When your children go back to school, they are separated from you for a majority of the day. While they are under the watch of their teachers and protected by school rules, the fact remains that they are without your parental guidance for most of the day and trusted to make smart choices during times of independence, such as in the cafeteria during lunchtime. Will they go in the lunch line? Hit the snack bar? Trade with their friends? Help promote healthy habits for your children during their school day by packing healthy school lunches for your kids’ teeth.
Healthy School Lunch Tips for Oral Health
1. Swap juice or soda for water: All too often our society tries to convince us that juice boxes are a must for kids, but in reality, all juices are not created equal — and not particularly healthy. Juice is often packed with sugar, and that sugary juice can cause tooth decay in children. Instead of packing juice boxes or soda in your children’s lunch, include water with their meal. Water is always the best choice, so the more you can encourage your children to drink water, the better.
2. Focus on balanced nutrition: Feeding your child a balanced lunch positively affects all aspects of their health, including their dental health. Many American children eat a diet that is dominated by carbohydrates and starches, but starchy foods can cause cavities. The sugars in starchy foods react with the bacteria in saliva to produce an acid that erodes tooth enamel and leads to cavities.
3. Include healthy treats: Who said a treat needs to be sweet? Promote healthy eating by offering your children healthy alternatives to the standard processed sweet dessert. Reducing sugar consumption helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease in children.