For healthy living and for healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink. It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your dental health. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
For good dental health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:
Drink plenty of water.
Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
- whole grains
- lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes
- low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose something that is healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities. (Mouth Healthy-ADA)
Here are some colorful snack/meal ideas to encourage your child to eat healthy! Get creative and see what else you can come up with!
1. Fruit Trees with banana, kiwi and mandarin oranges
2. Sweet Strawberry Snake- Slices of strawberries and bananas lined on a plate become a slithery snake for a simple summer time snack. http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/990449/3-creepy-crawly-kids-snacks
3. Green Grape Caterpillar- http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/990449/3-creepy-crawly-kids-snacks
4. Egg Boats- http://www.superhealthykids.com/healthy-kids-recipes/the-cheese-stands-alone.php
5. Flower Pot Fun- Crackers, celery, carrots, grapes, bananas, strawberries, jam sandwich and ham. http://www.babybites.co.nz/Recipes/Lunch+Ideas/Healthy+Fun+Snacks.html