Tooth Friendly School Lunches
When the school season starts back up, so does the responsibility of preparing school lunches that are both nutritious and tasty. It is easy to drift towards ready-made meals that are available for purchase, but care should is necessary with school lunches.
It is important to pack a lunch that is good for oral health and nutritious enough for overall health. For teeth to properly develop and keep their strength, your child’s gum and teeth, require a range of vitamins and minerals. Selecting foods rich in the right nutrients and minerals will strengthen the teeth and make them less prone to tooth decay.
Tooth Friendly Food Choices
Calcium and Vitamin D containing foods are vital for the growth and ongoing health and maintenance of strong and healthy teeth and gums. Calcium plays a role in strengthening the tooth’s enamel, whereas vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium into the body. Other important vitamins and minerals include vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Ensure that school lunches are tooth friendly and nutritious by including these types of foods.
Vitamins – Produce such as oranges, yellow peppers, red peppers, strawberries, and oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin A can be in found in foods such as carrots, cheddar cheese, and sweet potatoes.
Calcium – Milk, cheese, and yogurt are foods that are good sources of calcium. Another benefit is that eating cheese will stimulate the production of saliva. The saliva will help to wash and flush away leftover food debris from teeth. When choosing yogurt, make sure you choose yogurt that includes no added sugar.
Protein – Poultry and fish provide phosphorous, which plays a role in the development of teeth.
Snacks – Avoid snacks which included added sugar or have a solid and sticky texture or consistency.
Drinks – Avoid packing drinks such as pop or sodas or fruit juices that contain added sugar because they increase the risk of dental decay. Pack milk or water because they flush away acid residue from the surfaces of the teeth. Milk also aids in remineralizing teeth, when they are demineralized.
Establishing healthy habits and food choices will go a long way to maintaining your child’s oral health now, and throughout their adult years.