Tips For Packing Healthy Back-To-School Lunches

Tips For Packing Healthy Back-To-School Lunches
Posted on 08/15/2016
Mac-N-CheeseAt our Monroe Township family dentistry practice, we enjoy providing children with the dental care they need to keep their smiles beautiful. However, it takes more that bi-yearly checkups to maintain a healthy and attractive smile. Diet is a critical aspect of oral health, so when you’re preparing your children’s lunches, try to include some of our teeth-friendly suggestions below.

Lunches Don’t Always Have to be Sandwiches

There’s no rule that says lunch has to include a sandwich. Offer your kids something different like a wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla, chicken or turkey and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is another quick meal to prepare before school. To satisfy their sweet tooth, include a handful of grapes or a fresh piece of fruit, like an apple or pear. Kids also love dipping foods, so there’s nothing wrong with providing a low-fat ranch dressing to supplement their carrots or celery.

Serve Sugary Treats at Lunch, Not as Snacks

If you want to give your kids something sweet like a cookie or cupcake, serve it as a dessert immediately after lunch. This should help curb their mid-afternoon craving for unhealthy and sugary treats. Don’t forget to remind your kids to brush their teeth after finishing lunch, especially if they have braces, so they can keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh.

Include Foods Rich in Calcium

To help build strong teeth, include foods that are good sources of calcium while preparing lunches. Yogurts, cheeses, spinach and kale are great choices, and can seamlessly be incorporated with a little creativity. For instance, if you’re making a casserole, just add some leafy greens right into the dish, so your kids are more likely to eat it. Spinach can also be topped with a hard grated cheese to make it more kid-friendly. Finally, kale chips make a great snack with any lunch, while giving your child the nutritional boost they need.

Check For Added Sugars On Food Labels

When grocery shopping for your kids’ lunches, check for hidden sugars in prepared foods. Look for words ending in -ose, as these include sugars such as sucrose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose. Other ingredients to look out for are corn syrup, caramel, fruit juice concentrate and dextrin. These sugars are known to cause cavities, and avoiding them now will pay dividends later.

Contact Your Local Spotswood NJ Dentistry Today!

If you need more tips for providing your kids with healthy lunches and snacks, feel free to contact us at (732) 251-7722. We want all our young patients to enjoy the many benefits that come with having healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Richard Goldberg specializes in family and cosmetic dentistry, and you can count on him to provide you with the highest quality of care available.