promote strong teeth. Learn more about healthy snack ideas for kids in the Colgate Oral Care resources. Include items that are low in sugar but high in calcium, the most vital nutrient when it comes to healthy teeth now and in the future.
Healthy Snack Ideas
Cheese is a great snack because it is high in calcium, but has no added sugar. With the wide variety of choices in the dairy case, you'll be able to find a cheesy snack for your child to enjoy. String cheese is a good option for lunch boxes and snacks on the go. Sliced cheese makes a great topping for crackers and shredded cheese melts well on a tortilla for a more substantial snack.
Another perk of cheese is that it neutralizes acid on your child's teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay. Learn more about the benefits of cheese for a snack in the Colgate Oral Care Resources. Children need between two and three cups of dairy each day. In general, one slice or 1-1/2 ounces is equal to a cup. Choose low-fat versions, when possible, to keep your child's calorie and saturated fat intake under control.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are also great healthy snack idea for kids, with many dark-green, leafy vegetables containing calcium. Serve fresh fruit with low-sugar yogurt to increase the calcium content of the snack. Raw vegetables pair well by themselves or with a dip your child likes.
Tips for Healthy Teeth
Avoid sugary foods, like candy, soda and processed desserts. Not only do these items contain little to no calcium, or other essential nutrients for that matter, but their high sugar content means that the sugar sits on your child's teeth, fostering an environment that leads to tooth decay.
Regardless of diet, have your child brush his teeth twice a day for about two minutes at a time. Help him floss between his teeth each day, as well. If you decide to use mouthwash, choose one specifically made for children that doesn't contain alcohol. And don't be afraid to talk about how food choices play a role in the health of his teeth now and as gets older.