With summer coming to an end, it’s time to get back to school! After much preparation and back-to-school shopping, your child is ready for another year of learning, setting goals, and attending after-school activities. 

As you send your children off with backpacks full of school supplies, you may forget to pack some healthy school snacks. Although most schools do provide free lunch, you won’t be able to monitor if your child is eating the healthiest of foods. 

In order to best prevent your child from consuming unhealthy foods throughout the school day, start by packing a lunch filled with nutritious snacks!

Packing a school lunch or healthier snack alternatives will ensure that your child’s dental and overall health is in top condition. Doing so will prevent your child from consuming foods and liquids that have high sugar, starch, or acid levels, such as chips, candy, and sodas. Such foods cause bad bacteria to secrete harmful acids, which ultimately cause permanent harm to our enamel and teeth.

Not to worry! Your McAllen pediatric dentists at Heroes Dental are here to help you pack the best school snacks possible to provide the proper nutrition for your children’s oral health.

Foods That Battle Bacteria!

Our McAllen pediatric dentists recommend your little heroes eat snacks that help fight harmful bacteria in their mouths and prevent the buildup of plaque. Many vegetables and fruits are filled with fiber and contain a high water content to help cleanse away harmful bacteria in your child’s mouth. These foods encourage your child to chew more, which produces more saliva, therefore diluting harmful acids and bacteria.

Leafy vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, and water content. They may pair well with your child’s whole grain sandwiches or salads and include:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce

Crunchy vegetables pair well with proteins or as individual snacks: 

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Celery

Fiber-filled fruits are great alternatives to sugary sweets and candies:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Mangoes
  • Strawberries

Snacks Brimming With Vitamins & Minerals!

Vitamin C is essential to keep the connective tissues of your child’s gums strong. Foods with the highest vitamin C content can be eaten alone or alongside grains, such as whole-grain sandwich bread or brown rice:

  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Red bell peppers
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and protein, which help build strong teeth. The following are some awesome snacks with vitamin D that are yummy to eat alongside other nutritious foods:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Tuna fish
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified foods, such as cereal or oatmeal

Calcium and protein keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy, help strengthen enamel, and prevent tooth decay. Some of the foods and snacks we mentioned already contain calcium and protein, such as our leafy greens and hard-boiled eggs. However, your pediatric dentists in McAllen recommend more snacks that are high in calcium and protein to eat alongside fruits and vegetables:

  • Beans
  • Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Avocados
  • Cheeses
  • Yogurt
  • Fortified milk (dairy & non-dairy)

Don’t Forget To Hydrate!

Instead of packing fruit juices or sodas that are high in sugar and acidity, opt for water! Water is great for flushing down food particles and cavity-causing bacteria that may stay stuck in the teeth. 

Water also helps prevent plaque buildup and keeps enamel safe. Make sure to purchase a reusable water bottle for your children to take to school, so their teeth stay healthy and their bodies remain hydrated!

Braces? No Problem!

If your child has braces, some foods, such as crunchy vegetables or whole fruits, may cause damage to the wires or get stuck in your child’s teeth. Our McAllen pediatric dentists at Heroes Dental are here to help you and your child stay one step ahead with some healthy recommendations for an enjoyable intake of vitamins and minerals:

  • Blend fruits & veggies into smoothies
  • Slice whole fruits, like apples and oranges
  • Only eat soft cheeses
  • Consume leafy green salads without croutons
  • Steam crunchy and tougher vegetables
  • Yogurt with sliced berries
  • Whole grain sandwiches

At Heroes Dental, we care about your child’s dental and overall health. We sincerely hope that our recommendations of the kinds of foods and snacks to eat will give you more ideas for your children’s school lunches and snacks. 

Fill up your child’s reusable lunch box with healthy sandwiches, salads, wraps, tacos, spaghetti, single veggie snacks, fruit yogurt, and more! The possibilities for healthy snacks are endless. 

The healthier your child eats, the stronger their bodies will grow, the sharper their minds will become, and the brighter their smiles will be!

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Did you know certain fruits & veggies can help brush away cavity-causing bacteria from your teeth? #HeroesDental breaks down why these delicious & nutritious foods make the most teeth-friendly school snacks to pack for your child! Via www.heroesdental.com/ 

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