Smart Snacks for Your Child Better Dental Health
Parents and caregivers can usually easily control their child’s Snack habits while they are at home, but it is a different matter when they are out and about, or at school, and often the temptation of unhealthy but tasty snacks can be too much to resist. A large part of the dental health problem can be down to the types of snacks and drinks available at school, either in snack bars or from vending machines.
Smart Snacks for Dental Health
Luckily action has already been taken to try to resolve the issue in schools, as the US Department of Agriculture recently introduced new regulations call the Smart Snacks in Schools initiative. This is due to take effect for the 2014-2015 school years. Under the initiative there will be new rules governing the nutritional content of snacks sold in schools.
The aim is to encourage the consumption of more whole grain foods, and fruits and vegetables, as well as low fat dairy products. It is hoped this will help reduce the amount of calories consumed from sugars and fats, while lowering sodium levels. These rules are being introduced as it is estimated one third of American children are at risk of developing preventable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition, this new legislation should help improve dental health.
In spite of this, some dentists don’t feel the new measures go far enough, as high sugar items such as chocolate milk can still be sold provided the drink is fat-free. Other highly acidic drinks, such as sodas and sports drinks will still be allowed, even though these can cause significant damage to young dental health. Ultimately it will still be down to parents and caregivers to help their children make healthy choices, but how can you do this?
Set Sensible Limits for Your Child to Stick to Buying Snacks
You can help by making sure your child knows what they are allowed to buy at school, and the reasons why you have set these limits. Talk to your child about the importance of having healthy teeth and gums, and about maintaining general health. Make sure they know their dental health and general health is closely connected. Alternatively you can provide them with healthy and satisfying snacks to take to school.
Homemade Snacks for Better Dental Health
These might include plain popcorn that has been flavored with cinnamon or parmesan cheese, or naturally sweet and easy to eat fruits and veggies, such as baby carrots and cherry tomatoes or grapes. Low fat dips made from Greek yoghurt or hummus help to make things taste more appealing. The most important thing is to try to limit their consumption of sugar rich foods, such as cookies, cake and sugary cereals. Other foods that can be harmful to teeth include dried fruits which have high sugar contents, and a nasty tendency to glue themselves to teeth.
Fully Customized Snacks for Each Child
If you are ever unsure of the best food choices to make for your child, then feel free to ask your pediatric dentist. You’ll find all the dentists at the Kid’s Dentistry Center can offer lots of advice on diet and nutrition during your child’s regular checkups. All advice and treatment is always fully customized for each child.