Nutrition Tips for Babies and Kids

Tooth Character
As parents, we want our kids to be healthy and happy, but if your kids are picky eaters, you know that getting them to eat healthy foods can be challenging at best and downright frustrating at worst. What you probably aren’t aware of is that nutrition not only affects your child’s health but also has a major impact on dental health. It also isn’t just about what your kids eat but how often they eat it and how. For example, if they have a sugary piece of candy, the longer it takes them to finish it, the worse it is for their dental health. When sugar sits in their mouth for long periods of time, it leads to a much a higher rate of tooth decay then if they eat the candy quickly. The same is true for soda and other sugary drinks; if they sip on the beverage for hours, it leads to more erosion of the enamel on the teeth.
The good news is that you have several ways to help your child avoid dental problems that arise from improper nutrition and eating habits. Here are a few tips to help keep your child’s smile as perfect as possible.
·         Limit snacking: Children should have snacks no more than three times a day. Make these snacks nutritious; items such as yogurt, peanut butter, chocolate milk, and cheese are kid- and teeth-friendly.
·         Save sugars and starches for meal times: Sugars and foods with starch, including bread and pasta, take longer to clear the mouth, but if eaten with meals, they break down faster, reducing the chance of decay.
·         Don’t send your child to bed with a bottle: Sending your kids to bed with milk, formula or juice means that they can potentially spend the entire night with sugars from these drinks lingering in the mouth, leading to much faster decay.

You don’t have to deprive your children of fun snacks; just be aware of what they are eating and when. When in doubt, speak to a pediatric dentist, who can advise you on what you are doing right and where you can improve.