Feeding your children and staying within a budget can be difficult. Packing a lunch for them is often a suitable alternative. Your pocketbook and your children’s teeth can both take a beating if you eat out or run through the drive-through frequently. Packing a lunch for your kids gives you more control over what they are eating. It’s not a bad idea to pack one for yourself for the same reason. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by packing yourself and your kid’s lunch at the same time.
When you pack the lunches, be sure to include a teeth healthy mix. You will want to provide a variety, including carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein, all of which provide fuel for your body and protect health at the same time. In order to help protect the teeth and gums, include foods that contain nutrients specifically good for oral health. Your kids need nutrients like vitamins A and C and calcium. Here are some tips from your New York dentist for packing your child’s lunches.
Including Carbohydrates in Your Child’s Lunch
Your children need carbohydrates to keep their energy up. Eating them with a healthy lunch helps them focus in the afternoon, as well as have the fuel they need to keep working and playing at school. For sandwiches, choose whole-wheat bread or replace it with a whole-grain tortilla, bagel, or pita bread. Switching up healthy alternatives can keep lunch exciting and new. You can also use an insulated container to send soups with brown rice or quinoa. Other options include a package of whole-grain cereal along with a container of milk or crackers with some fo their favorite toppings.
Including Protein in a Teeth Healthy Lunch
Protein is necessary for kids because they are still growing and developing. It’s essential for keeping muscles strong and healthy too. There are many sources to choose from for protein. This lets you fit it in easily while also including foods that provide other nutritional benefits. Sandwiches can be made with either peanut butter or lean meats like chicken or turkey, for example. Add a slice or chunk of cheese for some extra protein. You may also want to provide string cheese or nuts on the side with other meal choices.
Including Healthy Fats in Your Child’s Lunch
Healthy fats are necessary for the eyes and brain to be healthy. It’s not necessary to include a lot in a lunch, but adding some can be beneficial. Add avocado chunks, or spread avocado on a turkey sandwich instead of using mayonnaise. Add a small bag of trail mix or toss nuts in with fruit or salads.
Getting Other Nutrients
One of the most important nutrients for the teeth is calcium. Having inadequate amounts included in your children’s diet can lead to other problems. Including cheese or milk with their lunch helps them get enough. Many cafeterias offer milk with lunches, and it can be purchased separately. If they do not provide milk, send some in a container.
Foods with vitamins A and C are also important for maintaining a healthy mouth and keeping teeth strong. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure your child gets these essential nutrients. They should have a fruit and a vegetable with their lunch each day. Keep it simple, add carrots, an apple, orange or banana on the side.
Contact Upper East Side Kids Dentist
Please feel free to contact Upper East Side Kids Dentist if you have questions about your child’s oral health. Call to schedule an exam with Dr. Shiva Basir (Pediatric Dentist) today.