Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids Who Can’t Brush at School
As a parent, you have your hands full. And sometimes, you might be too busy to even think about what your child’s eating for lunch. But, did you know that sugary juice drinks, chewy candy, and even potato chips can lead to tooth decay? Even when you’re in a pinch, it’s important to pack your kid a healthy, teeth-friendly lunch – especially when they can’t brush at school. Check out these healthy lunch ideas for some fresh inspiration.
Pack Some Veggies
For many parents, getting their kids to eat vegetables can be a challenge. But, promoting healthy eating habits early in life can set children up for a lifetime of wellness. Besides having lots of nutrients, vegetables are also good for oral health. In fact, broccoli and leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals that help keep tooth enamel strong. Other veggies, like carrots, cucumbers, celery, and green peppers, contain lots of water. The water helps combat sugars and rinses away food particles.
The night before school, slice up some raw vegetables for your child’s lunch. To make them more appealing, include a healthy dip. Celery and carrots taste great with hummus, and green peppers pair well with salsa. As an alternative, you could make a salad with your child’s favorite leafy green. Just don’t forget to pack a healthy salad dressing.
Bag Some Nuts and Seeds
You probably already know that nuts and seeds are full of protein. In addition to giving kids the energy they need to stay focused during class, nuts and seeds contain minerals that help restore tooth enamel. Also, they have folic acid, which helps reduce gum inflammation. This works to keep gums healthy.
When packing your child’s lunch, go ahead and add some nuts and seeds into the mix. Remember: certain nuts, like almonds, have hard shells that can actually be rough on teeth. Therefore, sliced almonds should be your go-to choice for school lunches. If your child can’t bring nuts to school, opt for sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts (despite the name, pine nuts are actually seeds).
Bring on the Cheese
Rich in calcium, Vitamin D and phosphorous, cheese is a welcome addition in any healthy kid’s lunch bag. These minerals help keep tooth enamel healthy. Plus, cheese activates saliva. And, increased saliva helps prevent dental decay and other oral health issues.
For a healthy lunch, cut a cheese, like cheddar or mozzarella, into cubes. Or, you could add cheese to a fresh tomato or tuna sandwich. You could even sprinkle some blue cheese or feta cheese on a nutritious salad.
Don’t Forget the Water
Skip the sugary sodas and fruit juices – they can actually contribute to tooth decay. Instead, opt for water. Like cheese, water increases saliva. And the saliva helps wash away food particles for stronger teeth. So, before you send your child on their way, make sure to include a bottle of water in their lunch pail.
Beyond Healthy Lunch Ideas
Now that you have some healthy lunch ideas, it’s time to put them into practice. However, bear in mind that good oral hygiene is more than just eating healthy. To promote dental health, your child should have an effective dental care routine to keep their pearly whites looking bright. And, part of any good oral hygiene routine includes visiting the dentist on a regular basis.
At Tooth Fairy Smiles, we provide more than just oral health services. We’re also committed to educating kids and parents on proper dental hygiene. Request an appointment for your child today, and learn how to prevent cavities and gum disease.