It’s not easy to make snacks that are both healthy and tasty for your kids. But eating healthy is so important to your child’s overall health, including their dental health. Keeping their teeth healthy and strong requires nutrients that you can sneak into their diet during snack time. Try the following simple snacks that can help support your child’s oral health!
Veggies and Dip
Crunchy vegetables such as apples, pears, celery, carrots, and even bell peppers can all be beneficial for your child’s teeth . Not only do they act as little scrubbers to remove plaque during the day, but they provide essential nutrients such as vitamin A, C and calcium to keep your little one’s teeth strong.
Vegetables can be served raw with a fun dip to encourage children to eat their veggies. Try hummus, ranch, yogurt-based dressings, and even baba ghanoush, a hummus-style dip made out of eggplant!
Eggs provide a variety of nutrients, including vitamin D, protein, iron, and B vitamins, all of which can help support a healthy smile. Although hard-boiled eggs can be fun for children to eat (not to mention go well in a variety of dishes!) you can also scramble or fry eggs for children to eat on their own or to have as part of a meal.
Providing calcium and vitamin D, both important nutrients for oral health, cheese can be a fun and healthy snack for children to eat. You can serve it with crackers, but it’s healthier for teeth to serve it with veggies and fruits—think grapes, pears, or even strawberries .
Does your family eat a plant-based diet? Plant-based cheese alternatives are generally made with nuts, which can provide protein, nutrients, and fatty acids to nourish teeth and gums, and come in a variety of forms and flavors—have children pick out which ones they want to try!
Nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, and walnuts are not only packed with essential fatty acids to nourish teeth, but provide nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus to help build strong teeth. In fact, chewing nuts can also help encourage saliva production, which can help protect teeth from the harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay .
Yogurt and Fruit
Yogurt also provides vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption, and calcium . Just be sure to check the label, as many flavored yogurts are hiding surprisingly high amounts of sugar!
Yogurt can be a great frozen snack, eaten on its own, or you can have your child build their own yogurt bowl with fruit at home for extra vitamin C and nutrients. Plant-based yogurts also provide calcium, and make good on-the-go snacks just like regular yogurt to help encourage healthy eating even when things get hectic, such as during the school year.
Having your child eat healthy not only helps their oral health now, but can help encourage healthy habits for their future!