With school in session, it is time to start packing lunches for the kids again. It can be easy to pack processed lunches or have children buy lunch at school rather than taking the time to prepare something healthy. But packing a healthy lunch can be critical to children’s oral health. Find out what foods to include in children’s school lunches to make sure their teeth stay strong.
Most lunches will typically include a sandwich. To make it healthier, use whole grain wheat bread instead of white bread. If you’re making them a turkey or ham sandwich, consider adding a piece of cheese. Cheese is a great source of calcium and a certain type of protein called casein. You can spice things up further by adding vegetables such as tomatoes and lettuce if your child likes.
If your child isn’t a fan of sandwiches or just wants to mix things up, hummus offers a healthy alternative.
Yogurt and Milk
If your child does not like the food you pack, there is a chance he or she might not eat all of it or simply throw it away. A healthy snack your kids are sure to enjoy is a nice cup of yogurt. Yogurt is packed with nutrients and oftentimes fruit, making it a great choice. Plus, it’s easy to eat. Make sure to read the labels so you don’t buy yogurt filled with sugar!
Milk is always great for the teeth, but if your child is getting bored with traditional milk, try chocolate or strawberry milk. They will still get the added calcium and the added flavor will make it fun to drink. When you’re buying milk, skip the whole milk varieties in favor of 1 percent or even skim if your children will drink it.
For a side item, it’s easy to pack some chips since it’s already packed neatly. Eating a bag of chips every day, even the snack-size version, isn’t good for your child’s teeth. Instead, try vegetables such as carrots or celery. See what your child likes to dip with them in. A small amount of ranch can go a long way in making veggies more appetizing for kids.
Packing a lunch can be fun for the parents and the children. Getting your child involved in the process can be a valuable experience. Talk to your child to see which healthy foods he or she likes or is willing to try. That way you know you’re packing a healthy lunch that they will enjoy all while maintaining their oral health.