7 Healthy School Lunch Ideas
We don’t often consider our children’s teeth when we pack their school lunches. Small changes in what they eat for lunch at school will impact their oral health for years to come. With school starting back soon, be sure to pack these delicious foods to keep those unwanted cavities away.
Cheese – Cheese provides your body with protein and calcium, both are essential for healthy teeth. Cheese also raises the pH balance in your mouth and the risk lowers tooth decay. This makes cheese an easy choice to put in the lunchbox every day.
Yogurt – Yogurt is full of nutrients like calcium and protein needed for strong teeth. It’s also got probiotics, good bacteria that helps gums by pushing out bad bacteria that leads to cavities. Be sure to choose healthy yogurts that have no added or artificial sugars. If your child wants a fill-in, choose something like granola or sliced almonds to give yogurt some crunch.
Apples – Although apples have some natural sugar, they also have water and fiber in them as well. The texture of an apple can also stimulate the gums, protecting the mouth. Apples also cause saliva production, washing away food particles and bacteria naturally. If your children need some encouragement, try slicing an apple and including some peanut butter to dip the apple slices in. This is a great way to end the meal.
Leafy Greens – Leafy greens are known as being highly nutritious. There is no exception here. Greens like Kale and Spinach are high in calcium, strengthening tooth enamel. They also have folic acid to protect gums. For the adventurous eaters, include a colorful salad. For the choosy eaters, include greens on a turkey sandwich. Chances are they won’t notice all the beneficial nutrients they’re getting!
Carrots – Carrots are high in Vitamin A and fiber, making them an easy choice for those school lunches. Vitamin A supports bone health and density, so pairing it with calcium makes it a dynamic duo. Add carrots on top of a salad, or throw in a few carrot sticks with some hummus or salad dressing.
Celery – Celery acts as a substitute toothbrush during the school day, scrubbing away debris from your child’s mouth. Like apples and carrots, celery is full of fiber, stimulating the salivary glands. Fill in the hollow part with a topping of your choice, like peanut butter or cream cheese!
Almonds – Almonds and other nuts are extremely versatile foods. You only need a handful to get all the benefits from them. They are full of protein and calcium, and they are low in sugar. Sliced almonds go great on a salad. You could also make a quick trail mix paired with raisins or other dried fruits to keep those cavities away.
These are some easy ways to incorporate foods that prevent cavities into your child’s school lunch. In addition to packing nutritious meals, let Medplex Pediatric Dentistry help maintain your child’s smile. Contact Medplex Pediatric Dentistry to make an appointment today.
Medplex Pediatric Dentistry is led by Dr. Baker Chambliss, his team of hygienists and office staff, and Sugar the comfort dog. Medplex sees patients from all over Birmingham including Pelham, Hoover, Calera, Chelsea, and Bessemer.