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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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Pack a Smart Lunch for your Kids this School Year

Posted on 5/20/2017 by Cynthia Pelley
A young boy holding a back to school sign.
The school year is a time for routine and excitement. It is also a time of ensuring that your child gets proper nutrition. Without the right vitamins and nutrients, your child's focus, energy, and health can falter. In addition, not giving your child the right foods throughout the school year can be really bad for his oral health.

When your child is away from you for several hours a day, it is important to ensure that he is eating healthy in order to avoid his oral health from suffering. Not having his toothbrush nearby means that he needs to eat the foods that will cause the least amount of damage to his oral health.

Give a Variety of Foods
School lunch does not have to be peanut butter and jelly and chips anymore. Today, there are a variety of ways to give your child variety in his lunch.

Try packing a Bento box or similar type container that has many compartments, allowing you to give your child variety. In this container, you can then give your child different fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. The less processed the food is that you give him, the less risk you have of him getting tooth decay as a result.

Include Dips or Condiments
Oftentimes kids want dips or fun condiments to dip their foods in, making them somehow more fun to eat. If your child is more willing to eat carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, apples, and grapes if you give him yogurt, honey mustard, ranch, or any other type of condiment that will get him excited about eating fruits and vegetables. Just try to choose the low sugar variety in order to keep the risk of tooth decay at bay.

Avoid the Sugar

It can be tempting to give your child cookies and candies to reward him for doing well in school, or to give him the comforts of home, but this is not good for his health or teeth. Instead, make homemade muffins with natural sugar options rather than refined sugar; homemade applesauce; homemade trail mix; or homemade granola bars. Your kids will feel the comforts of home just by having the homemade foods that you create; they do not need the sugar to feel loved.

Lean Proteins
Even carbohydrates are not a good choice for your child's lunch. The bread that you think is healthy is actually refined carbs that are turning into sugar in your child's mouth as he sits in class. Rather than increasing his risk of tooth decay, create fun lunches with lean proteins by making shapes and faces out of lean turkey or ham or give him leftover portions of last night's dinner to give him a healthy, yet filling option.

Give careful thought to the lunch that you pack for your child this year. Remember that whatever he puts in his mouth will remain there for the remainder of the day. If these foods are low in sugar and carbohydrates, your child's teeth will benefit.

If instead, you choose foods that are high in sugar and refined carbs, you run the risk of damaging his oral health, causing him to miss school and to feel pain. Ask your child for his input when creating his lunch in order to avoid the risk of him rebelling against the healthy lunches - remember, the more choices you give your child, the more likely he is to be happy with the lunches he is given.

If your child is ready for a dental check-up, contact our office for an appointment today!

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202