- September 3, 2019
By now, families with kids are back into the school routine, making sure homework is done, enforcing bedtimes and packing lunches. We’re going to make meal planning a little more easy with our list of healthy lunchbox ideas for kids. A nutritious midday meal is a great way to boost kids’ energy and ability to focus the rest of the day. It’s also a good opportunity to support your child’s oral health.
Preventing kids cavities requires more than twice-daily brushing and flossing. The foods that kids ingest also plays an important role in the development of strong teeth and maintenance of healthy gums. Building healthy lunch habits now while they’re young will pay off as they get older and have more control over food choices.
Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for Kids
Stocking the right foods in your pantry is the first step to assembling teeth-friendly lunches when time is limited (and really, who isn’t scrambling to get out the door on time in the morning?!). Make sure to add the items to your shopping list so you’re prepared.
Fruits act as a sort of natural toothbrush do remove food particles from teeth. Add one serving to every lunch. Apples, bananas and berries infuse a touch of sweetness into the lunchbox without overloading your kid’s mouth with sugar. Add a healthy yogurt fruit dip if you sense some resistance to eating fruit plain.
Veggies contain a lot of water, which helps keep your child adequately hydrated while also diluting the natural sugar ingested from other food groups. We know many kids turn their noses up at the thought of raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce. Try adding some cream cheese, hummus or another healthy dip to entice their young palates.
Protein serving can come from a variety of food groups including nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, eggs and quinoa. Try to avoid lunch meat preserved with nitrates. It is also important to follow your school’s guidelines on nuts and nut butters to prevent food allergy incidents.
Grains are usually easiest to incorporate in a portable lunch in bread for a sandwich. Choose whole grain bread which has more natural vitamins, minerals and fiber than white bread.
Dairy in the form of cheese, low-fat yogurt or low-fat milk is high in calcium and phosphorus that helps keep tooth enamel strong.
Water without any flavoring is the best option for a drink to go with lunch. It helps create more saliva in your kid’s mouth to remove sugars from the teeth as well as rehydrating organs and muscles. Fruit juice is just as bad a soda because of its high sugar content.
Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for Kids: Start the Conversation
Kids notice what everyone else at the lunch table is eating. They may ask for the sugary treats or prepackaged sandwiches that other students bring. While it can be challenging (and sometimes seem easier to add bags of chips or packages of cookies) to stay consistent with healthy lunch options, now is the time to help kids understand what they should be eating for the rest of their lives. Help them understand the “why” behind the healthy food you selected for their daily lunches.
Keep Up Regular Visits to the Dentist
Healthy eating is one component of good oral health. Make sure to schedule bi-annual dental visits for your kids for teeth cleaning and monitoring of oral health by professionals. If you’re looking for a kids dentist near Joliet, call Shorewood Family Dental Care today at 815-725-5991 or book an appointment online.