School is now in session and you might be wondering how you can provide your children with healthy school meals while keeping their teeth clean and cavity free throughout the year. Our bodies require vitamins and minerals to promote oral health, which can be found in a variety of foods. What are these teeth-friendly foods and how can you incorporate them into your children’s diets?
You’re likely well aware that dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. Did you know they’re also packed with vitamin D and phosphorus? In addition to calcium, milk and eggs contain vitamin D, while plain yogurt and cheese are sources of phosphorus.
Omelettes are a great vehicle for incorporating dairy products into your children’s diets. Eggs, milk, cheese and a vegetable or two are all you need to prepare a quick breakfast. Yogurt and fruit parfaits are tasty treats that require minimal preparation and can easily be packed in lunch kits. Using high-fibre fruit will help scrub away plaque, providing your kids with a teeth-friendly snack. Fortified plant-based milk is a great option for children who are lactose intolerant and can replace milk in many recipes.
Leafy & Crunchy Veggies
Leafy veggies such as broccoli, kale, spinach and Chinese cabbage contain plenty of vitamins and minerals needed for healthy teeth and gums. Crunchy veggies are beneficial because they stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away harmful bacteria, acids and food particles. They also scrub tooth surfaces when consumed, acting as natural cleaners.
Sometimes kids shy away from vegetables, but parents can incorporate leafy and crunchy veggies into everyday meals. Try adding spinach to smoothies or serving celery sticks with almond butter.
High-fibre fruits help brush away plaque and can even freshen your child’s breath. They increase saliva flow, much like crunchy vegetables, and help restore minerals teeth need to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. Yes, fruits contain sugar, which is never ideal for teeth, but kids enjoy sweets and high-fibre fruits can offer benefits when eaten in moderation.
It only takes a few minutes to cut up fresh fruit, such as strawberries, apples and bananas. Mint leaves add another element of flavour to fruit and are loaded with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to kill bacteria. After-school snacks never sounded so good.
Meat, Fish & Tofu
Meat, fish and tofu are packed with phosphorus needed to protect and maintain tooth enamel. Some teeth-friendly examples include:
Beef and vegetable stew, baked salmon, and grilled tofu skewers are a few options for after-school or weekend meals.
Encourage your kids to drink water throughout the day, as it will assist with protecting enamel by washing away food particles and replacing minerals. Additionally, cavity-causing bacteria use sugar and starch to create acids, so aim to reduce the amount of sugary and starchy foods served to your children.
As you can see, there are all sorts of teeth-friendly foods you can incorporate into your children’s diets throughout the school year.
Contact us or schedule an appointment for more information about food items beneficial for oral health.